Canada Canada is a nation famous for its tolerance for different ethnic and
cultural backgrounds. It is said that Canada is a mosaic of cultures,
and every individual culture is treated the same with the same
respect. Yet that is idealistic, wishful thinking. While Canada might
offer a more tolerant environment than most, it is certainly not
without its problems. Intolerance has been an issue in Canada since
the first settler stepped onto this land. Injustice and discrimination
permeates every era and aspect of Canadian history, observed in the
political injustice of enemy aliens and internments of both world
wars, the social discrimination of Canada?s immigration policy, and
the cultural oppression and assimilation the aboriginals faced and
still face.
Perhaps the most infamous act of racial discrimination in Canadian history was the internment of Japanese Canadian during wwii. After the bombing of Pearl Harbour, the Japanese-Canadians in British Columbia were driven out of their home, their assets confiscated and auctioned off at ridiculously low prize. They were sent to internment camps in the interior camp, forced to live apart from friend and family, doing strenuous work for almost no pay. All of this was done in the name of defense of Canada; government argued that those Japanese people might be enemy spies, even though most of them were born in Canada or lived in Canada for a long time and had little or no ties to Japan. Most people might know of this, though they might not be aware that it was not the first time such things happened in Canada. In the First World War there was also abundant hostile feelings towards new immigrants from the German and Austria-Hungary Empire. They were discriminated against, their businesses were trashed and their possessions were confiscated. Many Ukrainian immigrants were also subjected to internment camps. All of those show the intolerance for people suspected to be of different political orientation based on their ethnicity. Those events still haunt Canada today as the Japanese people seek compensations for their suffering in wwii. Socially the discrimination in the Canadian immigration policy had been a major issue for a long time. In BC the discriminatory policies were especially prominent. Because BC?s geographical location, it has been the destination of many Asian immigrants?Chinese, Japanese, East Indians, etc?-since the late 19th century. Among the whites there was both fear and discontent at this development. They clamored for the government to stop the incoming flow of Asian immigrants. The newspaper and other print materials at that time were filled with racist and discriminatory articles and pictures that spoke actively against Asian immigrants. The government also adopted many policies to discourage Asians. There was a head tax placed on every incoming Chinese immigrant. The tax started at $50 and quickly increased to a ridiculously high $500 that virtually stopped Chinese immigrants coming to Canada. East Indians also suffered, as BC turned away the entire ship Kamagata Maru and all the Sikh immigrants it carried. Even today some of those problems remain unsolved as the Chinese descendants sue for redress. The oppression the aboriginals faced started the day Europeans set foot on Canada and still goes on today. The aboriginals were forced to live on reserves that made their old hunting and gathering lifestyle impossible. They were forced to take up farming, which was not successful because they did not receive the equipments and training the Canadian government received. As a result, many native people starved. White people demeaned native culture and adopted various measures to kill their beliefs and customs. The Indian Act in BC made potlatch and other native celebrations illegal. Native children were forced into residential schools with horrid conditions and harsh treatments until as late as 1984. Even the very little the Native people could claim are constantly being taken away. To this very day, reserve lands are constantly being encroached for urban development, logging, mining, farming and other activities. While Canada could claim to be more tolerant of diverse nationalities and cultural backgrounds than others, it is not without its problems. There are many issues related with racial intolerance in Canada: from the unjust internment camps in the wars, the Canada?s controversial early immigration policies, to the ongoing treatment of Native people in Canada. All of those issues need to be addressed and resolved to create a better Canada for the future generations.

Canada 7.3 of 10 on the basis of 1028 Review.