From Chinese to Canadian

From the beginning, Chinese immigrants to Canada had an arduous odyssey of grudging tolerance and outright racism as cheap (usually the cheapest) labour in the 1800s.

Subsequent Chinese immigration was discouraged with the imposition of the $50 Head Tax, eventually escalating to $500 and culminating in the 1923 Liberal government’s Chinese Exclusion Act.
A later Liberal government repealed the tax when Paul Martin Sr. tabled the first Canadian Citizenship Act in 1947, largely because many Chinese Canadians had volunteered in the armed forces during WWII.
As restrictions on Chinese immigration were slowly removed, they began embracing integration with mainstream Canada.
This history is finally being captured and recorded formally through the recent launch of the Toronto Reference Library’s Chinese Canadian Archive Project.
It is a blueprint and a useful road map about the gradual integration of newcomers to Canada.
It was celebrated with a keynote address by Judy Fong Bates, a teacher …