Chapter: Canada’s History

Topic: A Railway from Sea to Sea


Quiz - A Railway from Sea to Sea

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Connecting Railways and Partnerships

In 1871, British Columbia was annexed to Canada when Ottawa offered to connect the West Coast via railway. Nearly 14 years later and on November 7, 1885, a Canadian Pacific Railway director and Scottish-born individual named Donald Smith drove the symbolic last spike, finishing the long-promised project between the two. The railway was funded by both American and British investors, and built using Chinese and European labor. Soon after, the Head Tax was introduced and was considered a discriminatory action against the Chinese. The Head Tax imposed an entry fee for particular races, including the Chinese. The Canadian government recently apologized for the policy and 2006, paving the way for the national dream of the ‘ribbons of steel’ program.