Discrimination


The Canadian Legal System has not ever tolerated any form of stereotypes, prejudice or discrimination inside of outside of Canada. Although, despite the Canadian Laws, there were cases when individuals were showing acts of discrimination against other people judging them by their sex, martial status, origin or disabilities.


One of the most common ways of discrimination is racism. Racism occurs when one person judges another one by his origin. Probably, the first racist discrimination was shown by the European explorer that came to the north. The first explorer that made contact with the Inuit people was Frobisher. He took four Inuit with his back to England, where they all died.


Another great issue of the Canadian History of Racism is the Asians. Due to the Californian gold rush in mid 1800’s, many Chinese people have arrived in order to try to make money from the gold. As the gold rush in California was coming to a close, gold has been discovered north or the border. Following the gold, Asians moved to British Columbia for search of gold. Because of the discrimination towards Asians, they could only work on abandoned sites, which they couldn’t make much fortune on. Despite this, the Asians survived in America, and in 1860, many of them settled in Bakersfield area.


One of the most clear discrimination events towards the Chinese was shown by the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway (the CPR). On the first stages of building, Canadian Government realized that it can save millions of dollars by hiring Chinese workers to work on the railroad. The Chinese could work steadily, receiving less than half of what a Canadian citizen would expect to get. By the completion of the railway, way more than half of the workers were Chinese.


Those were sad times for the Chinese, as thousands of them have died, building the C.P.R. It is estimated that at least four Chinese have died for every mile of the track due to explosions, exposure, or from scurvy of malnutrition. There was no option for burying the bodies of the workers, so they were just left beside the rail tracks, covered with dust and dirt.


After the CPR was finished, the Asians were not welcomed in Canada anymore. The government of Canada had made it very difficult for them to stay in the country. Those who stayed faced the growing racism. The children were discouraged from attending the school, professional job opportunities were closed for the Asians, e.t.c.


In 1880 a group of Asian immigrants was refused entry to Canada. No longer needed to provide cheap services, the Asians were strongly discouraged to settle in Canada. Almost all the politician felt forced to support the anti-Asian discrimination campaign. In 1902 the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration declared all Asians, "unfit for full citizenship . . . obnoxious to a free community and dangerous to the state," preparing the way for restrictive immigration policies, following increase of the head tax.


Another discrimination act against the Asians was shown by the Japanese Internment during the World War II. Within days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, more than 1,000 Japanese fishing vessels were seized, leaving over 2,000 Japanese fishermen out of work. By early 1942, both the Canadian and the US governments ordered the relocation of the Japanese living along the west coast into isolated camps and towns, without any based suspicions, but just by the color of their skin.


Ironically, the black people have not been discriminated, opposing their discrimination in the neighboring United States. Actually, the black people have fled from the United States and immigrated to Canada by any means necessary (many of them immigrated using the Underground Railway). And even after the slavery was abolished in the U.S. many of the black people still immigrated to Canada, in order to flee the growing racism and discrimination, although many of them have returned to the United States.


Though Canada has been a historical destination point for Blacks fleeing slavery and violence in the U.S., Canada is not without racism. There has always been discrimination in Canada and today it still exists particularly against visible minorities. It is something that the government, the schools, and activist groups are working on constantly.


As for today, the Canadian Legal System constantly fights