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Thread: KKK history in Edmonton

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    Default KKK history in Edmonton

    Although it makes my stomach queasy at the thought of it I do support this plaque. History good and bad should be acknowledged and preserved as it provides teaching opportunities for the future generations as well as hopefully not being forgotten.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...dged-1.3872961
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    Quote Originally Posted by booster View Post
    Although it makes my stomach queasy at the thought of it I do support this plaque. History good and bad should be acknowledged and preserved as it provides teaching opportunities for the future generations as well as hopefully not being forgotten.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...dged-1.3872961
    The western-Canadian KKK was an offshoot of the 1920s American KKK, who had been inspired to revive the Klan by the movie Birth Of A Nation.

    So, a bunch of Canadians, imitating a bunch of Americans, who in turn were imitating a Hollywood movie. There's a cultural metaphor in there somewhere.

    On a more serious note, it's true that the Klan had an active presence in western Canada, but its focus on anti-French, anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant agitation made it really just a minor part of a pretty widespread xenophobic social-movement. The Orange Order also played a pretty big role in all that, though they've somehow managed to survive into the present day with a more-or-less respectable reputation. You can still join them, and rent their hall out for parties and gigs.

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    I've heard rumours throughout my life that the KKK were or still are in Caroline, Ab. Anyone know anything about this?

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    The KKK had 3 to 4 million members in the US at one point.

    If you look at the picture of the Edmonton 1932 meeting and see how many people attended when the city was one tenth the population, they would fill Rexall today.
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    ^ Well, according to this, Edmonton was the headquarters for the Klan in central and northern Alberta, so the people attending probably weren't just from Edmonton. But yeah, probably a fairly hefty contignent of Edmontonians in there.

    The overall point I was trying to make was that you were almost guaranteed to have anti-French, anti-Catholic, and anti-immigrant bigotry as a major force in politics and culture at the time, whether or not it adopted the trappings of the Reconstruction-era KKK, or something else. WASP supremacism was big in Ontario as well, but that province(so far as I know), did not have any significant Klan membership.

    Kitlope:

    I believe it was the Aryan Nations, a more explicitly Nazi-ish outfit, who were active(to whatever degree) down in Caroline, in the late 80s and early 90s. They were an offshoot of the group in Idaho, I think. Terry Long was the guy running the show. Not sure what happened to him.

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    Yeah, you nailed the timeline Oceans. However, I always understood it as the KKK. Probably just some Tay River folklore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    Yeah, you nailed the timeline Oceans. However, I always understood it as the KKK. Probably just some Tay River folklore.
    Well, these days, I think the goals, if not the explict ideology, of the Klan and the neo-Nazis are pretty much the same, so it likely might as well have been the Klan operating in Caroline.

    It wasn't always so, though. This infamous piece of anti-American Nazi propaganda ridicules the Klan, among many other examples of Americana. Since the Klan in the 1920s was anti-immigrant, the Nazis might have been referencing anti-German agitation in the US. Or maybe they just thought the KKK was a weirdo American thing, despite their obvious agreement with many of its racial tenets.
    Last edited by overoceans; 30-11-2016 at 08:32 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by overoceans View Post
    ^ Well, according to this, Edmonton was the headquarters for the Klan in central and northern Alberta, so the people attending probably weren't just from Edmonton. But yeah, probably a fairly hefty contignent of Edmontonians in there.

    The overall point I was trying to make was that you were almost guaranteed to have anti-French, anti-Catholic, and anti-immigrant bigotry as a major force in politics and culture at the time, whether or not it adopted the trappings of the Reconstruction-era KKK, or something else. WASP supremacism was big in Ontario as well, but that province(so far as I know), did not have any significant Klan membership.

    Kitlope:

    I believe it was the Aryan Nations, a more explicitly Nazi-ish outfit, who were active(to whatever degree) down in Caroline, in the late 80s and early 90s. They were an offshoot of the group in Idaho, I think. Terry Long was the guy running the show. Not sure what happened to him.

