Before 1930, immigration to Canada was encouraged and there was no need for the Privy Council to approve lists of immigrants being allowed to come to Canada.
With the advent of the Great Depression and the resulting loss of jobs, Canadian immigration regulations were changed to restrict the number of immigrants.
Under the new
immigration regulations, the following people were allowed to enter Canada without the permission of the Privy Council:
- British subjects with enough money to sustain themselves until they found employment
- American citizens with enough money to sustain themselves until they found employment
- prospective farmers from any country with enough money
to sustain themselves until they found employment
- the wife, and children under the age of 18, of a naturalized Canadian man
If a naturalized Canadian wanted
to sponsor an immigrant other then their wife or children under the age of 18, he had to appeal to the Privy Council to waive the new regulations.
in Council with lists that we have indexed were created to request the Privy Council to waive or make exceptions to the new immigration regulations and allow the specified immigrants to come to Canada.
The sponsor in Canada had to provide proof that they could support the new immigrant and that the immigrant would not take employment away from a Canadian. As a result, the second part of the list described the type of work the sponsor had,
where he was employed and even how much money he had in his bank account.
The immigrants on these lists were approved to come to Canada for only five months. If the immigrant could
not arrange their passage to Canada within that time, they had to re-apply.
Until 1937 many of the immigrants were women being sponsored by their fiancés who were living and working in
Canada. In 1937 the regulations were changed to allow a naturalized Canadian man to sponsor his fiancée. As a result, the names of fiancées don't appear in the lists after 1937.
Many of the immigrants being approved were already living in Canada as visitors but had decided to stay permanently.