Jeunes Citoyens / Young Citizens

Matthew Richmond, British Columbia

Fair address: Richmond Regional Heritage Fair

Project: Canadian Pacific Railway: A New Life In Canada

My project is about the Canadian Pacific Railway. My research focuses on how important the railway was in unifying Canada and how the Chinese workers were poorly treated.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

I would like to show other Canadians that Canada used to be not such a multicultural place back when the Canadian Pacific Railway was being built. I learned that if there was no Canadian Pacific Railway, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba might not have been a part of Canada. Also that the Canadian Pacific Railway is one of the longest railways in the world.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

The Chinese were once the most desirable workers because they were a great source of cheap labour. However, after the railway was completed, they became so undesirable that the Head Tax was created to shut them out of Canada even though the Chinese workers contributed significantly to the building of the CPR. Also, it was ironic that what the Chinese workers thought was a golden opportunity to make more money for their families only brought sadness and loneliness for many in the end.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

The Chinese citizens are treated much better today then they were compared to the lives of the Chinese workers studied in my project. What is ironic is that it seems most of immigrants coming to Canada are Chinese nowadays. I am shocked that such horrible things happened to the Chinese population back in the days when the railway was built.

  • Kailey (Young Citizen)

    Great job on your video, Matthew! I think that the building of the CP rail is a very important story in the history of Canada. It's important to remember how unfairly the hard-working Chinese were treated. Your erhu music sounded very nice.
    29/06/2017 7:55:36 PM

  • Jessica Wang

    Bravo Matthew! I really enjoyed your video.
    16/06/2017 10:39:00 PM

  • Erwen

    Nice video I learned more about the canadian pacific railway
    16/06/2017 4:07:58 PM

  • Adele

    CP Railway is a very important part of our Canadian history....the good and the bad. Good job.
    15/06/2017 1:12:36 AM

  • Mr. Higo

    Matthew, what an amazing job you did on this video presentation. Very interesting topic. Well done!
    15/06/2017 12:41:46 AM

  • Ms Ginn

    Well done, Matthew! I enjoyed watching your interesting and well researched prsentation especially the erhu accompaniment at the end!
    14/06/2017 10:38:05 PM

  • Carrie La Pierre

    Congratulations Matthew! I am so proud of your hard work for this project.
    14/06/2017 7:27:39 PM

  • Bernice

    Hi Matthew! Nice project, I really like your editing on the video. And I really learn a lot about how my parents, grandparents had trouble settling in Canada. But it's not anymore now!
    13/06/2017 7:14:58 PM

  • Germaine Fanson

    Nice job Matthew!
    13/06/2017 10:51:14 AM

  • Kelly Shears

    Very interesting history. It is shameful that 17,000 hard working Chinese citizens were treated so poorly!
    13/06/2017 8:41:52 AM

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Vancouver, British Columbia

Sara Maya

Vancouver , British Columbia


Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Project partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage.
  • Canadian Heritage / Patrimoine Canadien
  • Government of Canada
  • HBC: Hudson's Bay Company
  • ecentricarts inc.