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Banner: Moving Here, Staying Here. The Canadian Immigrant Experience

The Documentary TrailTraces of the PastFind an Immigrant
Free From Local Prejudice
A National Open-Door Policy
Filling the Promised Land
A Preferred Policy
A Depressing Period

A Preferred Policy (1905-1920s)


Canadians' attitudes towards immigration changed during the first three decades of the 20th century, in part as a result of their waning optimism in the potential of the "last best west." The Canadian government created new, more restrictive immigration legislation as it struggled to rationalize its policies while balancing conflicting national, business, labour, and public interests.

In this section you can explore the Asian immigrant experience in No Right of Passage (which details some Chinese and South Asian perspectives) and The Japanese Exclusion; delve into the details of Canada's developing deportation policy in The Undesirables; learn about the collaborative attempts made by Britain and Canada to entice more British settlers to immigrate in Settlement Schemes; and get a backstage look at the debate stirred up by the government's controversial decision to allow the national railways to recruit agricultural immigrants in central and eastern Europe in The Official Line.

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