The passage of the first Canadian Immigration Act in 1869 did not specify any guidelines
or category distinctions of immigrants. While this hands-off approach was a common theme in
politics at the time, the evolution of Canadian immigration policy became
more restrictive until after World War II.
The Immigration Act of 1906 formalized into one document all of the amendments and
orders-in-council affecting immigration policy since the Act of 1869. It also
on the entry of individuals, mostly based on mental or physical disability, and
provided the means of deporting "undesirables."
Four years later, the Immigration Act of 1910 went further to restrict immigration.
Although it did not specifically establish guidelines regarding aspects
such as occupation and
ethnicity, it did give the federal cabinet discretionary powers to regulate immigration on the
basis of nearly any means it deemed necessary.
Building on the precedent set by the Immigration Acts of 1906 and 1910, the interwar period
witnessed the height of restrictive immigration policy in Canada,
including the Immigration Act of 1923, which effectively ended
Chinese immigration until 1947 when the act was repealed.
This digital collection was
produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital
Collections initiative, Industry Canada.