The Canadian Commonwealth eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 231 pages of information about The Canadian Commonwealth.
does he do this?  He spends next to nothing.  Let me be perfectly specific on how he does it:  I have known Russian, Hebrew, Italian families in the Northwest who sewed their children into their clothes for the winter and never permitted a change till spring.  Your Canadian would buy half a dozen suits for his children in the interval.  Your foreigner buys of furniture and furnishings and comforts practically nothing for the first few years.  He sleeps on the floor, with straw for a bed, and he occupies houses twenty-four to a room—­which is the actual report in foreign quarters in the north end of Winnipeg.  Your Canadian requires a house of six rooms for a family of six.  When your foreigner has accumulated a little capital he buys land or a city tenement.  Your Canadian educates his children, clothes them a little better, moves into a better house.  When the foreigner buys a block, he moves his whole family into one room in the basement and does the janitor and scrubbing and heating work himself or forces his women to do it for him.  When the Canadian buys a block, he hires a janitor, an engineer, a scrub woman, and if he moves into the block, he takes one of the best apartments.  It does not take any guessing to know which of these two will buy a second block first—­especially if the foreigner lives on peanuts and beer, and the Canadian on beefsteak and fresh fruit.  Nor does it take any guessing to know which type stands for the higher citizenship—­which will make toward the better nation.

IV

The question is—­will Canada remain Canada when these new races come up to power?  And Canada need not hoot that question; or gather her skirts self-righteously and exclusively about her and pass by on the other side.  The United States did that, and to-day certain sections of the foreign vote are powerful enough to dictate to the President.

Take a little closer look at facts!

Foreigners have never been rushed into Canada as cheap labor to displace the native born, so they have not, as in great American industrial centers, lowered the standard of living for Canadians.  They have come attracted by two magnets that give them great power:  (1) wages so high they can save; (2) land absolutely free but for the ten-dollar preemption fee.

In 1881 there were six hundred and sixty-seven Jews in Canada.

In 1901 there were sixteen thousand.  To-day it is estimated there are twenty thousand each in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg.  These Jews have not gone out to the land.  They have crowded into the industrial centers reproducing the housing evils from which they fled the European Ghetto.  There are sections of Winnipeg and Montreal and Toronto where the very streets reek of Bowery smells.  When they go to the woods or the land, these people have not the stamina to stand up to hard work.  Yet in the cities, by hook or crook, by push-cart and trade, they acquire wealth.  On the charity organization of the cities they impose terrible burdens during Canada’s long cold winter.

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The Canadian Commonwealth from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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