    There was also Keegstra down that way too...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Keegstra


    Back then I believe the anti-immigrant/bigotry went in all directions. Once when I raised the issue of discrimination in the history of Edmonton, my mother pointed out how everyone was targeted mentioning a sign on a building downtown saying "English need not apply". I googled it but can't find anything on it. However read this:


    " Not long before the passing of his father, Sidney, upon the young age of 14, ventured to Canada with his brother Bill. They landed and made their way to Galt (known today as Cambridge, Ontario) where upon arrival were greeted with signs reading “ENGLISH NEED NOT APPLY” posted by the local businesses. They eventually ventured on to Toronto with hopes for better prospects. Since Sidney had apprenticed as a wood refinisher in England, stripping and refinishing the wooden store fronts and doors, he looked for for work where his talents lay. "

    http://badger-canoe-paddles.blogspot...oses-shop.html


    38th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION
    Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration
    EVIDENCE
    CONTENTS
    Wednesday, April 13, 2005


    The Chair: Hopefully, the United Nations will become stronger and the world will become more like Canada.

    Just in closing, I really enjoyed this session.

    In the history of this country there used to be those who had preference to come, and these were people from the British Isles, the English. Then the French Canadians engaged in the battle of the cradle, to make sure they survived. Every wave of immigrants that came was discriminated against—Ukrainians, people from the Austro-Hungarian empire, Macedonians. It went full circle, because at one point in time, I saw a job poster that said, “English need not apply”. I think that is why we have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, because we learned from those mistakes, and we have something that I think should be an inspiration to all.

    I want to thank you all for coming and for your input. We are going to be making a report, and Ben, our able researcher, is going to make sure you all get a copy.


    http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublicati...&DocId=1764053


    The bolding below is mine:


    1922

    Canada refused to support Britain in their fight with Turkey.

    Leonard Thompson b-1908 a Canadian became the first person to receive insulin as treatment for diabetes.

    The Canadian Government passed an act prohibiting people of Chinese origin or descent from immigrating. Families were broken up and the imbalance of males to females was 23 to 1. As a result 1/3 of all Chinese women in Victoria were prostitutes. This act was not repealed until 1947 and in Canada 1967. In 2005 the Canadian Government finally admitted the actions against the Chinese from 1885 to 1967 was racist and discriminatory and $12.5 million was paid as a token recognition of this action.

    The Immigration Act (1922-1923) gives favored status to British and French migrants and create 'Humiliation Day' practically preventing new Chinese migrants to Canada. This vile legislation would create a back lash in the 1930's when signs appeared in the Prairies saying 'Dogs and Englishmen need not apply' for work.

    1923

    The Canadian Northern (1899), Grand Trunk Pacific-National Trans-Continental (1903) and Inter-Colonial combined to form the Canadian National Railway.

    January 31: The Chinese Immigration Act allowed only merchants, students and diplomats into Canada from China, effectively separating husbands from wives and children. Only 12 Chinese immigrated are allowed into Canada between 1923 and 1947. It would be many years before the full understanding of the cruelty of this act by the elite of Canada, the Anglo and Saxon Protestants and their draconian belief, would be appreciated. This savage law would not be repealed until 1947 and 1967 in Canada.

    August 9: Professor Gregory of Yale University stated that "another world ice-epoch is due." He was the American representative to the Pan-Pacific Science Congress and warned that North America would disappear as far south as the Great Lakes, and huge parts of Asia and Europe would be "wiped out." Chicago Tribune, Aug. 9, 1923

    September 10: The discoveries of changes in the sun's heat and southward advance of glaciers in recent years have given rise to the conjectures of the possible advent of a new ice age. Time Magazine, Sept. 10, 1923

    1925

    ...
    Resentment is building in Western Canada against the British culture with signs springing up reading "English need not apply" or "Dogs and Englishmen not allowed". Some suggest it is because of the English Home Children Program that is selling 150,000 children into its slave labor program (1869-1930). Others suggest it is much broader, a general rejection of an evil culture being imposed on the west by the east. Others suggest these signs did not appear until the 1930's and can therefore be rejected as being caused by the Great Depression.

    http://metis-history.info/canada-04.shtml




    I see that I can't copy and post any of this but it's an interesting read. (His experience in Canada is similar to a family friend that was shipped here as a orphan and said he was basically slave labour for a farm):


    Last edited by KC; 30-11-2016 at 03:55 PM.

