Imigration to Canada
Many people immigrated to Canada with hopes of a better life and refuge from places and times of uncertainty. People in foreign countries were made aware of Canada and all it supposedly had to offer through channels such as relatives who were already living in Canada and governmental advertising. Information given was not always as accurate as it should have been. Views on the early settlement of Canada varied depending on the person and his or her experiences, for interpretations of particular situations often varied. Descriptions of Canada and all it had to offer tended to enhance the positive aspects while trying to hide or lessen the negative ones as advertisement often does; nonetheless immigration to and settlement in Canada did not go without struggle or barriers to overcome. This paper will paper will specifically look at a single Dutch-Canadian family, observing their trials and tribulations of the development of a new life in a new world through the eyes of a second generation Dutch-Canadian by way of comparing the proceedings of an interview to that of material found in various history collections. The reconstruction of one's life after such tragedies as war can be compared to that of childbirth. Many women pronounce its excruciating pain and suffering but after seeing the end result of a new life, that same pain is often forgotten or seen as considerably less significant.
IMMIGRATION TO CANADA
War wreaked such havoc over all of Europe that people in the Netherlands were living with constant feelings of instability for a considerable length of time even after it was over. With "ruined cities, shattered transportation networks, devastated industrial centers, and a barely functioning economy…[amongst]…overpopulation, unemployment, and [a] limited amount of arable land," many people could no longer live in a place of ceaseless uncertainty (Ganzevoort, 1988: 62, 63). To some, emigration seemed to be the most prospective solution to their social and economic problems. Through emigration, people could reestablish relationships with relatives already in Canada. "Promises of jobs and housing were enhanced by grand descriptions of the possibilities that existed," some being more accurate than others (Ganzevoort, 1988: 65). All these factors: the after effects of war, instability, encouragement of emigration, and advertised opportunity, contributed to the move of many people from the Netherlands to Canada. The accuracies of descriptions of this supposed wonderful journey wouldn't be found out until their move was underway. Surely there was much land and many opportunities, but all of this was easier said than done.
Moving from one country to another involved immense risk, and this risk was greater to some than others. After the war many men had wives and children to support. At this time, my grandparents had seven children and one on the way. My grandfather felt that is was a...