A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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General History



The 1996 Canadian census lists 351,705 Canadians who indicated Jewish as their religion. The largest Jewish population in Canada is in Toronto with 156,300. The majority came to Canada for political, rather than economic reasons, with the population increasing by 200% since 1927.(12)

Following World War II, Canada opened its doors to the "Displaced Persons" of Europe. The discrimination which had marred Canadian immigration policy was eradicated. It was replaced with a policy which judged potential immigrants on their individual merits, as opposed to prejudgment based upon their ethnic or religious origin. In 1971, the Federal Government passed a Bill which made Canada officially a multicultural country. This was further strengthened by laws passed by the provinces. Hiring discrimination and barring groups from higher education or denying membership in clubs was brought to an end in the years following World War II.

The sons and daughters of the Jewish immigrants who came to Canada have prospered. They have become members of Parliament, the heads of businesses, and have started their own institutions. They have contributed to the literature of Canada with their works, helping to define Canada as a nation.

Although the survivors of the Holocaust are now elderly men and women, the legacy of being the target of mass extermination has not disappeared. Through the 1980's, there was an increased push to bring to justice Nazi war criminals who slipped into Canada following the war. There are memorials, lectures, and museums dedicated to the Holocaust and there are resources available to the younger generation who feel anxiety that this might re-occur.(13)

Solly Lévy came to Canada for political reasons. He discovered within the City of Montréal a vibrant culture and a quality of life which made him feel privileged to be a Canadian. Solly Lévy had loved the pre-1967 Morocco because of the cultural bridges which existed between a wide and diverse ethnic community that made up this North African country.

Fortunately, Lévy found work in his adopted country as a teacher. It was through this occupation and his work as a playwrite, radio host and as a writer that he became a bridge-builder in Canada, his adopted country. He was able to find common threads that brought both new immigrants and old French stock together.

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