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    My understanding is that the "English Need Not Apply" thing was because there was a large number of union organizers coming from that country. It probably would have been directed against any ethnic group that had that particular element within it.

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    re: Keegstra.

    Yes, the media tended to report on the Caroline Nazis as if they were all part and parcel of the same subculture as Keegstra, but I honeslty don't know how much connection there actually was between the different groups there. Keegstra was an old, unreconstructed Douglasite Socred, preaching the same theories that Manning had purged from the provincial party in the late 40s, whereas Long and the Aryans were affiliated with the guys down in Idaho.

    I can't believe I remember this, but I recall reading a quote from Keegstra where he said he went to some sort of far-right meeting, and was offended that one of the speakers was extolling racial separatism(eg. blacks and whites can't marry), because he didn't believe in that sort of thing.

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    Then you had his lawyer, Doug Christie who defended a large group of guys like Keegstra

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Christie_(lawyer)


    Ernst Zündel, a German publisher known for promoting Holocaust denial
    Terry Long, former leader of the Aryan Nations in Canada;
    Malcolm Ross of New Brunswick who, like Keegstra, was a teacher fired for anti-Semitic activity;
    three alleged leaders of the Ku Klux Klan in Manitoba;
    Rudy Stanko of the World Church of the Creator;
    Tony McAleer after he was charged with broadcasting hate speech over the phone and online;
    John Ross Taylor of the Western Guard Party and Aryan Nations;
    Imre Finta who was alleged to be a Nazi war criminal and collaborator (see R. v. Finta);
    Doug Collins, a late newspaper columnist brought before the British Columbia Human Rights Commission for antisemitic and racist comments;
    Paul Fromm, head of the far-right "Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform" and "Canadians for Freedom of Expression", and participant in neo-Nazi and racist gatherings, who was fired from his job as a teacher for his political activity;
    Lady Jane Birdwood, a British follower of Oswald Mosley and distributor of hate propaganda;
    Wolfgang Droege of the Heritage Front;
    David Ahenakew, who acknowledged making antisemitic comments in a 2002 interview with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix
    Jack Klundert, a Windsor, Ontario optometrist who does not believe the Constitution of Canada grants the Federal Government the power to collect income tax
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    Yep, the late Doug Christie, also the leader of the Western Canada Concept Party back in the 80s. He's got a bunch of You Tube videos in which he somehow manages to tie any issue he discusses into how we need to "free the west". But some of the connections he makes are kind of a stretch. For example, he was apparently defending the right of street-buskers to perform in Nanaimo, and he ended the video by saying "This is another reason we need to free the west, to get sensible laws." But I'm pretty sure the laws against street-busking are municipal, not federal.
    Last edited by overoceans; 01-12-2016 at 01:06 AM.

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    There was a "White Help Only" sign for the Gibson Cafe, painted on the west wall of the Gibson Block on Jasper Avenue. They painted over it when it became a women's shelter.

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    The CBC article suggests the site was the parking lot beside the World Trade Centre. This is not correct. The site of the building in question is the western half of the World Trade Centre itself. CIBC demolished the old Imperial Bank Building and built what is now the WTC by agglomerating the site with the site immediately East. I repeat, the parking lot was not the site of the newspaper office.
    Let's make Edmonton better.

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    John Diefenbaker also had some association with the Klan, again over religious and immigration issues...

