Class Notes (808,385)
Canada (493,173)
NO110 (14)
Lecture 4

Week 4.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
North American Studies
Kevin Spooner

Week 4: Canada and Immigration – Yip Sang (1845-1927) January 30, 2012 Life of Yip Sang  Leaves China when he’s 19  Goes to San Francisco first  Begins work as a dishwasher, cook, then makes cigars  Beginning to hear word of Canada’s railway – hiring laborers with decent wages  Arrived in Vancouver by 1880s to work for CPR o Not as laborers, but as a bookkeeper o Begins to move up in rank – becomes timekeeper, then paymaster, eventually becomes a Chinese superintendent for the CPR  responsible for the supply company that provides the CPR with Chinese laborers  Becomes supervisor of thousands of workers  1885 CPR is nearing completion o Takes his money, leaves Canada and goes back to China  Marries 4 different wives in China o Has 23 children o Lee Shee, first wife – dies in China o Rest of the wives and children migrate to Canada with Yip Sang  Starts his own business – an import/export business o Chinese Canadians want access to Chinese goods – development of Chinatowns o The Wing Sang company o Chinese goods coming from China to Canada with goods, and sending them back with Canadian goods o Very successful – builds multiple buildings, today still standing o Starts fish packing plant for salted herring that he’s shipping to China o Establishes a school for kids in the Yip Sang building  Also supports educational initiatives in China  One of 11 men who starts Chinese Benevolence Association o Meant to look out for elderly Chinese men o State refused to provide social assistance  He was unusual as most Chinese were laborers  Chinese community in Canada is transnational – moving back and forth from north America to China  Railway was fundamental for confederation – tied British Columbia into rest of Canada 1858-1923: Development of Institutional Racism  1858 – first recorded Chinese immigration into Canada, to 1923 when Chinese Exclusion Act is passed  In these years, Chinese Canadians were subject to large degree of legislative control  First wave of Chinese immigration was for mining during the gold rush o Brings many north from the United States o Gold in California dwindling just as its starting in Canada  Large scale immigration came with the construction of the CPR  1881-1882 more than 11,000 Chinese arrive by ship from China to Victoria  Push factors from China o China is being faced with outer invasion (Europeans) – many revolts by the ppl – political instability o Farms were becoming less productive  Pull factors into Canada o Industrial development of Western Canada  Required enormous amounts of labor  The government nor Canadian citizens saw the Chinese as ideal citizens, but as a temporary solution to a labor shortage  Increasing legislation passed to restrict the freedoms of Chinese Canadians o Begins in 1885, as soon as railway is finished  John A MacDonald in 1883 – “it would all be very well to exclude Chinese labor when we can replace it with white labor – until then, better to have Chinese labor than no labor at all”  Chinese head tax o Started at $50 (1885), raised to $100 (1900) $500 (1993) o Clear that it was meant to make immigration as difficult as possible o Pulls in 22.5 million dollars for the federal government o In 2006 federal government issued an official apology o Survivors (fewer than 1000)
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