Monday, November 15, 2004

We've lost a real Pioneer

Canada has lost a truly legendary Conservative member of Parliament. Ellen Fairclough is dead.

You can read more about this remarkable woman here, here and here.

Why was she a pioneer? For many reasons. But one I like best is that she helped change our horridly racist immigration policies:

The reform was introduced to the public on 19 January 1962 when Ellen Fairclough tabled new regulations in the House that virtually eliminated racial discrimination as a major feature of Canada's immigration policy. Henceforth any unsponsored immigrants who had the requisite education, skill, or other qualifications were to be considered suitable for admission, irrespective of colour, race, or national origin, provided (1) they had a specific job waiting for them in Canada or were able to support themselves until they found employment, (2) they were not criminals or terrorists, and (3) they did not suffer from a disease that endangered public health. Only one vestige of true discrimination remained and that was the provision that allowed European immigrants and immigrants from the Americas to sponsor a wider range of relatives. This clause would be removed five years later, however, in the immigration regulations of 1967

(emphasis mine)

Current leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Stephen Harper, had some very nice words to say as well.

She left a legacy, and will not be forgotten.