Overall Objective Canada’s immigration policy has oscillated between facilitating and restricting the influx of newcomers. The changes were related to the search for a balanced response by successive Canadian governments to this country’s economic needs, social pressures, political realities and international events.¬† This unit guide outlines major change and continuity in Canada’s immigration policy over the 20th century with an overview of historical contexts and effects on immigrants.
Grade level Advanced 9–12 and beyond. This unit can be adapted to younger grades and different courses of study in various Canadian provinces and territories.
Content Areas History Geography Citizenship Social Studies Media Studies
Material Required Access to Internet connection, data projector, flip chart paper or whiteboard, and pencils.
Summary This unit guides students through the historical circumstances of Canada’s immigration policies over the 20th century and how immigration has been dealt with by the Canadian public and successive Canadian governments. Students will explore the evolution of Canada’s immigration policy from its ‘open door’ decades (how open was it really?) to the contemporary period with a view to factors that led to changes in the aftermath of World War II. In addition to the ‘open door’ era, the Immigration Acts of 1952 and 1978 will be considered as responses to Canada’s economic needs, social demands and political realities in a changing international environment.