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Making 'New Canadians' Reading notes


Department
History
Course Code
HIS312H1
Professor
Ian Radforth

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Making New Canadians: Social Workers, Women, and the Reshaping of Immigrant Families
-Franca Iacovetta
In 1958, the International Institute of Metropolitan Toronto was a social agency offering aid to the citys
non-British immigrants
The International Institute opened in downtown Toronto in October 1956
The declared aim of the agency was to foster and promote the integration of New Canadians
In the period before 1965, the immigrants were British or European
From the Point of View of Immigrants
The immigrants who came after 1945 potentially had access to a fairly wide network or services
associated with the postwar welfare state. There was:
A national system of unemployment insurance
Mothers allowances
Improvements in health, welfare,
Worker’s compensation schemes
Aid offered by charitable agencies, churches and volunteer groups
In Toronto, middle class womens organizations
like the Young Womens Christian Association (YWCA),
the Womens Christian Temperance Union (WCTU)
and the Toronto Junior League
clothing and food drives and baby clinics,
hosted child-rearing lectures
dispatched volunteers to meet women arriving by train at Union Station
nationally and locally, the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE) was involved in
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citizenship work,
educating immigrants in Canadian government
and encouraging them to become naturalized citizens
many local branches adopted’ needy families
who were then supplied with emergency funds
had their house bills paid
Torontos settlement houses acted as job placement centres and offered
English classes
Recreational activities
So too did Catholic, Jewish and Protestant organizations
In addition to long-standing ethnic organizations, new ones emerged. Through their referral services,
all of these groups were in frequent contact with the government departments, including :
the local offices of the National Employment Service (NES)
the Immigration Branch
the provincial Department of Public Welfare
Clients were also referred
Hospitals
Family court
A host family
Child-protection agencies; that as in the case of the Childrens Aid Society were semi-
autonomous but an integral part of welfare state
The International Institute received charitable moneys through
The citys United Appeal fun
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As well as private donations
Belonged to this elaborate network of services
The agency was an amalgam of several organizations that had been involved in immigrant aid
work since 1952
New Canadians Services Association
St. Andrews Presbyterian church and the Toronto Welfare Council (later the Social Planning
Council) agreed to run the churchs old St Andrews Memorial House
As a friendship house
Serving immigrants with the help of funds (obtained through the Community Chest)
Later a group of well off Torontonians established within the house a counseling and
orientation service for immigrants.
This organization (New Canadians Services Association) became in the fall of 1954 a
fund-raising project of the Junior League of Toronto.
Initially its staff member was Mrs W.E (Nell) West
A social worker
Served as assistant deputy minister or public welfare in Ontario (during the
Depression)
Senior official with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation
Administration (UNRRA)
In 1956, their services officially amalgamated with St Andrews House to
form a multifaceted immigrant aid society.
The International Institute
Clientele was exclusively immigrant
Different from other citys agencies because of this
It served non-British newcomers
Predominantly European-born arrivals including Displaced Persons from central and Eastern
Europe
Later, Hungarian refugees
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