Reluctant Host: Canada's Response to Immigrant Workers, 1896-1994
Reluctant Host is a history of the evolution of Canadian immigration policy this century with three major threads. First is an analysis of how pressure groups - business, labour, ethnic, political, bureaucratic - determined Canada's policies. While there is some reference to professional and skilled migrants, the emphasis is appropriately on the unskilled and the massive numbers demanded by spokesmen for the labour-intensive industries - extractive, transportation, construction, companies - and their political allies. These determined the scale and composition of immigration. A second thread is a study of immigrant workers, their experiences as shaped by racial and ethnic considerations. Third is a study of official policy. Class, race, and ethnicity determined both Canada's policy toward different groups of immigrant workers, and where foreign-born men and women found employment. Section One, based on extensive archival research discusses European workers and the Canadian economy, policies toward Asian workers, the affect of the First World War on the place of European workers, the return to an open door policy during the 1920s, the impact of the Depression on immigration policy, the security dimensions of policy during the Second War and early years of the Cold War, and our response to Displaced Persons between 1946 and 1952. Section Two is a survey of the elements of continuity and change in immigration policy and practices since 1952, debates over the 1967 White Paper and 1976 Immigration Act and the experiences of immigrant workers in Canadian society in the past forty years.
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