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Canadian Immigration Overview

In 1938, thirty-two nations, including Canada, attended the Evian Conference to discuss the problem of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany, but refused further Jewish immigration. In 1939, a shipload of German Jewish refugees aboard the S.S. St. Louis, were refused sanctuary in Canada and forced to return to Europe. During the Holocaust, Canada admitted only about 5,000 Jews — one of the worst records of any of the refugee receiving countries.      more... »
Evian Conference
Conference convened by US. President Franklin D. Roosevelt on July 6, 1938 to address the problem of Jewish refugees. Delegates from 32 countries, including Canada, refused to increase their quotas and admit more refugees. This refusal reinforced Hitler's view of the undesirability of Jews and that his plans would be unopposed.
Refugee
Someone who flees their country of origin because of a well-founded fear of persecution due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a social or political group.
Changes to the Immigration Act allow for the rejection of immigrants "belonging to any race deemed unsuitable to the climate or requirements of Canada."
Canada liberalizes immigration policies. Almost two million newcomers are admitted within a decade, including thousands of Jewish survivors.
"Points" system for immigration is implemented, based on language and job skill qualifications.
Canada is awarded the United Nations' Nansen Medal for its compassionate refugee policies.
Chinese Exclusion Act virtually stops Chinese immigration. It is repealed in 1947.
After years of lobbying by Canadian Jewish communities, 1,123 Jewish orphans enter Canada.
Canada admits nearly 40,000 Hungarian refugees following the Hungarian uprising.
Immigration and Refugee Board recognizes the special persecution women face as refugees.
S.S. St. Louis
Ship that sailed from Germany to Cuba on May 15, 1939 with 907 German Jews fleeing the Nazis. After being denied permission to land by Cuba, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, the United States and Canada it was forced to return to Europe, where most died during the Holocaust.