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Social - Immigration
Belshaw, John Douglas. “Canadian History: Post-Confederation.” Canadian History
PostConfederation. BCcampus, May 17, 2016.
Troper, Harold. “Immigration in Canada.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, April 22, 2013.
At war's end in 1945, Canadian immigration regulations remained unchanged from the
restrictive pre-war years.
Driven by a postwar economic boom, growing job market and a resulting demand for
labour, Canada gradually re-opened its doors to European immigration, first to
immigrants Canada traditionally preferred — those from the United Kingdom and
Western Europe — but eventually to the rest of Europe as well.
With the onset of the Cold War, however, immigration from Eastern Europe came to a
halt. Borders to the west were closed by the Soviet Union and its allies.
○ However, large numbers of immigrants entered Canada from southern Europe,
particularly Italy, Greece and Portugal.
Canada emerged from the Second World War as an urban, industrial power, and many
postwar immigrants soon filled jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, some
building the expanding city infrastructure and others, the better-educated immigrants,
meeting the strong demand for trained and skilled professionals.
They forced governments to legislate against discrimination on account of race, religion
and origin in such areas as employment, accommodation and education.
○ And, just as Canada was making discrimination illegal at home, the government
moved to eliminate racial, religious or ethnic barriers to Canadian immigration.
■ The last vestiges of racial discrimination in immigration were gone from
Canadian immigration legislation and regulations by the late 1960s.
In 1971, for the first time in Canadian history, the majority of those immigrating into
Canada were of non-European ancestry.
As a result, Canada is not just a ​multicultural​ society, it is also a multiracial society to a
degree unimaginable to earlier generations of Canadians.
In the late 1960s, Canada introduced a point system for determining the desirability of
individuals applying to immigrate to Canada.
○ Under this system, each applicant was awarded points for age, education, ability
to speak English or French, and demand for that particular applicant's job skills.
○ If an applicant was in good health and of good character and scored enough
points, he or she was granted admission together with their spouse and
dependent children.
○ Those who did not score enough points were denied admission.
More recently, Canada has modified its procedures to give preference to the
admission of independent, skilled and immediately employable immigrants.
Once established in Canada, each new arrival, now called a "landed immigrant," has all
the rights of born Canadians except political rights, such as the ​right to vote​.
After a specified number of years (recently reduced from five to three years), each
landed immigrant may apply for Canadian citizenship and, once granted, has the same
political rights as Canadian-born citizens.
In addition, landed immigrants, like Canadian citizens, may also apply to sponsor the
admission to Canada of close family members who might not otherwise be able to satisfy
stringent Canadian admission criteria.
○ The sponsor must agree to ensure anyone brought into Canada will not become
an economic burden to Canadian society.
■ For many years, sponsored families of those already in Canada were the
single largest group of those admitted into Canada.
Since the end of the ​Second World War​, ​refugees​ and others dispossessed by war and
violence have become a significant part of Canada's immigration flow.
In the postwar labour shortage, Canada admitted tens of thousands of displaced
persons, individuals made homeless by the war or who, at war's end, found themselves
outside of their country of citizenship, to which they refused to return.
○ Among the displaced persons were Jewish Holocaust survivors who had no
community or family to which they could return.
○ Other displaced persons refused repatriation back to countries which had fallen
under Soviet domination. Many resettled in Canada, where they built new lives.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Canada also responded to the plight of refugees from
other countries that were under dictatorships.
In the aftermath of the unsuccessful Hungarian uprising of 1956 and the crushing of
political reform in Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union in 1968, refugees fled westward.
○ Canada responded by setting aside its normal immigration procedures to admit
its share of refugees.
In the years that followed, Canada again made special allowance for refugees from
political upheavals in Uganda, Chile and elsewhere.
○ In each of these cases, the refugees were admitted as an exception to the
immigration regulations and without following all the usual immigration
In 1978, Canada enacted a new ​Immigration Act​ that, for the first time, affirmed
Canada's commitment to the resettlement of refugees from oppression;
○ that is, persons who have a well-founded fear of persecution in their country of
○ Accordingly, refugees would no longer be admitted to Canada as an exception to
immigration regulations.
■ The admission of refugees was now part of Canadian immigration laws
and regulations. But refugee admission has remained controversial and
difficult to administer.
Every year Canada sets aside a minority portion of the total target number of immigrants
it intends to admit for refugees.
But there are two very different routes by which refugees have arrived in Canada.
○ In co-operation with other countries and international refugee agencies, each
Canadian immigration official goes overseas to interview and pick refugees for
resettlement in Canada from among those who have found temporary sanctuary
outside their country of citizenship, often in a neighbouring country.
The first major refugee resettlement program under this new legislation was during the
early 1980s when Canada led the Western world in its welcome to Southeast Asian
refugees and particularly those from ​Vietnam​, often referred to as the "boat people."
○ Many of the boat people were selected from among those who escaped Vietnam
in tiny boats and eventually found themselves confined to refugee camps in
Thailand or Hong Kong awaiting permanent homes.
○ The other route refugees have taken into Canada is far more controversial.
Canada has had to deal with persons who are not chosen abroad by immigration
officials, but who somehow make their way to Canada and, once in Canada,
declare themselves to be refugees.
