Canada is often referred to as a nation of immigrants, however, for a long period of time these immigrants came from a limited side of the world. Most people who migrated to the Dominion before the turn of the twentieth century left European nations, predominately the British Isles and Western Europe. The pattern of immigration began to shift particularly in the 1890s, as it became more likely for southern and eastern Europeans to make the trip. Additionally, another notable change in the pattern of immigration was the increase in Asian workers beginning to arrive in the first couple of decades after Confederation. As a result of the influx of immigrants entering Canada, racism flourished in a variety of ways from individual acts of suspicion, disrespect to formally enacted laws and policies designed to drive out and limit the prospects of racial minorities. White Canadians saw the presence of Asians during the first third of the twentieth century as the greatest threat to national prosperity.1 In The Black Candle, Emily Murphy a magistrate from Edmonton addresses the problem of drug trafficking in Canada and despite taking some care to present her remarks as detached and scientific, she had some clear opinions regarding various racial and ethnic groups and their involvement in the trade. Murphy expressed stereotypical and prejudiced views about various racial and ethnic groups. Like many Anglo-Protestants of her time, Emily Murphy believed that the social problems of the era, such as poverty, alcohol and drug abuse were linked to the influx of immigrants into western Canada and that criminal activity amongst certain immigrants needed to be eliminated through anti-drug organizations and strict legislation.
Emily Murphy (1868-1933) was a suffragist, equal rights activist and eugenicist. The growing concern of drug abuse amongst immigrants and white-Canadians caused Murphy great distress and became a tireless anti-narcotics crusader. Although...
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