This paper may serve as the finest example of the formal letter to the Prime Minister. In this letter, the author explains and states the problems faced by a Chinese immigrant in Canada before 1885. The letter is written on behalf of an immigrant worker and an affiliate of Chinese community…
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Dear Prime Minister,
I am writing this letter as an immigrant worker and an affiliate of Chinese community to appeal for investigation and resolution of the problems, which we are facing as Chinese immigrant’s workers. I speak not just for myself but also for my Chinese brothers and sisters who have taken a great role in building this country. In the letter, I will also mention the happenings of the past few years that have resulted in alienation and increased suffering of Chinese living in Canada. Since our migration into Canada, life has been unbearable and we feel unwelcomed not just by Canadian citizens but by the Canadian government. We as Chinese community feel like the Canadian government is using us for their own good while we suffer silently. I am a young Chinese male, currently working in the Pacific Canadian Railway construction though I have done some other menial jobs. I thus have a clear understanding of the extent to which the Chinese migrants are suffering.
I am a Chinese immigrant from Guangdong. Right from our entry into Canada, we were welcomed with a lot of hostility. It was inauspicious to be referred to as ‘sojourner’ or temporary workers while some of us were settlers. Some Canadians might have come as temporary workers, but even those who have been here for generations are not excluded from the tortures we undergo. Irrespective of the much risk we undertook to build the Canadian Pacific Railway, our efforts have not been rewarded or appreciated. Your government started portraying hostility towards us when they realized we were almost about to finish the railroad. We know that they fear that we might settle here permanently but we deserve better. We have to do the menial jobs irrespective of out competent skillfulness. I feel like I and my fellow Chinese have persevered enough discrimination and personal attacks. I do not understand why we have to pay extremely high head tax while our work is meant to benefit the Canadians and their government. I might have excused the Canadians for mistreating the first Chinese arrivals but it has been almost a whole century since then and we are still facing the difficulties they faced. I left Guangdong to escape poverty and I find it disheartening to continue suffering irrespective of the hardships I have to undergo as a railway worker to get my daily bread. Being treated as an outsider or an alien is disheartening. Chinamen or non-British alien is the name used to refer to us from Guangdong. This is discriminative and a demonstration of extreme racism, which I believe, you are opposed to. I have been a worker in Canadian Pacific Railway (C.P.R) for over a decade and I feel its time your government acknowledged that we are part of Canadian community. You must have noticed the increasing agitation as we near the completion of the C.P.R. Chinese constructors are being attacked and killed often and no measures have been taken to curb this. I fail to understand why the white, black, and native workers are paid two to three times our wage while we do similar and at times harder works than them. I agonize every day as I watch my brothers sleep hungry and come to work every day. Others die while planting explosives along the railroad construction site. I happened to work at the area near Fraser Canyon, which was the most difficult part of the construction. It was evident that the Chinese who were being paid the least wages comprised the majority of the team working in this site. Countless of them died while planting explosives or digging tunnels. Although we as Chinese rail workers are paid the least wages, we have to pay for our cooking and camping gears while other workers are provided for the above freely. Irrespective of our great role in improving the Canadian economy, we have been denied the right to vote. Additionally, were have been alienated from the political community. The move to form our own community was
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(“Letter to Prime Minister for the Problems Faced by a Chinese Immigrant Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/history/1458614-letter-to-prime-minister-for-the-problems-faced-by-a-chinese-immigrant-in-canada-before-1885
(Letter to Prime Minister for the Problems Faced by a Chinese Immigrant Essay)
“Letter to Prime Minister for the Problems Faced by a Chinese Immigrant Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/history/1458614-letter-to-prime-minister-for-the-problems-faced-by-a-chinese-immigrant-in-canada-before-1885.
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