    In Saskatchewan the Conservatives prepared to confront the entrenched provincial Liberal government, whose strength lay in its good relations with the grain growers’ associations and the large, mostly Catholic, immigrant communities. The Conservatives turned elsewhere for support. From 1926 to 1928 a ragtag Canadian offshoot of the Ku Klux Klan created more than 100 local branches in the province, appealing to anti-Catholic, anti-French, and anti-immigrant sentiments. Although Diefenbaker was never a member, his party was caught up in this bigoted wave of nativism, reflecting or tolerating support for extremist views at its 1928 convention in Saskatoon and during a by-election in Arm River later that year. During the by-election campaign Diefenbaker shared the platform several times with one of the Klan’s promoters, James Fraser Bryant, and at one campaign meeting he challenged Premier James Garfield Gardiner* over the “sectarian influences . . . pervading the entire education system.”
    link

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    I thought a book on the KKK published a few years back might be informative but this review is rather scathing. This is just a portion of the review:

    The Ku Klux Klan in Central Alberta. WILLIAM PETER BAERGEN. Red Deer: Central Alberta Historical Society 2000. Pp. 359, illus. $24.95 The Ku Klux Klan in Central Alberta, written by a well-known public school educator and human rights commissioner in the province, purports to reveal the history of the Klan and, specifically, the connections between the Loyal Orange Order and the rise and demise of the Klan in Alberta. Based predominantly on secondary sources, with several primary-source documents included as appendices, The Ku Klux Klan in Central Alberta received front-page billing in local newspapers on its release...


    "...Unfortunately, his entire argument hinges on the development and existence ofthis Alberta 'mentality,' a phenomenon he never proves but consistently surmises. Most historians appreciate the difference between the actions of an organization's leaders and the beliefs and perceptions ofits membership and supporters. The former can be observed; the latter merely inferred. Yet the degree of inference, supposition, and outright speculation in which Baergen engages regarding the influence and support ofAlberta Klan leaders will strain the credulity of even the least discriminating reader. The bulk ofthis book discusses the actions of a few bizarre individuals , but the conclusions Baergen draws paint all Albertans as covert or outright bigots. Perhaps more serious is the probability that this book will fail to...

    https://muse.jhu.edu/article/591916

    The following is about: "Wayne Arthurson's History of Alberta's Weekly Newspapers"
    Stories from Alberta’s Weekly Newspaper
    By Wayne Kinnear

    ... was the former mayor and teacher from Eckville who in the 1980’s caused such a firestorm with his anti-semetic teachings and stance on the holocaust. It did not go unnoticed by me as I read through Arthurson’s book that Alberta has had its share of stormy issues that local newspapers tackled with panache and sometimes with bigoted and racist comments.

    It is always interesting to review old newspapers and contemplate their arcane and unusual use of language and see what their editorial take was on issues as they arose in pioneer towns. Case in point. During the Great Depression that ugly entity known as the Ku Klux Klan crept into Alberta from Saskatchewan. Area newspapers such as the Drumheller Mail and the High River Times openly criticized the Klan and their attempts to recruit here.

    In Chapter Nine Arthurson used the following hilarious piece from the November 28, 1929 issue of the Drumheller Mail to illustrate this. It reads: “ I’m either a degenerate or a Jesuit according to R.C. Snelgrove (a Klan organizer from Saskatchewan), who told a slim audience on Saturday that only Jesuit Romanists, bawdy-house keepers, bootleggers and other low-down creatures were opposed to the Ku Klux Klan. Possibly R.C (please pardon his initials) overlooked communists because I can name a half dozen who are opposed to the Kluck Kluck Kluck.”
    The Mail went on to say: “And R.C. (why doesn’t he change his initials) said the Klan was misunderstood; that it had been dragged through the garbage by the R.C. (the church not the man...


    "Probably the most remarkable chapter in the book is called Enemy Aliens..."


    http://passherald.ca/archives/150114/index3.htm
    Last edited by KC; 04-12-2016 at 08:57 PM.

