The Canadian Commonwealth eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 231 pages of information about The Canadian Commonwealth.
foreigners earning seventeen dollars a day on piecework who had never earned fifty cents a day in their own land.  I have in mind one Galician settler who has accumulated a fortune of $150,000 in perfectly legitimate ways in ten years.  Even the Doukhobors—­the eccentric Russian religious sect—­hooted for their oddities of manner and frenzies of religion—­are accumulating wealth in the Elbow of the Saskatchewan, where they are settled.

From the national point of view Canada needs these foreign settlers.  She needs their labor.  Every man to her is worth fifteen hundred dollars in productive work.  The higher wages he earns on piecework the more Canada is pleased; for the more work he has done.  But at the present rate of peopling Canada these foreign born will in twenty years outnumber the native born.  What will become of Canada’s national ideals then?  In one foreign section of the Northwest I once traveled a hundred miles through new settlements without hearing one word of English spoken; and these Doukhobors and Galicians and Roumanians and Slavs were making good.  They were prospering exceedingly.  Men who had come with less than one hundred dollars each and lived for the first years in crowded tenements of Winnipeg or under thatch-roof huts on the prairie now had good frame houses, stables, stock, modern implements.  The story is told of one poor Russian who, when informed of the fact that the land would be his very own, fell to the earth and kissed the soil and wept.  Such settlers make good on soil, whatever ill they work in a polling booth.  Except for his religious vagaries, the Doukhobor Russian is law abiding.  The same can not be said of the other Slav immigrants.  Crime in the Northwest, according to the report of the Mounted Police, has increased appallingly.  The crimes are against life rather than against property—­the crimes of a people formerly kept in order by the constant presence of a soldier’s bayonet run amuck in Canada with too much freedom.  And the votes of these people will in twenty years out-vote the Canadian.  These poverty-stricken Jews and Polacks and Galicians will be the wealth and power of Canada to-morrow.  If you doubt what will happen, stroll down Fifth Avenue, New York, and note the nationality of the names.  A Chicago professor carefully noted the nationality of all the names submitted in Chicago’s elections for a term of years.  Three-quarters of the names were of nationalities only one generation away from the Ghetto.

Man to man on the prairie farm, in the lumber woods, your Canadian can out-do the Russian or Galician or Hebrew.  The Canadian uses more brains and his aggregate returns are bigger; but boned down to a basis of who can save the most and become rich fastest, your foreigner has the native-born Canadian beaten at the start.  Where the Canadian earns ten dollars and spends eighty per cent. of it, your foreigner earns five dollars, and saves almost all of it.  How

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The Canadian Commonwealth from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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