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UprootedThe Shipment of Poor Children to Canada, 1867-1917$
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Roy Parker

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420145

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420145.001.0001

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Canadian Opposition to Child Immigration

Canadian Opposition to Child Immigration

(p.151) nine Canadian Opposition to Child Immigration

Roy Parker

Policy Press

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

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