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Chinese Canadians: Facing Discrimination and Overcoming It . CHC2D8 Ms. Gluskin. Timeline of Events Affecting Chinese Canadians. 1850s : many Chinese men came to mine gold in BC
Heritage Minutes: CPR
Library and Archives Canada. The Early Chinese Canadians. Head Tax Records. 2009. http://data2.collectionscanada.gc.ca/e/e338/e008441646-v6.jpg (March 20, 2014).
“Many of these immigrants took low-paying jobs that other Canadians did not want. Many Canadians did not like these immigrants who spoke other languages. They were worried about losing jobs and having no money. They often blamed immigrants for low wages and unemployment.”
Hux, Allan, Brandao, Jose Antonio and Moira Wong. My Country, Our History. Toronto: Pippin, 2006. Page 30.
“These Canadians continued to demand that the government stop accepting immigrants from non-English speaking countries because they thought too many of these immigrants would change Canada’s English culture. They also demanded that the government accept only rich immigrants because they were worried that these immigrants would take Canadian jobs. They wanted the government to discriminate against groups of people because of their race or religion. In later years, the Canadian government did exactly that. It wasn’t until the 1960s that discrimination against different racial groups became illegal.”
Ibid., p. 34.
Why So Hostile?
“… Blaming Chinese immigrants when the economy turned bad became a way of organizing migrants from Great Britain and Europe around the idea of "white supremacy," captured best in the phrase "White Canada Forever."
Anti-Chinese agitators [people who try to get people angry] saw that Chinese immigrants came here without families and lived simply. Therefore, they said, Chinese men did not need as much money as whites did to live on and to raise a family. They argued that the Chinese could work for lower wages and would take jobs away from white workers.”
Library and Archives Canada. The Early Chinese. Racism in Law and Society. 2009. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/chinese-canadians/021022-1400-e.html (March 21, 2014).
Chinese workers building the CPR, the cross-Canada railroad, 1884.
Library and Archives Canada. Chinese at Work on CPR. 2008. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayEcopies&lang=eng&rec_nbr=3194432&rec_nbr_list=3194432,3630135&title=Chinese+at+work+on+C.P.R.+%28Canadian+Pacific+Railway%29+in+Mountains%2C+1884.+&ecopy=c006686 (March 21, 2014).
Chinese laundry bill, 1909, Peterborough, Ontario
“In an era before automatic washing machines, doing laundry was hard work. Water needed to be boiled, clothes hand-scrubbed and shirts starched in order to be ironed smooth. Anyone who could afford it would send out their laundry to be done. In cities, single men worked in factories, banks and offices. They lived in boarding houses or apartment hotels and they too needed their clothes washed.”
Library and Archives Canada. Hop-Lee First Class Hand Laundry. 2008. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/public_mikan/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=2988354&rec_nbr_list=2988354 (March 21, 2014).
“Chinese immigrants started businesses such as laundries because they were forced out of many other professions by the increasing number of migrants who came from eastern Canada and Europe.”
Library and Archives Canada. The Early Chinese Canadians. Working Across Canada: Laundries and Cafes. 2009. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/chinese-canadians/021022-1300-e.html (March 21, 2014).
Chinese- Canadian Soldiers from BC, 1945, in Southeast Asia. Their services helped force the Canadian government to change their discriminatory laws.
Library and Archives Canada. Chinese-Canadian Soldiers from Vancouver. 2008. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayEcopies&lang=eng&rec_nbr=3596865&rec_nbr_list=3596865,3845864&title=Chinese-Canadian+soldiers+from+Vancouver%2C+British+Columbia%2C+Canada%2C+who+served+with+the+South+East++Asia+Command+%28SEAC%29%2C+awaiting+repatriation+to+Canada%2C+No.1+Repatriation+Depot+%28Canadian+Army+Miscellaneous+Units%29%2C+Tweedsmuir+Camp%2C+Thursley%2C+England%2C+27+November+1945.+&ecopy=a211880-v6 (March 21, 2014).
“Tom Thoon or Soon Toy was born in Toi San, Guangdong, China, in 1906. He came to Canada at the age of 15, in 1921, and was subject to the $500 head-tax imposed at the time.
Tom loved his country Canada, and worked diligently to provide for his family, despite the many challenges he faced as a new immigrant. He established his own restaurant and grocery businesses in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, formally retiring in Winnipeg in 1962.
Tom was proud to be a Canadian and was grateful for life in "Gold Mountain." His greatest gift to all of us was sharing his zeal for life, a gift which has inspired us all to think beyond the "here and now."
Helen Toy, daughter of Tom Thoon (Soon) Toy”
Library and Archives Canada. The Early Chinese Canadians. Family Histories. 2009. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/chinese-canadians/021022-3200-e.html(March 24, 2014).
Family Histories (PSD excerpts)
Heritage Minutes: CPR
Chinese Canadian … (ww1 and 2) photos
Chinese Canadian Women (Multicultural History Society of Ontario)