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    Thanks, KC. Looks interesting. I'll check it out when I get off work.

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    From the Stingel review...

    With some small exceptions, he omits all the recent works on the Klan, including Leonard Moore's path-breaking quantitative analysis of Indiana Klan membership in the 1920s. Moore reveals that upstanding, middle-class businessmen made up the bulk of these 'Citizen Klansmen' and that the 1920s Klan, despite its racism and appeals to 100 per cent Americanism, was not of the same genre as the vigilante, murderous, Reconstruction-era Klan.
    Yes, and you can tell by the photo in the CBC link that the Alberta Klan wasn't a bunch of murdering vigilantes, since they're all sitting there unmasked in three-piece suits to have their picture taken.

    Granted, we can probably assume that the members didn't have much problem with what the Reconstruction KKK had done, otherwise they wouldn't have adopted its name and imagery. Though it's possible that a lot of them didn't have much more than a sketchy idea about that.

    Here's an interesting book by Janine Stingel, who wrote that review. Also about extremism in Alberta...

    Social Discredit

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    Quote Originally Posted by overoceans View Post
    From the Stingel review...

    With some small exceptions, he omits all the recent works on the Klan, including Leonard Moore's path-breaking quantitative analysis of Indiana Klan membership in the 1920s. Moore reveals that upstanding, middle-class businessmen made up the bulk of these 'Citizen Klansmen' and that the 1920s Klan, despite its racism and appeals to 100 per cent Americanism, was not of the same genre as the vigilante, murderous, Reconstruction-era Klan.
    Yes, and you can tell by the photo in the CBC link that the Alberta Klan wasn't a bunch of murdering vigilantes, since they're all sitting there unmasked in three-piece suits to have their picture taken.

    Granted, we can probably assume that the members didn't have much problem with what the Reconstruction KKK had done, otherwise they wouldn't have adopted its name and imagery. Though it's possible that a lot of them didn't have much more than a sketchy idea about that.

    Here's an interesting book by Janine Stingel, who wrote that review. Also about extremism in Alberta...

    Social Discredit
    The link's singular focus on anti-semitism here might be misleading, though its aim is to point out the quasi official status of anti-semitism. I didn't see in that article any mention of the anti-catholic views that were also present. I don't understand all that as going on back then, but if you have a strongly religious leadership, I would expect them to have a bias towards their religion over others.

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    If you're talking about the Social Discredit link, I think it rightly focuses on anti-semitism because that was the driving form of prejudice in the early Socred government, ie. the whole international Jewish banking conspiracy thing, which as you say, had quasi-official status. I've never heard that anti-Catholicism played any significant role in their ideology. I know that there was at least one French-Canadian Catholic in the Socred cabinet, and the Quebec wing was heavily Catholic in its orientation.

    Sorry if it seemed like irrelevant thread drift, it was just that an article by Stingel had already been posted, and that reminded me of that book I had read years ago, which seemed broadly related to the themes of this thread.

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    In the summer Jeremy Grantham made these comments. They may have applied here during the 1930s depression.


    Bolding is mine.
    Grantham Warns on Immigration, Brexit
    Immigration from outside Europe is a potentially explosive problem and Brexit may be its fuse

    By Jeremy Grantham
    July 2026, Barrons
    ...

    In the U.K. in the 1960s and 1970s, an admittedly difficult time for them, the “Yes” vote ran around 80% with a high of 90% in 1974! In the 1980s and 1990s, with better economic times, the “Yes” vote steadily declined. Ironically, in light of Brexit, by 2015 it measured its lowest at about 55%. But still 55%. If the issue of a referendum can be tilted toward immigration, 55% is obviously still a dangerously high number.

