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“Canada Is a Nation Created by Diverse Immigrants” — A False Meme

One of the most powerful memes in Canada is that “Canada is a nation of immigrants”. Of course, Canada has always been a place of immigration, but what’s being conveyed by this phrase is that Canada is a nation created by immigrants from multiple cultural and racial backgrounds. They want us to believe the opening of the nation to mass immigration since the 1970s was a natural continuation of trends going back to the very origins of the country. I am calling this a “meme” for it is a cultural phrase continuously repeated throughout Canadian society, and the entire Western world, for that matter, as if it were an undisputed truism that could only be questioned by complete ignoramuses.

British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins coined the word “meme” as a cultural analogue to genes, a way of describing the successful spread and replication of ideas in societies. Some social scientists believe that memes tend to evolve in a way analogous to biological evolution by natural selection and that the cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that are replicated and transmitted through writing, speech, gestures and rituals are the ones calculated to enhance the successful reproduction of a given society.

From a Truthful Meme to a Degenerate and Untruthful Meme

Some have objected to the concept of “meme” by arguing that there is no similarity between the transmission of cultural phenomena and the replication of the coded DNA script. Even in the transmission of religious ideas there is always some variation and lack of consensus. Modern societies (in particular) are neither self-contained organisms nor simple villages; they are highly differentiated orders inhabited by millions of humans organized in various groupings pursuing their own interests and promoting their own memes.

Still, we can agree with prominent sociobiologists, such as E.O. Wilson, that some memes, behaviors or traits, do tend to occur universally in all cultures, with minimal variations, because they enhance the evolutionary adaptations of societies generally, such as cooperation among kin, taboos against incest and preference for healthier mates. We can then add that, in the case of modern societies, it would be more accurate to study the selection of memes at the level of groups rather than of society generally, and, from this perspective, keep in mind that some group(s), not Canadians generally, are benefiting from the promotion of the meme that “Canada is a nation of immigrants”.

It is obvious that the notion that Canada was founded by diverse immigrants is inaccurate. Canada’s immigration experience has been overwhelmingly European since the sixteenth century, and for the first 100 years since Confederation in 1867 until 1962/67 the immigration policies were ethnically oriented to keep the country “White”. Everyone in society, the media, schools, political parties, took it for granted that “Canada was a British nation”, or “an English-French nation” or simply “a White nation”. No one challenged Prime Minister McKenzie King when he said in Parliament in 1947 that Canada should remain a White man’s country. This meme was accepted throughout society.

So, how did we get from this  meme to the current one which says that Canada is an immigrant nation founded by diverse races? The “Canada is a White nation” meme was deemed to be consistent with the historical legacy and reality of European Canada. Mackenzie King stated in explicit terms the great value of this meme when he insisted that to allow immigration by “the races of the Orient” would bring Whites

face to face at once with the loss of that homogeneity which ought to characterize the people of this country if we are to be a great nation.1

What is so disquieting about the “we are all immigrants” meme is that it is continuously celebrated for its “historical accuracy” in all the schools and universities against the “myth” that Canada was “founded by Whites”. This is the topic I want to discuss in this essay: how can an idea, a catch phrase, devoid of historical veracity be accepted by the upper echelons of our society without any questioning and counter-narrative?

I have decided to search for the most scholarly books on this topic, written by authors who could not easily be labeled as Marxist academics openly advancing an ideological agenda and invariably exhibiting a rather poor educational background. I wanted books addressing this topic in a thorough manner covering the entire history of Canadian immigration. I found two excellent books:

  • J. M. Bumsted’s Canada’s Diverse Peoples: A Reference Sourcebook (2003)
  • Ninette Kelley and Michael Trebilcock’s The Making of the Mosaic, A History of Canadian Immigration Policy (1998).
A Diverse Mosaic from the Beginning?

J. M. Bumsted is a highly regarded historian of Canada, and what is most appealing to me is that he is the author of a two volume surveys of Canada’s history, The People’s of Canada: A Pre-Confederation History (2003) and The People’s of Canada: A Post-Confederation History (2004). He has a panoramic view which is, in my estimation, essential in our understanding of the making of Canada. Bumsted takes seriously his profession as a historian responsible, as they say, for “what really happened in the past”. I never read anything else by Kelley and Trebilcock, but The Making of the Mosaic clearly stands as the most exhaustive study today of immigration history: close to 700 pages long, it includes 133 pages of notes and 45 pages of references.

Still, these two books follow the official diversity program; the authors are multiculturalists who play up the typical tropes mandated by our totalitarian culture. I will go over these tropes first, or commonly recurring literary devices in their texts, with the intention of driving home my main objective, which is to show that despite the generalized presence of these motifs, these scholars cannot but bring out some crucial facts available in the records, which demonstrate the opposite of what they would like to say: Canada was a nation created from corner to corner by European migrants. The more ideological academics who write about such topics as the internment of the Japanese or the oppression of blacks in Canada can ignore these inconvenient facts, but any exhaustive study about immigration patterns cannot but divulge them, and, if you look past the cliches about diversity, these facts are overwhelmingly in support of a European Canada.

