The Results of the Royal Commission on the use of Chinese Labourers in the Construction of the CPR

1885-1923
Chinese camp (Canadian Pacific Railway), Kamloops, British Columbia circa 1886. Source: Library and Archives Canada. Pinterest
Chinese camp (Canadian Pacific Railway), Kamloops, British Columbia circa 1886. Source: Library and Archives Canada. 

In 1885, the Royal Commission reported that, while the Chinese were not an inferior race, were good workers and should not be excluded, future arrivals should be regulated by a head tax of $50. The ensuing Chinese Immigration Act (1885) levied a "Head Tax" of $50 on Chinese immigrants. This did not deter Chinese immigration. Subsequent legislation increased the tax to $100 (1900), $500 (1903), and eventually introduced total exclusion (1923). While some, such as George Monro Grant, were opposed to discrimination as un-Christian, Macdonald was clear in his opposition to the Chinese as not being acceptable "permanent settlers" because they were an "an alien race" and "could not be expected to assimilate."