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CHAPTER V

IMMIGRATION INTO CANADA

FORMATION OF THE DOMINION OF CANADA

It is in a measure true that the study of any political or social problem in Canada resolves itself into simpler elements than a similar study in the United States; this is because the historic period of national life in the former country is of much shorter duration than in the latter. The United States was nearly a hundred years old when, in 1867, the Dominion of Canada was born. This great self-governing unit of the British Commonwealth of Nations was created by the British North America Act · which enabled the four separate colonies, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario to combine for purposes of central administration.

In the course of a few years, all the other British territory in North America north of the United States boundary line, with the exception of Newfoundland, joined the Dominion under explicit legislative provisions. While the British North America Act is modeled on the Constitutions of the Swiss Confederation and of the United States of America, there are differences to be noted. One of these is a tendency toward greater centralization. Unlike United States Constitutional enactment, residuary powers in Canada are vested in the Dominion government. The Dominion is held by a thin thread to the Mother Country. The Governor General is appointed by the Crown, but public opinion decrees that he shall be persona grata to Canada. Treaties relating to Canada have, in the past, been signed by Great Britain, but a change has come about since the Dominion of Canada on her own account has, for the first time in her history recently drawn up and

* Received the Royal assent, March 29, 1867, and by royal proclamation, the Union took effect July 1, 1867.

signed a treaty? with the United States regarding water rights in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Many of the interests of these two countries are identical, and this change in treaty method may have an important bearing on the problem of Orientals in both countries, and is thus significant in a study of immigration.

The tie between the Mother-land and her most important colony, it will be seen, is mainly one of sentiment, and could not long survive dissatisfaction in Canada. It is important to keep these facts in mind while following the history of immigration. The bond of sentiment, has determined a preferential policy toward Britain. There is no criticism implied here as to the wisdom of such a policy whatever its basis; in fact it seems to warrant only commendation because it results in a desirable degree of homogeneity of population.

RACIAL ELEMENTS OF OLDER PROVINCES It should be remembered that the older provinces included in the Dominion of Canada had been developed mainly by accessions of population from the British Isles, since the fortunes of war and the treaty of Paris in 1763 gave the country permanently to England. After the American Revolution, Loyalists from the United States to the number of 60,000 found homes in these provinces giving a still more definitely -English stamp to the country. Except in Quebec, but few of the original French settlers were to be found; a few thousand of the Acadians, exiled in 1755, had found their way back to the maritime provinces, particularly to Nova Scotia, but they never became of any racial importance. They are living today in a few isolated settlements along barren shores. The population of the new Dominion was overwhelmingly British to begin with, and it has remained so although it has been supplemented in recent years by other national groups.

· The Halibut Fisheries Act March, 1923.

COMMON INTERESTS OF CANADA AND

THE UNITED STATES In the matter of immigration, Canada has profited by the experience of the United States. While there may be conflicting interests, the two countries, on account of their proximity, have so much in common in this matter, that it would seem as if many of the problems might be more satisfactorily worked out by co-operative effort than by simply following suit.

AREA AND POPULATION OF PROVINCES Canada with an area of 3,729,665 square miles and a population of 8,787,998 according to the 1921 census, is only at the beginning of her development when compared with the United States and her area of 3,617,643 square miles with a population of 105,710,620. The greater area of Canada must be interpreted by two facts, first a water area more than twice as great as that of the United States, and second a vast territory that for climatic reasons now seems uninhabitable. With these two points in mind, the disparity between acreage and population is not so great as at first sight appears.

Taken by provinces the following table shows the area and population with the number of persons per square mile in each case:

[graphic]

Province

Population

in 1921

Area in
Square Miles

Persons
Per Square

Mile

Alberta

588,454 British Columbia

524,582 Manitoba

610,118 New Brunswick.

387,876 Nova Scotia....

523,837 Ontario ...

2,933,662 Prince Edward Island

88,615 Quebec ..

2,361,199 Saskatchewan

757,108 Yukon...

4,157 North West Territories

7,988
* Fractions not considered.

255,285
355,855
251,832
27,985
21,428
407,262

2,184
706,834
255,285

207,076 1,242,224

2 1 2 13 24

6 44 3 3 1 1

It will be seen from a perusal of the foregoing figures that there is room in Canada for many more millions of people. The natural resources of the country are known to be great, Jand their further development is only a matter of time. At present the greatest need is for agricultural labor, and the country presents good opportunities for old world peasants to secure homes for themselves. The Government offers generLous inducements to people who want to engage in farming.

TABULAR STATEMENTS CONCERNING ENGLISH

SPEAKING AND OTHER IMMIGRANTS English speaking immigrants from the United States and the British Isles have always been desired. Perusal of the next table establishes the fact that immigrants from these two countries vastly outnumber all others. It might seem that there would be no northward stream of people from the United States, but strong inducements to farmers prove sufficiently attractive to insure an annual migration of considerable proportions.

The following table is a comparative statement of immigrant arrivals from 1881 to 1922:

Period

From
British
Isles

From
United
States

From

other Countries

Totals

Calendar year 1881..

17,033 | 21,822 9,136 47,991 Calendar year 1882.

41,283 58,372 12,803 112,458 Calendar year 1883.

45,439 | 78,508 9,677 133,624 Calendar year 1884.

31,787 65,886 6,151 103,824 Calendar year 1885.

18,591 57,506

3,072 79,169 Calendar year 1886..

23,507 40,650 4,995 69,152 Calendar year 1887.

31,104 41,046 12,376 84,526 Calendar year 1888.

30,852 44,952 12,962 88,766 Calendar year 1889.

19,384 67,896 4,320 91,600 Calendar year 1890.

21,793 50,336

2,938 75,067 Calendar year 1891.

22,042 52,516 7,607 92,165 Calendar year 1892.

22,636

8,360 30,996 * Report of the Department of Immigration and Colonization, 1921–22, page 5.

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