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VIDEO - Chinese railroad workers and the CPR

0 136 Labour

by DCN News Services

As part of our Building Canada 150 series, the Journal of Commerce and Daily Commercial News examined the history of Chinese labourers and Canada's first megaproject, the Canadian Pacific Railroad, which brought new economic and transportation possibilities to a young nation, but at a severe human cost.

Vancouver East MP Jenny Kwan spoke with us about the mistreatment Chinese labourers suffered as they worked on some of the most dangerous sections of the railroad, often with little to any safety measures.

Chinese workers also succumbed to malnutrition and other forms of sickness, and once the railroad was finished were shunned by Canadian society, eventually banding together to support one another and forming the Chinatown neighbourhood in Vancouver.

Kwan also spoke to the efforts at both the federal and provincial level to recognize the poor treatment of Chinese labourers at the time and to formally apologize to their descendants.


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