April 1: Port Arthur

The Port Arthur City Council grants the Soldiers’ Memorial Committee $50 ($653.92 in today’s dollars) to pay for their expenses.

            The Council extends their appreciation to the Ladies’ Organizations of the City and Mr. H. Russell Halton, secretary of the local reception committee, for entertaining the returned men of the 52nd Battalion at the welcome home reception.

April 7: Port Arthur

These soldiers have been given a rebate on the interest incurred on their taxes while they were overseas. The City decided to forgive interest incurred by soldiers while in active duty since they were not working and some did not have family members who could pay the interest.

April 7: Port Arthur

Mr. R. A. Burriss was given the position of Immigration Agent in March, but this decision is revoked so that the position may be given to a returned soldier.

April 14: Port Arthur

The Council of Port Arthur endorses a petition from the Great War Veterans’ Association regarding enemy aliens and immigration. The petition argues that immigrants that have been allowed into the country are a menace to the country and have been the cause of most of the country’s unrest. Further, the allowance of these enemy aliens into Canada are an insult to the men who fought overseas. It claims that some immigrants are now good Canadian citizens and British subjects, but those who are undesirable must go (i.e. those who do not want to assimilate). The petition also remarks that all aliens have been let go from road work, which shows their labour is no longer needed. Only those aliens who are willing to fully assimilate into Canadian life should be allowed to stay and all others should be deported.

Full Transcription:

That this Council endorse the following resolution adopted by the Great War Veteran’s Association at Winnipeg on April 1:

“Whereas during the past five years the Dominion of Canada, particularly the western provinces, has been brought face to face with the problem of dealing with undesirable aliens of all classes who have been admitted into this country under past and existing legislation and,

Whereas it has been demonstrated conclusively that unrestricted immigration, instead of being of benefit, has proved a serious menace to this country, and,

Whereas it has further been demonstrated that there are in Canada at the present time thousands of undesirable aliens of enemy origin to whom can be traced most of the unrest at present existing in this country, and whose presence is an insult to the men who have fought in defence of the Empire, who are obliged to come into daily contact with them, and,

Whereas there are also very large numbers of aliens in Canada who have become good Canadian citizens, and other who are anxious to become true British subjects, against whom it would be unfair to discriminate, 

And Whereas this Association has noted with pleasure the action of the C.P.R. in dismissing all aliens employed on road work on the Brandon Division, thereby demonstrating that alien enemy labor is no longer a necessity, and,

Whereas continuous resolutions have been forwarded to the Hon. Minister of Immigration and to the Government at Ottawa by this and other public bodies, indicating a general public demand for prompt action on the part of the Federal Government in spite of which thousands of immigrants are at the present time coming to this country from the United States, a large number of whom are undesirable,

Therefore be it resolved, that this Branch of the G.W.V.A. respectfully request His Majesty’s Government of Canada to enact immediately legislation as follows:-

  1. That all unnaturalised citizens be examined before a properly constituted court, which shall determine whether or not they are desirable citizens. If, in the opinion of said Court, they are undesirable, they should be deported to whatever country they rightfully belong. If they are considered as desirable, they should be required to give a written statement to the effect that they are prepared to assume the full responsibility of Canadian Citizenship, including Military Service, if necessary, and the education of their children in English according to Canadian Law. Any refusing to sign this obligation should also be deported. And further, that provision be made to deport all those, whether naturalized or not, who do not obey the laws governing all Canadian Citizens especially those who are convicted by the said Court of deliberately fostering sedition.
  2. That with the desirable aliens determined by the above court, immediate and more aggressive steps should be taken to assimilate those citizens as Canadians by national-wide education in English, confining the franchise to those who can read and write in English by propaganda, etc.
  3. That a close censorship on all immigration be kept and that no further concessions be made to various religious sects, etc. and that all immigrants, before being admitted to Canada, be obliged to sign the obligation as described above, and that during the period between the entry of said immigrants and the time of their becoming naturalized, they should be kept under observation, and, if in the opinion of the above constituted court, they fail to conform to the laws governing all citizens of Canada, they shall be immediately liable to deportation; and further, this Branch of the G.W.V.A. requests that the recent order-in-Council prohibiting the entry into Canada of subjects of any enemy country remain in force.
  4. That it is not the intention of this meeting that the present laws governing the period of residence in Canada prior to obtaining naturalization should be interfered with.

Further resolved that copies of this resolution be forwarded to the Dominion Executive of the G.W.V.A. for transmission to the Hon. the Acting Prime Minister, the Honorable Minister of Immigration, Major G.W. Andrews, D.S.G. M.P.,

Further resolved that all Branches in Manitoba and all Provincial Commands be requested to endorse this resolution.

April 14: Port Arthur

$1,972.98 ($25,803.48 in today’s dollars) is issued to Mr. Russell Halton for expenses incurred in connection with the reception of the 52nd Battalion.

            The Great War Veterans’ Association asks for a larger space. They had been given space for offices and meetings in the old Municipal building in September 1917.  Their request is referred to the Property Committee.

April 22: Fort William

The Great War Veterans’ Association writes to the Council to inform them that their $200 grant ($2,615.29 in today’s dollars) is not enough to pay for a band play at military funerals. This request for more funds is referred to the Finance Committee.

             The Secretary of the Board of Trade has forwarded a motion in regards to the provision of housing for returned soldiers. The Housing Commission will ask to meet with a committee of the Great War Veterans Association to discuss the housing problem.

April 22: Fort William

Dr. R. J. Manion M.P. has written to Fort William City Council to suggest that if they wish for a share of war trophies, they must pass a formal resolution of their desire of receiving some war trophies. The Council passes the letter to the Memorial Committee for investigation and response.

April 28: Port Arthur

Port Arthur’s Sports Committee has met with that of Fort William, and both cities have agreed to put aside separate days to host a celebration of Peace so as to not interfere with the other’s celebration. Port Arthur’s celebration will be held on May 24th.

Full Transcription:

Your Committees beg to report and recommend as follows:-

  1. That we recommend to the Council that in view of Fort William consenting not to have any celebration on May 24th, and that Port Arthur in return undertake to have no celebration on day set aside for Peace Celebration, and that both Cities assist each other as far as possible in making both events a success, and copies of this resolution be sent to both Councils, Port Arthur Parks Board, and Secretary of Sports Committees of both Cities.

(Sgd.) L.J.B. Bolduc, Actg. Chairman.