The title of Bumsted’s book speaks for itself; it is part of a series on the “Ethnic Diversity Within Nations” intended to help readers “better appreciate” diversity in order to enable “all of us to interact more effectively” with multiple races.2 Right in the opening paragraph, Bumsted questions the notion that Europeans “were the first to discover this land and the first to settle it”.3 He writes:

From the very beginning of human settlement of this continent…North America was sheer diversity. This land was a veritable quilt of peoples and tongues. The ultimate arrival of Europeans complicated, but did not really alter, this pattern.4

He uses quotation marks in reference to “the French and the English as the ‘founding peoples’ of Canada” as it “completely ignores the previous presence of the aboriginals”.5 He bemoans the restrictive racial immigration policies, and the like, and constructs a history progressively moving toward a multiracial society in which everyone is accorded full equality, concluding:

By the year 2000 it was abundantly clear that Canada had won its campaign to impose the concept of multiculturalism upon the nation.6

This passage comes from the last chapter revealing titled “The Future”, which announces:

From the very beginning, the land that became Canada was a multiracial place, the destination of a constant flow of new immigrants of varying ethnicities.7

Did you get this Europeans? The cultural Marxists have “won”. Canada is now fully diverse, and don’t complain about your culture being swamped, for Canada was from the beginning multiracial. It has always been this way, and there is nothing you can do about the inevitable future. But we will see below that this is a historical fabrication; Canada was almost totally European from the beginning through to the 1970s, when it was still 96% White.

A similar pattern characterizes The Making of the Mosaic, starting with its endearing title, which projects an image of a country created by colored children happily working together except for the racist White kids who are finally learning to get along with different races. The introduction claims alliance to the “idea” expressed by the influential Joseph Carens, who insists that it is not enough to grant citizenship “immediately” to children born of parents who have settled illegally. If Westerners are to be morally true to their liberal values rather than grossly immoral, they must also take the perspective of “the most disadvantaged in the world” and accept immigration from the entire world with “very few restrictions”. Without any qualms about the insanity of this idea, Kelley and Trebilcock quickly recite the usual instances of racially discriminatory policies and practices in Canada, framing the entire history of immigration as a progressive movement to overcome

the atrocities committed over the course of history as a result of tribalism, ethnocentrism, ‘ethnic cleansing’, religious fanaticism, and ideological collectivism.8

Notwithstanding its orientation, this book has excellent statistical statements demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt that Canada was almost 100 percent European “from the beginning” until very recent times. More than this, Kelly and Trebilcock, seemingly confident in the pro-immigration feelings of Canadians, taunt their readers with the claim that throughout most of its history the vast majority of Canadians were born in the country and that, in this respect, it is wrong to call Canada an immigrant nation: progressives we still have work to do. The immigrant share of the Canadian population has just started to increase in a sustained way. Our destiny as the greatest immigrant nation has yet to be fulfilled.

Canada is a European Nation: Facts on File
How about facts to lean on?

The best way to convey to readers that the evidence is totally on our side is to lay out in point form the main statistical statements found in these books. This will stand as an effective series of empirical statements that patriots of Canada’s European heritage can draw from in a quick way.

