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Banner: Moving Here, Staying Here. The Canadian Immigrant Experience


The Documentary TrailTraces of the PastFind an Immigrant
Introduction
Free From Local Prejudice
A National Open-Door Policy
Filling the Promised Land
A Preferred Policy
A Depressing Period

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Letter from Lord Elgin, Governor General of the Canadas, expressing concern about immigration, 1847.
While immigration was needed in the Canadas, the nature of that immigration was regularly debated and discussed between 1815 and Confederation (1867). Some British officials regarded the colonies as an outlet for surplus (and undesirable) population, while officials in British North America wanted only those who were willing to farm, work and adapt to a new land. In this letter, Lord Elgin complains to the Colonial Office about the costs of maintaining poor immigrants, a major issue in the constant debate about immigration during the 19th century.

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