Barry Artiste Op/Ed
Boy that was an eye opener back then, when our country was growing and needed settling, out of the whole world only the Asians and East Asians it seems were charged a Head Tax in order to come to this country. If the Asians didn't come at all, Canadian cities would be embarassed, after all having built small city enclaves called Chinatown, would now be housed by the Irish, who were also persecuted as well. Irishtown just doesn't have the cache Chinatown has.
Course until today, I always thought Xenophobia was that 1940s Mickey Mouse Cartoom where Mickey is a wizard and dinner plates come alive. Learn something new everyday!
Immigration commission fuelled by xenophobia
In 1901, some Victorians pushed for higher head tax to try to keep out workers from China and Japan
By Andrei Bondoreff, Times Colonist
A Royal Commission investigating Chinese and Japanese immigration held its first session in Victoria 108 years ago this week. The inquiry revealed how important economic and class issues were to the debate at the time.
On the morning of March 13, 1901, a five-person panel appointed by the federal government met in Victoria. Its job was to gather evidence to form "a picture of the Chinese mode of living: whether they are desirous of building up the country, or whether those who are naturalized have any regard or affection for its institutions," reported the Victoria Daily Times.
The Commission was part of an on-going political process examining Asian immigration that began in 1884. That year, Canada's first commission investigating the issue made recommendations that resulted in parliament imposing a $50 Head Tax on Chinese coming to Canada in 1885.