The Ideological Background to Canada’s Immigration
In a discussion of Canada’s immigration programme it is very important to distinguish between rationale and rationalization. Seemingly the programme is a balance between Canada’s national needs and the present means of fulfilling them; but both these elements, though usually expressed in rational terms, tend actually to be determined in large Part by a complicated interplay of nonrational group sentiments. The argument that immigration is in the national interest, whether or not it is well founded, can have little appeal in a country that lacks a strong national feeling. The local patriotisms dominant at the time of Confederation have been largely submerged; but under these, couched in geographic, economic, or statistical terms, one can very often discern Particular ethnic or class prejudices. This chapter, then, is intended not as a general historical review of Canada’s immigration but as one focused on the delineation of those values still relevant in setting immigration policy.
KeywordsMigration Corn Depression Europe Transportation
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