    Looking at the effect of immigration on social cohesion, one must deal with a lot of obliqueness in academic work: most papers seem to be reluctant to appear anti- immigrant or racist. Yet most conclude that trust is usually lower in diverse groups than homogeneous groups: that religious and visible differences – dress and skin color – are less easily dealt with, not surprisingly, than immigrant groups with similar cultures. My interpretation of various carefully stated conclusions is that when times are good immigrant flows are perceived as a moderate and manageable stress to social cohesion. This is true even among groups that are not happy with the general principle of steadily increasing immigration.

    When times are seen as bad, though, especially when jobs are scarce as they are for blue-collar workers now, new immigrants are seen as far more problematic. When combined with steady increases in income inequality (as they are in both the U.K. and the U.S.), weakened social cohesion, and high levels of dissatisfaction, immigration issues become very significant.

    At times, this response appears to ignore the actual economic facts. The “Leave” vote in Brexit was uncorrelated with actual local wage gains over recent years, for example. Some towns with excellent recent wage increases still voted “Leave” and vice versa.

    With considerable (and understandable) ignorance of economic details, the Brexit voters were expressing commonly held views that were often based on skewed data and were also very easily manipulated by politicians and the press – which in the U.K. often has editorial bias in all reporting. For Americans, think Fox News.
    ...

    http://www.barrons.com/articles/jere...xit-1468613443
    Last edited by KC; 18-12-2016 at 10:40 AM.

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    At times, this response appears to ignore the actual economic facts. The “Leave” vote in Brexit was uncorrelated with actual local wage gains over recent years, for example. Some towns with excellent recent wage increases still voted “Leave” and vice versa.
    I think this is important to note. Most of the old-timers here will probably remember the wave of anti-East Indian sentiment that swept through Alberta in the early 80s. You might think it was connected with the collapse in oil prices around that time, but as I recall, it had already been in full swing before that ever happened.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by overoceans View Post
    At times, this response appears to ignore the actual economic facts. The “Leave” vote in Brexit was uncorrelated with actual local wage gains over recent years, for example. Some towns with excellent recent wage increases still voted “Leave” and vice versa.
    I think this is important to note. Most of the old-timers here will probably remember the wave of anti-East Indian sentiment that swept through Alberta in the early 80s. You might think it was connected with the collapse in oil prices around that time, but as I recall, it had already been in full swing before that ever happened.
    Yup. Had forgotten all about that. It would be interesting to explore the reasons for that. Maybe there's a critical mass needed of immigration or some other exposure or presence such as business development, or some other exposure that suddenly turns ugly. ...or even things like the ethnic tensions, foreign news on overseas hostilities/violence, etc. (if there were) as in the years leading up to extremism of the Air India Bombing.
    Last edited by KC; 18-12-2016 at 05:33 PM.

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    The whole diversity or melting pot issue is fascinating. Freedom vs conformity.


    Prejudice and Discrimination in Canada

    By the early 1920s, central, southern and eastern European immigrants were officially classified among the "non-preferred" and restricted categories of immigrants. In the mid-1920s, however, in response to public pressure, the federal government loosened restrictions on immigration from Europe as a way of promoting economic development. During the late 1920s the federal government allowed more than 185,000 central and eastern Europeans and Mennonites into Canada as farmers, farm labourers and domestics.
    Backlash

    This new wave of immigration re-awakened prejudices. Organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), the Native Sons of Canada and the Orange Order criticized the new immigrants as a threat to Canada's "Anglo-Saxon" character. Several of the organizations, particularly the KKK, also opposed Catholic immigrants.

    The Klan began ..."



    Diversity or Melting Pot?

    How Canadian society treats its ethnic minorities is based in part on expectations about what should happen to minorities or immigrants. Assimilationists expect that all people should fuse in a cultural "melting pot." Pluralists, on the other hand, see differentiation as the legitimate right of minorities. Questions arise about the rights of members of a society to extend their political and religious diversity to ethnic pluralism. In Canada such a legal right had been originally extended to the two founding peoples (British and French). By 1982 the Charter of Rights and Freedoms extended equality and freedoms to others as well.


    http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.c...iscrimination/

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