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How the Chinese Created Canada

How the Chinese Created Canada    
Format Softcover
Catalogue No. 978-1-896124-19-3
Pages 256
Language English only
Price $18.95
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Written by Adrian Ma.
Published by Dragon Hill Publishing Ltd., 2010.


The Chinese culture in Canada has become widely celebrated. Whether it is through Chinese lantern festivals, the ringing in of the Chinese New Year or the many colourful and interesting nooks and crannies of the Chinatowns found in most of Canada's major cities, the Chinese culture is alive and vibrant.

How the Chinese Created Canada provides a more in-depth look at what has gone on behind the scenes and in years past, resulting in a rich, varied and often harrowing dialogue of the Chinese history in Canada:
  • The Chinese first immigrated to Canada in the late 18th century, to what we now recognize as British Columbia
  • The gold rushes in Canada draw more Chinese to the country and see the beginning of Chinese discrimination
  • Chinese workers employed by the CPR were instrumental in building Canada's famous transcontinental railway
  • A Head Tax of $50 on the Chinese immigrants, imposed by the Canadian Federal government, began in 1885 after the completion of the CPR in order to restrict further Chinese immigration into Canada
  • After the Great Fire in Vancouver in 1886, 60 hectares of land was leased to Chinese immigrants, later sparking the 1887 race riot involving a mob of 300 townspeople ready to run the Chinese out of town
  • The Exclusion Act of 1923 saw the height of Chinese population control within Canadian borders when Chinese immigration to Canada was basically banned by the government
  • After World War II and the devastating effects of discrimination on so many different races worldwide, Canada enforced the 1947 Canadian Citizenship Act, a repeal of the Exclusion Act of 1923
  • In 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper formally apologized and offered a settlement in a redress acknowledging the discriminatory nature of the Chinese Head Tax in Canada.
Chinese culture has permeated the fabric of Canadian society with bold, exciting cuisine, art, music and alternative approaches to medicine and healing. Talented and creative individuals have made these concepts an integral aspect of everyday Canadian culture. And some of Canada's most influential and interesting people have emerged from the families of Chinese immigrants—Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General; Norman Kwong, Lieutenant-governor of Alberta; Alfred Sung, fashion designer; Stephen Yan, chef; Patrick Chan, Canadian figure skater champion, and so many more.

Adrian Ma was born in Hamilton, Ontario, a first generation Canadian whose parents immigrated from Hong Kong. While earning his Honours BA in Philosophy and Political Science from Wilfrid Laurier University, Adrian experienced the thrill of owning a byline in the campus newspaper. He was hooked, and was accepted into Ryerson University, where he graduated with his Masters in Journalism. He has since worked for The Toronto Star and CBC, and has won awards for his work.

Also available:
How the Blacks Created Canada
How the French Created Canada

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This page last modified: July 28, 2010

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