Multiculturalism In Canada Case Study

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Today, Canada promotes multiculturalism and is generally accepting of people of all ethnic backgrounds. However, this was not always the case as the Canadian government often mistreated minority groups such as the Jewish and the Japanese, especially during World War Two. Anti-Semitism was always prevalent in Canada during the early twentieth century but as Germany developed these sentiments, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King implemented immigration restrictions targeted at Jewish refugees as an attempt to keep them out of Canada. Additionally, the mistreatment of Japanese Canadians heightened after Japan attacked Pearl Harbour in 1941. Consequently, the Canadian government responded by forcibly removing Japanese Canadians who were…show more content…
In March of 1942, the Japanese Canadians that lived on the British Columbia coast were forced to leave all their belongings behind besides a single suitcase each. Other citizens were privileged with the option to live wherever they wanted in Canada but the citizens of Japanese descent were specifically targeted when they were forcibly removed from their homes, illustrating Canada’s prejudice against minorities. While they waited for relocation which lasted for months on end, Japanese Canadians had to live in holding areas which were essentially animals stalls and they slept on steel bunks with only a piece of cloth to separate one family from the next. Canadian officials completely disregarded the opinions of the Japanese Canadians as they were treated like animals living in cramped spaces under subpar conditions. Once officials were ready to relocate them, the perspectives of Japanese Canadians were neglected when families were torn apart with the men sent to work on roads while the women and children were moved to ghettos specifically meant for Japanese people. Inside the internment camps, they were subjected to horrendous living conditions with the camp at Lemon Creek being an example. There were 2,000 Japanese Canadians that inhabited the small cabins which did not have ceilings underneath the…show more content…
Louis passengers who sought asylum, strict policies which prevented Jewish refugees from immigrating and the exodus of Japanese Canadians to internment camps. Without careful consideration, Canada refused entry to the SS St. Louis passengers as they believed that “[i]f Germany didn’t want them, why should we?” which highlighted Canada’s anti-semitic attitude. The government also enforced biased and xenophobic immigration regulations in order to protect against “stateless persons” which referred only to Jewish refugees. The exodus of Japanese Canadians during World War Two underlined the cruelty of the government as it became the largest mass movement in Canada’s history with a total of 23,000 people either relocated or deported. Still, in spite of the government’s poor treatment of minorities during World War Two, the negative outcomes of their mistakes is what shaped Canada into the welcoming, culturally diverse nation it is

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