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A legacy of racist rhetoric and colonial dominance

by jlye,

The Chinese Immigration Act of 1885 was implemented under John A. Macdonald the same year that the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed, six years ahead of schedule, thanks to the 17,000 Chinese laborers who were brought into Canada by none other than... John A. Macdonald. The Act introduced a head tax that was meant to restrict further Chinese immigration into Canada. By 1923, the government of Canada had already collected over $33 million in head tax.

The 1885 Act was the first piece of legislation in Canada's history to exclude immigrants on the basis of their ethnic origin. The 1885 Act was a key moment in forming the racist state in Canada. John A. Macdonald also gained support in Parliament for an electoral franchise act that explicitly excluded Chinese-Canadians from the right to vote based on the grounds that they were biologically different from “Canadians”.

I hope Regina residents will reflect on the pain, suffering, and humiliation his legacy left on Indigenous and Metis people, Chinese-Canadians, and other disenfranchised minority groups in this country. John A. MacDonald's vision for Canada did not include people like me or my family and THAT is the message I am reminded of when I see his statue. It is impossible to "delete" John A. MacDonald - his legacy lives on.

To quote Dr. Tim Stanley, if John A. Macdonald must be remembered, it should be for the use of "a biologically defined Canadian white supremacy as an organizing principle of the founding of the state".

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