A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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Question 3
Most Portuguese immigrants to Canada found it easy to integrate and adjust to their new home.

False. Many of the early Portuguese immigrants to Canada were poor and illiterate. They had left families behind in Portugal to work in the menial jobs on railways and farms that Canadian workers were increasingly refusing to accept. Canada was a completely unknown world for the Portuguese. The men who came by the boat load were soon separated from each other and, incapable of speaking any French or English, they lived in virtual isolation for months on end. Their only means of communication was with hand gestures they invented to explain to employers and fellow workers their needs or problems. Most worked long days with poor shelter, insufficient food and low wages. Many went for long periods of time without work and often encountered prejudice and discrimination in trying to find work because they were Portuguese.

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