Chapter XIII - New Immigration Policy

756. PCO

Extract from Cabinet Conclusions

Secret

[Ottawa], January 18, 1962

Present

  • The Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) in the Chair,
  • The Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Green),
  • The Minister of Justice (Mr. Fleming),
  • The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Hees),
  • The Minister of Transport (Mr. Balcer),
  • The Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Churchill),
  • The Minister of Public Works (Mr. Fulton),
  • The Minister of Finance (Mr. Nowlan),
  • The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Harkness),
  • The Postmaster General (Mrs. Fairclough),
  • The Minister of Fisheries (Mr. MacLean),
  • The Minister of Labour (Mr. Starr),
  • The Postmaster General (Mr. William Hamilton),
  • The Solicitor General (Mr. Browne),
  • The Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Monteith),
  • The Minister of Defence Production (Mr. O’Hurley),
  • The Minister of Public Works (Mr. Walker),
  • The Associate Minister of National Defence (Mr. Sévigny),
  • The Minister of Forestry (Mr. Flemming),
  • The Secretary of State and President of the Privy Council (Mr. Dorion),
  • The Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Dinsdale),
  • The Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (Mr. Flynn).
  • The Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr. Bryce),
  • The Assistant Secretaries to the Cabinet (Mr. Labarge), (Mr. Watters).

Immigration Regulations

(Previous reference November 2)

  1. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration stated that only one basic change had been made in the proposals which were originally put to the Cabinet and approved in principle in November, 1961. The form, however, was substantially different as the regulations now being submitted for approval were prepared by the Department of Justice. The previous draft had sought to establish equality of treatment for all categories of close relatives from all parts of the world, and to achieve this had proposed somewhat more generous treatment for the less preferred countries, mainly in Asia and Africa, while reducing to some extent the categories of close relatives to be admissible from the traditional sources in Europe. The new sub-paragraph (d) to section 31 restored the provisions by which it had been possible for sponsoring relatives in Canada to apply for adult or married brothers or sisters, sons or daughters, male fiancés or unmarried minor orphan nephews or nieces, provided the persons applied for were citizens of a country of Europe (including Turkey), the Western Hemisphere, or Egypt, Israel or Lebanon. Moreover, the provision contained in the previous draft regulations relating to a literacy test had now been deleted.
    The new sub-section 31 (d) was the only part of the Regulations containing any preferential treatment or discrimination in favour of European and Western Hemisphere countries. This discrimination could have been removed only by introducing restrictions and withdrawing privileges which had been enjoyed for a good many years by close relatives and sponsors from European and Western Hemisphere countries. It was considered preferable to move the less favoured groups forward by progressive steps to a position of complete equality by withdrawing privileges from more favoured groups. In general, the effect of Section 31 was to improve the position of nationals of all countries without worsening the position of any.
    An explanatory memorandum had been circulated (Minister’s memorandum, Jan. – Cab. Doc. 24-62†).
  2. During the discussion some said that the change back to a preference for Europeans would perpetuate the discrimination against people from the less preferred countries. These complaints, others said, would be less serious than those which would arise from restricting Europeans. With Canada’s many ethnic groups of European extraction, depreciating the rights of Europeans in favour of Asiatics and Africans would engender numerous and bitter complaints within the country. This aspect of the new regulations had been mentioned by the Minister very briefly in Caucus but discussed at some length with Messrs. Maloney, Martini and Kucherepa who favoured the change made by 31(d).
  3. Mrs. Fairclough drew to the attention of the Cabinet Part II of the Regulations relating to Inquiries and Appeals and said that they did not require the approval of the Governor in Council but could be made on the authority of the Minister under Section 62 of the Immigration Act.
  4. The Cabinet,
    1. agreed with the recommendation of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, pursuant to Sections 49 and 61 of the Immigration Act, that the Immigration Regulations made by Order in Council P.C. 1954-1351 of September 17th, 1954, as amended, be revoked and new Immigration Regulations Part I substituted therefore, effective February 1st, 1962; and,
    2. noted that the Minister would, by separate order under Section 62 of the Act, give effect to Part II of the Regulations bringing into force new regulations with respect to Inquiries and Appeals.
    (An order in council in respect of (a) above was passed accordingly; P.C. 1962-82, Jan. 18).