Episode 298: Last week, we learned how Chinese immigrants have significantly contributed to Western Canada’s development since 1788, playing critical roles in trade, gold rushes, and railway construction. Despite their contributions, they faced severe discrimination and exploitation, particularly during the railway construction in the early 1900s. Post-railway completion, they suffered rights losses and were subject to a prohibitive head tax, escalating to $500, which failed to deter immigration. Enduring nativist racism and accusations of moral and social threats, their plight culminated in the dark chapter of Canadian history on July 1, 1923, as the Chinese Exclusion Act came into law.
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