Indian emigrants largely from the province of Punjab started arriving on the Pacific coast of Canada and the US in the late 19th century and early 20th century. A large number of those emigrants were Sikhs of India. These muscular, semi-skilled Indian workers found employment in industries which require tough work such as lumber mills, logging camps, and railroad construction.
The Canadian Pacific Railroad was dynamic throughout this era in recruiting and transporting unskilled Asian workers to Canada. India immigrant arrivals increased steeply, from 258 in 1904 to over 5000 by 1908, creating apprehension on the part of white immigrant laborers who were rivals in the cheap labor market.
In 1908, the Canadian Government passed 2 Orders-in-Council to reduce the trend of Indian immigrants. These were
1. Required immigrants to be in possession of US$200 at the time of arrival
2. Established a non-stop voyage provision.
These measures effectively reduced India to Canada immigration.
In 1951, immigration proportion based on nationality was established. The Immigration Act of 1967 continued the policy of variable entry into Canada, but prohibited unfairness on the basis of race, color, nationality, or ethnicity. Manpower and immigration Departments were amalgamated in that era to ensure that immigration policies served the needs of the Canadian economy.
Lastly, the Immigration Act of 1976 defined 5 goals of Canadian immigration law:
1) To support the accomplishments of demographic goals.
2) To reinforce Canada’s cultural and social fabric.
3) To ease the reunion of Canadians and their close relatives.
4) To protect against discrimination.
5) To execute humanitarian obligations with regard to the displaced and persecuted.
By 1984, 7% of Canada’s population was comprised of immigrants from Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Today, Canada is receiving a large proportion of Indian Immigrants every year and Indians are enjoying high standards of living in Canada.