I ran across an article in the Toronto Star about racism in Canada and found it interesting enough to present a couple of points here on these pages for your consideration.
Canada has a less than stellar record historically when it comes to immigration policy, having rejected or excluded Indians, Chinese, Jews and Blacks during various periods over the past century.As a matter of fact, if we look back about a century or so we can see how the Indians, Blacks, Chinese and Jews were all treated horribly by this land and its people.
Harold Troper, an immigration historian at the University of Toronto and co-author of None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe quotes some terrible examples of Canada’s immigration policy: the infamous Chinese head tax; the exclusion of black Oklahoman farmers from coming to Canada in 1910; the refusal in May 1914 of most of the 375 Indians aboard the Komagata Maru after landing in Vancouver, where the ship spent two months before it was ordered back to India; the exclusion of Jewish immigrants from the 1920s until after the Second World War.
According to the Canadian Council for Refugees, specific measures taken by immigration officials included: an amendment to the Opium and Narcotic Drug Act to deport “domiciled aliens” with drug-related convictions (directed against the Chinese) in 1922; the prohibition of all Chinese immigrants in 1923; refusal of the ship the St. Louis, carrying 930 Jewish refugees, to land in 1939, forcing it to return to Europe — ultimately sentencing three-quarters of its passengers to death under the Nazi regime. (The treatment of the Jews, for example, in the words of Canada’s Director of Immigration Branch F.C. Blair — held responsible for the policy of not allowing Jews into Canada — best exemplifies the tone and atmosphere of the Canadian government in March 1938.)As for some of the minorities that were already here, such as the Native Americans, Blacks brought in by the Underground railroad, and the Chinese used on the railroad work gangs, conditions were deplorable to say the least, and they have not improved much for some of them since!
Folks there is an ongoing problem with the way we treat minorities in this country, and in some areas of our big cities and small towns this is best exemplified by the way these groups are forced to live.
Or how about conditions on some of the Native Reserves around the country! Almost half of the 181,524 Registered Indian population in Ontario lives on 207 reserves and settlements, and there are 126 bands, with over 23,000 speakers of Aboriginal languages. These communities are located across the province, from near Windsor in the south to the shores of Hudson Bay in the north. Five of the twenty largest bands in Canada are located in Ontario. One in four Ontario First Nations is a small, remote community, accessible only by air year round, or by ice road in the winter. Ontario has more remote First Nations than any other region in Canada. Major urban Aboriginal populations are in Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Ottawa, and Toronto.
And let's not forget the Chinese, who were brought here to build our railways:
When British Columbia agreed to join Confederation in 1871, one of the conditions was that the Dominion government build a railway linking B.C. with eastern Canada within 10 years. British Columbia politicians and their electorate agitated for an immigration program from the British Isles to provide this railway labour, but Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, betraying the wishes of his constituency, Victoria, by insisting the project cut costs by employing Chinese to build the railway, and summarized the situation this way to Parliament in 1882: "It is simply a question of alternatives: either you must have this labour or you can't have the railway." (British Columbia politicians had wanted a settlement-immigration plan for workers from the British Isles, but Canadian politicians and investors said it would be too expensive).These people's decedents settled in Canada folks, and although they don't have any actual reserves like the Indians to call home, a large percentage of them now live in Vancouver and Markham Ontario.
And last, but certainly not least, we can't forget the Jews who finally made it into this country to settle in parts of old Montreal and sections of Toronto
Yes, boys and girls, four different groups of people, who through no fault of their own, were treated very badly by the White, Anglo Saxon Protestant, (WASP) rich bastards of this country!
WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO HELP THESE POOR PEOPLE! (Oh wait ....., they already ............., never mind!)