A Royal Commission Called to Study the Use of Chinese labour in CPR Construction

1871-1884
Chinese Immigrants at work on CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) in the mountains of British Columbia circa 1884. Source: Library and Archives Canada.Pinterest
Chinese Immigrants at work on CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) in the mountains of British Columbia circa 1884. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Linking it to the rest of Canada was one of the conditions British Columbia agreed to join Confederation in 1871. As construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) proceeded through the Rocky Mountains, labour became an issue and the CPR recruited Chinese labourers. There was a big influx in the mid-1880s and B.C. urged Macdonald to curtail this burgeoning Chinese immigration. Macdonald’s position was that it was necessary for the completion of the CPR. However, in 1884, he called on a Royal Commission to study the subject.