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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Chinese Canadians The Chinese Head Tax (1885 - 1924): In 1885, 1900 and later again in 1903, the Canadian government imposed a series of headtaxes on any Chinese immigrant above the age of twelve entering the country. This federalAct was Canadas first national immigration restriction policy, which was implemented as away to slow down Chinese migration into the country. Initially the head tax started at $50per foreigner, annually, the tax was later increased to $500 for the entry and departure ofany Chinese immigrant. During this time the average salary of a Chinese laborer in Canada was only $225. This anti-Chinese initiative was just one of many ways in which the federal government of Canada used its power in an attempt to keep Canada a white mans country. This new immigration restriction meant that a new immigration system needed to be implemented in order to control entry into the country. This system closely reflected the American immigration system, which involved the detention and interrogation of Chineseat the border. As passenger ships from China arrived at Vancouvers port officials alienated Chinese immigrants from other travelers and directed them to a Canadian immigration detention building. Immigration officials had the authority to detain and question Chinese travelers about their background and identity in the detainment building for a few days to as long as a few months. Chinese immigrants could also expect to have their luggage thoroughly examined and could be deported if they were thought to be "undesirable" based on the content of theirluggage. The Canadian Pacific Railway: Canada required a railroad that would stretch the length of the country; theChinese helped construct the railway in B.C. from Port Moody in the west to EaglePass in the east. Between 1881 and 1884, roughly 17 000 Chinese men immigratedto B.C to work on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Although Chinese workers played a key role in the construction of the railway these men only earned $1 a dayin comparison to their fellow white laborers who got paid between $1.50 and $2.50per day. As well, Chinese railway workers were expected to pay for food, clothingand medical care amongst other things although non-Chinese workers were notexpected to do the same. Workers lived in camps that are characterized by their poor conditions. Many of these camps were overcrowded and workers lived off a diet of rice, dried salmon and tea as a result of their poor wages.Figure 1 shows the construction of a typical Chinese railway worker camp in Kamloops BC, 1885. Did You Know? When it was time to move to the next camp, Chinese workers would have to hike over 40 kilometres while carrying their belongings and tents in order to reachthe site of the next camp. Chinese Settlement Patterns in Canada: Figure 1 As a result of the discrimination they faced in Canada many immigrants choseto reside together in communities, running businesses such as restaurants,grocery stores and lodges.
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