Canadian Opposition to Child Immigration

Roy Parker

in Uprooted

Published by Policy Press

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9781847420145
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304142 | DOI:
Canadian Opposition to Child Immigration

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This chapter discusses the main centres of opposition to British child immigrants. Some of the most forthright and persistent opposition to child immigration came from the emergent Canadian trade-union movement. In particular, they opposed the payment of various subsidies to encourage immigration and, linked with this, the entry of what were frequently referred to as ‘the pauper and indigent classes’. City opposition sprang, in large part, from the widespread contemporary assumption that a close relationship existed between an inability to find work, fecklessness, disease, and criminality, and for congenital reasons the children were believed to harbour these ingrained predispositions, predispositions which, even if not at first apparent, would become so later. The press also reflected and moulded public opinion about the immigration of ‘paupers and orphans’. By and large the coverage was critical and disparaging, sometimes echoing the grosser prejudices and wilder generalizations about the children that were expressed elsewhere.

Keywords: child emigration; child immigrants; organized labour; press

Chapter.  10358 words. 

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