Women Immigrating

Early women immigrating to Canada was generated by a network of emigration agents who were salesman who advertised to Canada’s attraction’s to prospected immigrants. They targeted wealthy farmers, agricultural laborers and female domestics, preferably from Great Britain, the United States and Northern Europe. Canada’s first immigration legislation, the Immigration Act of 1869 reflected the laissez-faire philosophy of the time by not saying which classes of immigrants should be admitted but , merely that the “governor” could prohibit the landing of pauper or destitute immigrants at any Canadian port. The Chinese, who were arriving in large numbers to build the railway, were a special target of fear and suspicion. An act passed in 1885 to “restrict and regulate” Chinese immigration, was later complemented by head taxes designed to discourage Chinese immigration. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that regulations and restriction to Chinese immigration were completely lifted. The 19th century closed with a world wide depression and a slow down of immigration to the West. But all that changed in 1895, when Clifford Sifton was appointed as Minister of the Interior at the start of an economic recovery. Sifton believed that “a stalwart peasant in sheep skin coat” made the most desirable immigrant , and set out to attract peop…

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