HelpHomeSearch

In 1952, the government passed a new Immigration Act. Although Canada had certainly changed in significant ways since earlier immigration acts, the 1952 legislation did not mark a significant departure. The legislation still provided a mere framework, out of which the cabinet could pass orders-in-council to suit economic and social preferences. Therefore, the 1952 legislation kept as "preferred classes" British subjects and French citizens and provided for family reunification of Asian Canadian citizens and their immediate overseas relatives. Nevertheless, quotas for immigrants from India, Pakistan, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) were established at 150, 100, and 50 people per year, respectively. The quota for Indian

immigrants was doubled the following year.The 1952 Act did not explicitly discriminate against specific groups of immigrants. Rather, cabinet was allowed to deny people entry on the basis of their nationality, customs, or unsuitability to the Canadian climate or culture. Also, the 1952 legislation allowed Special Investigating Officers to deny entry on cultural, climactic, and social bases. In this manner, exclusions on the basis of race did not have to be explicitly stated in the legislation; they could be accomplished on a case-by-case basis. This deception allowed the federal government to escape international criticism or embarrassment, while at the same time keeping Canada "White."

Immigration Act, 1952

Immigration Act, 1952.

This legislation determined the kinds of immigrants that would be allowed entry into Canada. The Act listed categories of preferred immigrants: British subjects and citizens from France and the United States. It also discriminated against certain ethnic groups, the mentally handicapped, homosexuals, and others among the "prohibited classes."