  1. In 1871, according to the first census after Confederation, of the total population of 3.2 million, 32 percent were of French ancestry, 24 percent Irish, 20 percent English, 16 percent Scottish, and 6 percent German.9 Notice, therefore, that we should acknowledge the immense importance of the Irish and Scots in the first centuries of “English Canada”. The Irish percentage of total immigration was 68.5 percent in 1825-9, 64.2 percent in 1830-9, 64.2 percent in 1840-9, 41.1 percent in 1850-9, and 22.4 percent in 1860-9.10 There were only 21,500 blacks and 23,000 natives in 1871;11 by contrast, there were 202,991 persons of German origin.12
  2. Canada cannot “accurately be portrayed at Confederation as a nation of immigrants”. In 1867, 79 percent had been born in Canada. Over the 400 years before Confederation, there were only “two quite limited periods” of substantial arrivals of immigrants: from 1783 to 1812, and from 1830 to 1850. In these two periods, the immigrants were “overwhelmingly of British origin”.13
  3. From 1608 to 1760, immigration to New France consisted of only 10,000 settlers, and thereafter it was “almost non-existent”.14 The French-speaking population numbered about 70,000 in the 1760s, and thereafter, until the late 1800s, the population expanded rapidly with women having 5.6 surviving children on average. By 1950, the Quebec population was almost 4 million. This increase was not a result of immigration but of continuing high fertility rates. It was only in the 1970s that Montreal saw an increasing inflow of non-European immigrants.15
  4. Between 1896 and 1914, Canada experienced high immigration levels with more than 3 million arriving within this period. However, the ethnic composition of the nation remained 84 percent of British and French origin, while the European component rose to 9 percent.16 Between 1900 and 1915, the high mark in “Asian immigration” before the 1960s, 50,000 immigrants of Japanese, East Indian and Chinese descent arrived, but this number comprised less than 2 percent of the total immigration flow.17 In contrast, in 1914, there were nearly 400,000 Germans in Canada,18 the largest ethnic group apart from the British (which includes the Irish and Scots) and French.
  5. The total intake of immigrants between 1946 and 1962 was 2,151,505. Between 1941 and 1962, during more or less the same period, the population of Canada increased from 11.5 million to 18.5 million, “largely accounted” by Canada’s “extremely high domestic birth rates”.19 Ninety percent of all immigrants who came to Canada before 1961 were from Britain.20
  6. It was only after the institutionalization of official multiculturalism in 1971 that immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia at large started to arrive in large numbers. During the 1970s the proportion originating in Europe was cut by half, whereas the proportion coming from Asia almost quadrupled. Of the 1.5 million who came between 1971 and 1981, 33 percent came from Asia, 16 percent from the Caribbean and South America and 5.5 percent from Africa. In the period 1991-2001, immigrants of European origin fell below 20 percent at the same time that Asian immigration soared to nearly 60 percent. Canada’s visible minority population has been growing much faster than its total population: 22 percent growth from 1996 to 2001 versus 4 percent growth in the general population. Today, roughly one out of every four people in Canada is a member of a visible minority.
Tell the Truth
Stop lying
Stop lying, multiculturalists.

Therefore, it is a historical falsehood to say that Canada has always been a diverse nation. Canada was created by Europeans, all the institutions, legal system, educational curriculum, transformation of wilderness into productive farms, all the cities, the parliamentary traditions, the churches, the entire infrastructure of railways, ports, shipping industries, and highways, was created by hardworking Europeans.

There is a standard reply to these truths, and it is that “diverse from the beginning” means that Canada was populated early on by diverse ethnic groups from Europe, combined with Aboriginals. But, as is typical with cultural Marxists, this is yet another form of deception inflicted daily on our students. Why place so much emphasis on the “racially discriminatory policies of white Canadians” (ended in 1967), if Canada was not White through most of its history? Why use the racial term “white” when writing about Canada’s exclusionary immigration policies? Why not say that “diverse and mosaic Canada” was racist against “diverse and mosaic” immigrants?

The implementation of multiculturalism and mass immigration in the 1970s was intended to be, as Prime Minister Trudeau said openly, “an experiment of major proportions”, an effort to undermine the historic European character of Canada by transforming the nation into a multiethnic place in which old ethnic nationalisms would be discredited. Trudeau, and every elite member since and now, envisioned Canada as a “prototype” for a new cosmopolitan world order in which ethnic boundaries would no longer matter.21

It is an experiment being carried out in most European nations, and only in European nations; the rest of the world’s nations are simply watching as Europeans are populated by immigrants who themselves are encouraged to retain their natural, millennial ethnic identities, while Europeans are prohibited from even celebrating their creation of Canada!

[1] Ninette Kelley, Michael Trebilcock, The Making of the Mosaic. A History of Canadian Immigration Policy, 1998: 206
[2] J. M. Bumsted, Canada’s Diverse Peoples: A Reference Sourcebook, 2003: xvi
[3] Ibid. 1
[4] Ibid. 14
[5] Ibid. 24
[6] Ibid. 330
[7] Ibid. 326
[8] The Making of the Mosaic: 471
[9] Ibid. 23
[10] Canada’s Diverse Peoples: 110
[11] Ibid. 23
[12] Ibid. 123
[13] The Making of the Mosaic: 23
[14] Ibid. 23
[15] Canada’s Diverse Peoples: 42
[16] The Making of the Mosaic: 115
[17] Ibid. 145
[18] Canada’s Diverse Peoples: 175
[19] The Making of the Mosaic: 316-18
[20] Ibid. 467
[21] Hugh Donald Forbes, “Trudeau as the First Theorist of Canadian Multiculturalism”, in Stephen Tierney, ed., Multiculturalism and the Canadian Constitution, 2007. Forbes, a supporter of Trudeau’s dream, says outright that the success of multiculturalism “obviously depends on the deliberate diversification of the Canadian population”, noting that once multiculturalism was put into a new immigration law in 1976, “Canadian immigration offices were opened in various Third World countries to facilitate processing of applications, and the number of immigrants coming from these ‘non-traditional sources’ increased dramatically” (38).
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