History 287 – The Chinese in Canada and Canadians in China
Bolaria, B. Singh, and Sean P. Hier. Race and Racism in 21st-century Canada: Continuity, Complexity, and Change. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview, 2007. Print. According to a statistics from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the number of mainland Chinese immigrants to Canada increased impressively in the past 25 years. This has brought a significant amount of financial and human capital resources to Canada. However, the authors argue that they still have problems to get education-related professions. The main problem is to transfer their education and work experience to Canada. This results in Chinese immigrants taking jobs for which they are overqualified and overtrained. Unlike language and cultural barriers, immigrants cannot resolve this obstacle by themselves. Even though Canadian people accept “racial equality” and “democracy” as central values in society, an ethnocentric view prevails in society resulting in negative attitudes towards immigrants. The authors argue that national unity can be achieved in the context of cultural diversity. They propose the Canadian government to consider more assistance to help Chinese immigrants to adapt to Canadian society. Thereby Canada can fully benefit from international human capital transfer. This book is especially important to me since I don’t know the Canadian society well and how the situation is today. It gave me a good general overview and showed that racism is still present in society.
Canada. Senate and House of Commons of Canada. An Act Respecting Chinese Immigrants. 21 Feb. 2011. . The Chinese Immigration Act, 1923 was an act passed by the Parliament of Canada to control and ban immigration of people of Chinese origin or descent to Canada. The act prohibited Chinese immigrants to enter Canada except they were merchant, foreign student or diplomat. The minister also had the right to authorize admission to Canada of any person of Chinese origin or descent without being subject to the provision of the Chinese Immigration Act. This act is especially important because it documents that not only the Canadian population, even the government didn’t want people from China to immigrate to Canada.
Chapleau, Joseph-Adolphe, and John Hamilton Gray. Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration : Report and Evidence (1885). Rep. Ottawa: Printed by Order of the Commission, 1885. Cornell University Libraries. Web. 21 Feb. 2011. . This report by the Royal Commission contains over 700 pages and it reflects the situation of Chinese Immigrants in Canada before 1885. It makes it obvious how unfavorable the Canadians thought about the unassimilable ‘Chinaman’. One of the authors argues that the main issue with Chinese immigrants is the competition with white labor. He explains that the competition has only been with the lowest kind of labor, not with the mechanic or skilled labor. This report also includes a suggestion to impose a duty of $10 per head. Especially interesting is the statistic about the profession of Chinese immigrants in British Columbia. It lists all the different kind of jobs Chinese had at that time with exact numbers. This report is very important to everyone conducting research in this field because it covers a large spectrum of topics and analyzes all topics in detail. It also includes many interviews with white people talking about their thoughts about the ‘Chinaman’
Hoe, Ban Seng. Enduring Hardship: the Chinese Laundry in Canada. Gatineau, Quebec: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2003. Print. Enduring Hardship: The Chinese Laundry in Canada offers an introduction to the history of Chinese entrepreneurship, especially in the laundry cleaning business from the end of the 19th century to the 1950s. With limited language skills and financial resources almost all Chinese immigrants toiled in laboring jobs such...