A10: History of Immigration Policy
Level: Introductory / Intermediate
In Canada, immigrants have made significant contributions as nation-builders. By examining the history of immigration, frontline workers will enhance their understanding of the context and systemic issues that newcomers encounter as they arrive and settle here.
This workshop is a general overview of both the post-colonial Canadian immigration policies and the development of what is now a more contemporary approach to immigration. The history starts with the recovery of the native peoples present as a welcoming community; the first expression of immigration policy around 1886, the changes in demographics through the different censuses up to now; the different immigrations acts and their goals. It includes: the Anti-Asiatic approach, the effect of the world wars, the targeting of identified populations, the anti-Semitic approach, the appearance of the refugees concept and the immigration classes to the current challenges affecting immigrants and refugees in Canada. Using a timeline, the workshop will explore the history of Canada’s treatment of newcomers.
Francisco Rico-Martinez is the Co-Director of the FCJ Refugee Centre, Past President of the Canadian Council of Refugees (CCR), member of the Consultative Committee of Practices and Procedures of the Immigration and Refugee Board, and a member of the Editorial Group of the Refugee Update Newsletter. Francisco has a long history of refugee and advocacy and volunteer activity on behalf of victims of human rights violations, particularly refugees and people without status.