Multi Ethnic Canada – A Long Journey
Canada is one of the most multi ethnic country in the world. People from all nations and cultures have made Canada their home. Canada Immigration history can be described in four different movements, fifth movement is currently ongoing.
First movement started in 1608 when Samuel Champlain founded Quebec City and New France. New France enlarged from Newfoundland to Rocky Mountains and from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico, including Midwest region of North America. After that European entrepreneurs and British military personnel started landing on the territories on New France. During this period, Scottish Highlands also established in Canada and played major role in Canada’s development and are the third largest ethnic group in the country.
Second movement started after Anglo-American war in 1812, included about 1000 British army regulars who settled in the parts of Upper Canada (now known as Ontario). Under this movement, thousand of Irish arrived on the shores of Canada and settled here. In 1871 Canadian government started allotting 160 acres of free land to Immigrants under the condition that they had to live on the plots and improve them. Under this period, Canada was the port of entry for Europeans to enter in US, which opened up the trade option from European countries and helped in the development of the country
Third movement occurred in the period of 1911-1913, before World War I and during that period about 400,000 immigrants from Continental Europe settled in Canada.
In 1923 Parliament of Canada passed the Chinese Immigration law, that prohibited Chinese from Immigration to Canada and in 1947 Canadian Government officially cancelled this law. On June 22 2006, Stephen Harper announced official apology and compensations.
Fourth movement came after World War II, lasted from 1939 to 1945. Under this movement, more than 200,000 Europeans came to Canada.
Fifth movement came in 1970 and still continuing, that opened the gates for South Asia, China and Caribbean. In 1972, the right to apply for immigrant status came into effect. In 1979, 60,000 refugees from Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos resettled in Canada.
According to the Census in 1981, out of the total population, 16% were immigrants (born outside Canada) and out of those 67% of immigrants were born in Europe, 14% in Asia, 8.5% in North or Central America, 4.5% in the Caribbean and 2.7% in Africa.
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