Universal Immigration Policy

The Federal Government introduced a liberalized immigration policy on 1 October 1967. It gave people around the world an equal opportunity for admission to Canada according to their education, occupational skills, and other criteria. Immigrants were identified by their country of last permanent residence and not by ethnic origin. After 1967, Chinese professional and skilled workers from many lands and cultures entered Canada.  In 1986, the Investment Canada Act induced many Hong Kong and Taiwan investors and entrepreneurs to bring substantial capital to Canada. During the early 1990s, most Hong Kong immigrants to Canada were motivated by political uncertainty due to the transition back to Chinese rule. With Hong Kong’s 1997 designation as a Special Administrative Region of China, fewer people left partly because they perceived the future as more certain. For example, 44,169 landed immigrants from Hong Kong and 7,411 from Taiwan in 1994 dropped to 2,857 and 3,511 respectively by the year 2000. On the other hand, landed immigrants from China increased from 12,486 in 1994 to 36,718 in 2000. The number continued to rise throughout the 2000s. For example, within 5 years from 2001 to 2006, 190,000 immigrants came from China whereas only 103,000 immigrants came from Hong Kong. The 2006 inter-census reported that nearly 86% of 1,346,510 Chinese in Canada lived in 5 Metropolitan Cities: Toronto (537,060), Vancouver (402,000), Montreal (82,665), Calgary (75,410), and Edmonton (53,670). Today less than 40% of Chinese in Canada have come from the traditional counties on the Pearl River Delta while over 60% have come from other provinces of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam and other parts of the world.