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HISTORY OF SOUTH ASIAN IMMIGRANTS IN CANADA By Jason Vaz.

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1 HISTORY OF SOUTH ASIAN IMMIGRANTS IN CANADA By Jason Vaz

2 1900: THE FIRST RECORDED ENTRY OF SOUTH ASIANS (SA) INTO CANADA.

3 1900: DESCRIPTION  Upper middleclass farming families sent a capable member to Canada to alleviate heavy monetary debts owed to dishonest landowners in the state of Punjab. At this time, British Columbian farmers were looking for man-power to till acres of unused yet farmable soil, and they advertised Canada as the land of opportunity. In response, 5000 SA Sikh farmers arrived over a period of 7 years. Since the dominion government imposed a $500 charge on any Chinese that wished to enter Canada, most BC farmers looked for SA and Japanese help. 

4 1907: THE BRITISH COLUMBIA RACE RIOTS

5 1907: DESCRIPTION  were a reaction to the tension of (1) escalating unemployment of indigenous farmers, which would eventually lead to depression the following year, and (2) increasing arrivals of the SA “menace” to BC in search of work. The British-Canadian Government, in reaction to these riots imposed strictures unreasonable restrictions on SA immigrants, which forced many of them to flee back to India. The British Government tried to send the remaining 1,100 SA immigrants to British-Honduras from where most of them returned due to inhabitable conditions. In British Columbia, the returning SAs were allowed to stay but were not permitted to bring their families from India to live with them. 

6 1919: THE GOVERNMENT ALLOWS SA IMMIGRANTS TO BRING THEIR FAMILIES TO CANADA.

7 1919: DESCRIPTION  The Government allowed “legal SA residents” to bring their wives and dependent children to Canada. The illegal SA residents were those that entered the country between 1908 and 1918 like the the SAs on board Komagata Maru in 1914.

8 1947: VOTING RIGHTS ARE AWARDED TO SAS BY THE BC GOVERNMENT.  This was brought about by the combined lobbying of local SAs and provincial officials. The Government agreed because it could no longer hold on to prejudicial restrictions and justify it after the Second World War.

9 1967: RACE, ETHNICITY AND NATIONALITY DISREGARDED BY CANADIAN GOVERNMENT IN IMMIGRANT SELECTION

10 1967: DESCRIPTION - Recognizing the economic benefits of immigrants and the growing need to strengthen the Canada’s economy and man-power, immigrants were now selected on economic criteria and skill type/ level.

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