Exclusion by Other Means: Medical Testing and Chinese Migration to Canada, 1947-1967

  • Laura Madokoro McGill University


The end of the so-called “Chinese Exclusion Era” in Canada (1885-1947) did not lead automatically to open and free migration. In the absence of overtly racebased discriminatory policies, Canadian officials in the early 1950s required migrants from the People’s Republic of China to produce an additional set of costly medical exams. This paper explores the impact of this targeted medical discrimination against Chinese migrant families. It investigates the manner in which medical tests were structured and looks specifically at how government officials varyingly understood the uses, and the reliability, of the results over two decades of immigration reform.

Themed section: The Historical Borderlands of Health and Mobility