The Rise of Multiculturalism in Canada and Australia, 1890s–1970s
2 Integration Policy in Canada, 1953–1963
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Integration Policy in Canada, 1953–1963
As the foundation of English-speaking Canadian national identity began to unravel and break down, integration replaced assimilation as official government policy in dealing with migrants in Canada. Integration encouraged migrants to retain their own cultures as well as incorporate themselves into the Canadian one. The culmination in the demise of the belief in Canada as an integral part of a wider British world was the UK’s decision to seek membership in the EEC. Growing US dominance and the Quiet Revolution in Quebec added to these pressures.
The Demise of Britishness, the French-Canadians, and the Unravelling of the White Canada Policy
Ready, aye, ready no more1
The foregoing quote by Pearson, the minister for external affairs during the Suez Crisis of 1956, famously marked the end of Canada’s automatic loyalty to the British Empire. Alongside the unravelling of Britishness, whiteness was also slowly broken down. Building on the 1950 reforms, which allowed limited numbers of Indian, Pakistani, and Ceylonese citizens to migrate to Canada, and the 1952 Immigration ← 49 | 50 → Act, the government continued to gradually dismantle the racial assumptions behind the White Canada immigration policy. However, this was very much a slow process, and more traditional pronouncements continued to be made. For instance, in late 1954 Jack Pickersgill, the minister of citizenship and immigration, made clear that while the government did not discriminate against any single person...
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