Immigration has gone through many different stages of change just as the nation of Canada had many stages of change. Transformations of immigration during the post-war period greatly impacted the society and immigration patterns of today. These changes included the post-war immigration boom, a less segregating Immigration Act and the rise of multicultural and refugee immigration. Post-war immigration patterns have differed from previous waves of immigration due to their size and source of immigration resulting in a grand change in the ‘face’ of Canada.
During the post-war period, Canada benefited from a boom of immigrants. After the war, 1.5 million immigrants flocked to Canada consisting mainly of European immigrants (). These immigrants consisted of war brides (about 48 000 immigrants ), skilled trades’ workers and Displaced Persons (DPs). These immigrants came to Canada as a direct result of the World War II. War brides are women who married soldiers during while Canadian soldiers whilst overseas and had returned with their spouses. Skilled trades’ workers were Europeans consisting mainly of UK residents who immigrated to Canada to search for work as their factories had been burned down. DPs are people who had been displaced over the course of the war like Jews and Former Nazi Soldiers who have no desire to return to their home country. From 1947 to 1962, almost 250, 000 displaced persons and refugees were admitted to Canada. “To its credit, Canada decided to admit displaced person even before the international community …” (Knowles, 68). However, the most important arrival of these was most likely the skilled trades’ workers who allowed Canada to emerge as an urban industrial power. However, to do so infrastructure needed to be built.
“Canada emerged from World War II as an urban, industrial power, and many post-war immigrants soon filled jobs in the new urban-based manufacturing and construction sectors, some building the expanding city infrastructure and others, the better educated immigrants, meeting the strong demand for trained and skilled professionals.” (thecanadianencyclopedia.com)
Prime Minister Mackenzie King issued new guidelines to the Immigration Act (1952) that open the door for European skilled workers. This Immigration Act defined independent immigrants consisting of British (including Commonwealth) and French immigrants who could support themselves and find employment. Western Europeans were also allowed if they had already arranged for employment. This allowed for more skilled workers to make their way to Canada and help build infrastructure. As a result, Canadians enjoy the benefits of the post-war boom today.
After this boom period, Canada saw a rise in multicultural and refugee immigration. This was mainly due to pressure from earlier generations of immigrants and their children who resented the segregating racial, religious and ethnic barriers of the immigration policy. Furthermore, many of the factories of...