P.C. 695 (Canada) (1931)


In 1931, the Canadian cabinet passed Order-in-Council P.C. 695 prohibiting almost all immigration in order to meet the growing challenges of economic depression. As a result, more than two-thirds of immigrants to Canada during the 1930s were from Britain or northern Europe. The measure remained the basis of Canadian immigration policy until 1946.
A previous measure in 1930 had limited admission to those with agricultural capital or with family already in the country. By the provisions of P.C. 695 the restrictive policy was broadened, limiting immigration to Americans and Britons from white settlement colonies, including Britain, Ireland, Newfoundland, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, who had a sufficient monetary reserve; agricultural capitalists; those guaranteed employment in mining or timbering; and dependents of males already residing in Canada. The policy was steadfastly maintained throughout the Great Depression, despite growing humanitarian pressures as conditions worsened in Europe. The most controversial results of the policy came after the economy began to improve in 1937, when the government rejected a special appeal on behalf of German Jews and moved slowly on the Sudeten refugee question. In 1946, the Canadian Cabinet, passed P.C. 2071 amending P.C. 695 by permitting immigration of refugees with close relative in Canada. Even with this exception, immigration was tightly controlled, excluding almost all Jews.

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