Post World War Twoand Displaced Persons • 1st post-war immigration policy was Prime Minister Mackenzie King’s directive of May 1, 1947: the policy of the government would henceforth be to foster the growth of the population of Canada by encouraging immigration which would neither alter the fundamental character of Canadian society, nor exceed Canada’s �absorptive� capacity.
the Canadian government approved of the idea of a cultural melting pot, in which all immigrants would abandon their cultural heritage to become part of the dominant English-speaking, or French-speaking, culture. • select immigrants from the preferred ethnic groups, which included British, American, and northwestern European individuals. • Canadian government policy well since the 1920s reflected the prevailing belief that these groups were easily assimilated, as they were culturally and linguistically similar to the dominant English group.
The Canadian Citizenship Act • In 1947 the Canadian government passed the Citizenship Act • To become a Canadian citizen the prospective candidate was required to have legally gained admission to Canada, five years residence prior to application, bear evidence of a good character, adequate knowledge of either French or English (or twenty years residence), �adequate� knowledge of the privileges and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship, and to make a statement of intention to reside permanently in Canada.
Privileges for British subjects remained intact under this new Act. • British citizens who had completed the five year residency requirement at the passage of the Act automatically became citizens of Canada, and retained their voting rights and old age pensions. • this new Act enabled Canadian citizens to sponsor relatives in Europe. In the late 1940s, therefore, Canadian citizens could legally sponsor any immigrant to whom he could ensure employment in agriculture, lumbering, or mining.
A keen concern in Canada, as well as in Britain, Australia, and the United States, was what to do about the millions of �displaced persons� living in former concentration camps in Europe. Source: Alan G. Green. Immigrationand the Postwar Canadian Economy.
Displaced Persons • One of the first Canadian Orders in Council providing for refugees and Displaced Persons was passed on July 23, 1946. This made provisions for the selection and placement of a variety of European Displaced Persons. • On November 7, 1946 the Prime Minister announced that the government would henceforth approve to adopt emergency measures to assist in the resettlement of refugees and displaced persons by co-operating with the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees (IRO).
War Brides came from all over the United Kingdom and from nearly every country on the European continent, but the vast majority (93%) were British • Canadians were among the first to come to the assistance of Britain after war was declared in 1939
just 43 days after Canadian soldiers arrived in December, 1939, they celebrated the first marriage between a British woman and a Canadian serviceman • 48,000 which followed over the next six years, formed part of the most unusual emigrant wave to hit Canada's shores: All women, all of the same generation, and mostly British, these nearly 45,000 war brides are an important part of Canadian history • As a group, the war brides shared many similarities: but far and above the image of a British war bride with her loveable accent and tea cosy, these women represented a diversity of experience that makes them as different from one another as they are to other immigrant groups in the post-war era. • But whether they were English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Dutch, French, Belgian or Italian, the War Brides have the shared experience of meeting and marrying a Canadian soldier during war time, leaving their home country for a new world by trans-Atlantic ship across the ocean, crossing Canada by war bride train, settling in to their new homes, raising families and adapting to a new culture, language and religion at a time in our history when the future held great promise for new Canadians.
British war bride represented a diversity of experience that makes them as different from one another as they are to other immigrant groups in the post-war era. • But whether they were English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Dutch, French, Belgian or Italian, the War Brides have the shared experience of meeting and marrying a Canadian soldier during war time, leaving their home country for a new world by trans-Atlantic ship across the ocean, crossing Canada by train, settling in to their new homes, raising families and adapting to a new culture, language and religion at a time in our history when the future held great promise for new Canadians.
Pier 21 Between 1928-1971, at Pier 21 on the Halifax waterfront, 1 million immigrants first set foot on Canadian soil.The port of Halifax, and its Pier 21 reception facility, was the primary point of entry.
For many Canadians, Pier 21 was their introduction to a new country. • They came seeking adventure, employment, and greater opportunities for their children. • Nervous and excited at the same time, no matter how much they had heard about Canada no one knew exactly what awaited them. Only that it was a second chance, an opportunity, and, for better or for worse, everyone remembers the moment that they stepped into the shed and knew for certain that they were not in Europe anymore.
Homework • Read pages 196-199 • Complete questions 1-4 on page 198