Chinese Exclusion Act
The Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, also known as the Chinese Exclusion Act, virtually restricted all Chinese immigration to Canada by narrowly defining the acceptable categories of Chinese immigrants.
Chinese Exclusion Act
The Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, also known as the Chinese Exclusion Act, virtually restricted all Chinese immigration to Canada by narrowly defining the acceptable categories of Chinese immigrants. While the entrance duty requirement was repealed, admissible Chinese immigrants were limited to diplomats and government representatives, merchants, children born in Canada who had left for educational or other purposes, and students while attending university or college.
Chinese individuals already in Canada were required to register and carry photo identification as evidence of their compliance with the regulations of the act; even Canadian born and naturalized Chinese were made to register.
Between 1923 and 1946, it is estimated that only 15 Chinese immigrants gained entry into Canada.
During the dark days of Chinese exclusion in Canada, Two-Gun Cohen stood up as the spokesperson and protector of the Chinese community.
When the Canadian federal government passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1923, Chinese Canadians faced more severe restrictions, school segregation and other discrimination. Racism and discrimination existed not only at the provincial level, but also at the national level. In 1923, the Canadian government abolished the $500 head tax and replaced it with the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, completely closing the door for Chinese to enter Canada. The Chinese community in Edmonton appealed to Cohen and, through him, sought help from Dr. Sun Yat-sen. On May 17, 1923, Dr. Sun sent a telegram to the Canadian Ministry of the Interior, stating the sacrifice and contribution of the Chinese to the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, emphasizing the friendly relationship between Canada and China, and protesting the Chinese Exclusion Act approved by the Canadian federal government. However, the Canadian government ignored it, and the Act went into effect on July 1, 1923. In protest of the incident, Chinese Canadians lowered their flags at half-mast.
- Chinese Canadian legal history quiz (with answers)
- History documents: Reasons for the Head Tax – This is a collection of primary sources (legislature) and secondary sources (excerpts from books) related to the Head Tax and the Exclusion Act.
- Chinese Immigration Act
- The Chinese Head Tax and the Chinese Exclusion Act