■ Once in Canada, each arrival claimed to be a refugee with a legitimate
fear of persecution in his or her homeland. In a world in which political
torture and murder is all too common, it became the responsibility of
Canadian officials to determine if each individual claimant was truly a
refugee or not.
● Canada devised an inland refugee determination process
designed to judge each claim. If determined to be a legitimate
refugee, the claimant is granted the right to stay in Canada as an
immigrant. If not, the claimant may be deported.
Economic - St. Lawrence Seaway
Shaw, Gordon C., and Viktor Kaczkowski. “St. Lawrence Seaway.” St. Lawrence Seaway | The
Canadian Encyclopedia, February 17, 2009.
The St Lawrence Seaway (Great Lakes Waterway) is the system of locks, canals and
channels linking the Great Lakes and the St Lawrence River with the Atlantic Ocean.
The construction of progressively larger canals along the St Lawrence River began as
early as 1783. By 1900, a complete network of shallow draft canals allowed
uninterrupted navigation from ​Lake Superior​ to ​Montréal​.
The majority of the cargo moving through the Seaway is ​iron ore​, ​coal​ and other mine
products, followed by agricultural goods, other bulk cargo (e.g., petroleum products and
cement) and finished goods (e.g., iron and steel).
○ Approximately 44 million tonnes of cargo moves through the Seaway annually, in
contrast with the annual average of about 11 million tonnes in the 1950s.
Repayment of capital debt, interest and operating costs could not be covered under the
original financial arrangements, and in 1977 a change in legislation converted the
Canadian Seaway Authority debt to equity held by Canada but required that revenues
cover all operating and maintenance costs; this change has been successful.
● An additional $600 million, spent by the two countries for hydroelectric development, has
been recovered by electricity sales.
● The Seaway has a major economic impact on Canada and the US.
○ It provides economical freight rates for bulk commodities and makes an important
contribution to the basic industries of both countries.
○ The Seaway made possible the exploitation of the vast iron ore deposits of
Québec​ and ​Labrador​ and turned Canada from an importer to an exporter of iron
Political - Canadian Flag
Heritage, Canadian. “Government of Canada.” Canada.ca. Government of Canada, February 4,
2019. ​https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/flag-canada-history.html
● The process began in 1895 when heraldry enthusiast Edward M. Chadwick
recommended to the Government that Canada should have its own national flag
featuring a maple leaf.
○ Almost 30 years later in 1925, a committee of the Privy Council began to
research possible designs.
■ However, the committee never completed its work.
○ A parliamentary committee was given a similar mandate in 1946, but Parliament
was never called upon to formally vote on the more than 2,600 designs received.
● Early in 1964, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson informed the House of Commons that
the Government wished to adopt a distinctive national flag. As a result, a Senate and
House of Commons Committee was formed and submissions were called for once
● Throughout the process, the maple leaf and the colours red and white have been a
recurring, common theme between experts and heraldry enthusiasts.
Wherry, Aaron. “The Remarkable Speech and Great Debate That Gave Us Our Flag.”
Macleans.ca, February 16, 2015.
A good portion of that difference was the time given to debating a new flag for the
country—a debate that started on June 15, 1964, and didn’t conclude until December 15
of that year.
○ That debate is typically described as bitter or acrimonious—​this oral history
includes one MP challenging another to a duel—but the sheer extent of it is worth
There are varying accounts of how many speeches were made therein: the ​Canadian
Encyclopedia​ tallies 250 speeches, historian ​Allan Levine​ says 270 and ​this account
puts it over 300.
And to the House debate was added the work of the committee that actually selected the
winning design: ​that committee met 41 times​.
Tom Kent, one of Lester B. Pearson’s advisors, later ​wrote​ that the flag debate woefully
distracted the government.
Published Online February 7. “Flag Debate.” Flag Debate | The Canadian Encyclopedia,
February 7, 2006. ​https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/flag-debate
The ensuing controversy raged not over whether there should be a new flag, but on its
the debate over the proposed new Canadian ​flag​ which opened in the House of
Commons 15 June 1964 and ended by ​closure​ 15 December 1964.
In 1946 a committee of both Senate and Commons presented a design with the Red
Ensign charged with a golden maple leaf but it was not adopted.
The issue was raised again by ​Lester Pearson​, as leader of the Opposition in 1960 and
as prime minister in 1963.
John Matheson MP sought strict adherence to the colours, red and white, and the maple
leaf emblem authorized by George V on 21 November 1921 as advocated by A.
Fortescue Duguid.
This proposal for design, three maple leaves on a white centre square with blue bars on
each side, was introduced to Parliament in June 1964.
John Diefenbaker​ demanded that the flag honour the "founding races," with the Union
Jack in the canton of honour.
○ Pearson insisted on a design denoting allegiance to Canada devoid of colonial
After the prolonged, rancorous debate the issue was referred to a 15-member all-party
committee which recommended a design inspired by the Royal Military College flag
theme, red-white-red, but with one red maple leaf in a white squared centre.
Debate in the House continued until Léon Balcer, a prominent Conservative MP from
Québec, invited the Liberals to invoke closure, which would limit speeches to 20 minutes
and force a vote.
○ After some 250 speeches, a vote was taken 15 December 1964 at 2:00 a.m. and
the committee's recommendation was accepted 163 to 78.
■ Senate approval followed on Dec 17.
The royal proclamation was signed by Her Majesty 28 January 1965 and the national
flag was officially unfurled 15 February 1965.