Top 10 Immigrants in Canadian History

With all the turmoil in American politics, a lot of talk has been had around immigration. All of us who live in Canada come from a history of immigration, and Canadians have historically been open to allowing foreigners access to citizenship and immigration. Indeed, there have been some incredible people who have immigrated to Canada. Here are the top 10 immigrants in Canadian history:

10. Peter Mansbridge

Peter Mansbridge was born in London, England before moving Ottawa and beginning his career at CBC in 1968. Since then, he has established himself as the face of news on CBC’s The National. At one point, he was even became a parliamentary correspondent in Ottawa, making him an important immigrant in Canada’s recent history.

9. John Furlong

John Furlong was born in Tipperary, Ireland, and immigrated to Canada in 1974. He has held several prominent positions in Canada, but his work in the management of the Olympics is what puts him on this list. His role as CEO of the Vancouver Olympic Committee garnered both national and international praise.

8. Vivienne Poy

Born in Hong Kong in 1941, Vivienne Poy came to Canada in 1959 as a student. She ran a successful business and founded her own fashion label, before she turned her focus on politics. She became the first Canadian senator of Asian Ancestry in 1998, and was responsible for May being designated as Asian Heritage Month.

7. Olivia Chow

Olivia Chow moved to Canada from Hong Kong in 1970 at the age of 13. After studying at several universities, she soon became active in politics. She ran for the NDP government in 1997 and 2004, but lost both times. Then in 2007 she won her riding, and held onto it in 2011. She also was married to Jack Layton, who was the leader of the federal NDP party.

6. John Turner

Born in Richmond, England in 1929, John Turner moved to Canada as a young boy. Throughout his life, he held several prominent political positions, culminating in him becoming the 17th prime minister of Canada.Unfortunately, he only held the office for 79 days, which was the second shortest tenure in Canadian history. He was the first prime minister of Canada who was born in England since Mackenzie Bowel, who we look at next.

5. Mackenzie Bowell

Mackenzie Bowell was born in Rickinghall, England, and moved to Canada in 1832. After establishing himself as a successful businessman, he turned his eye to politics. In 1894, he became the 5th prime minister of Canada.

4. Michaëlle Jean

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As a refugee from Haiti, Machaëlle Jean came to Canada in 1968. After obtaining a number of degrees, she worked as a journalist and a broadcaster for CBC, along with being active in assisting victims of domestic violence. Her most notable achievement is being appointed as the Governor General of Canada in 2005.

3. Adrienne Clarkson

Just like Michaëlle Jean, Adrienne Clarkson was appointed as the Governor General despite not having been born in Canada. Moving to Ottawa in 1942, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree and began a career in writing and journalism. After working for 30 years, she was appointed as Governor General in 1999. She was the first visible minority to be granted this position.

2. Donovan Bailey

During the peak of his Olympic dominance as a runner, Donovan Bailey was a widely recognizable figure throughout Canada. Having immigrated to Canada from Jamaica at the age of 13, he became the most successful Canadian runner in the Olympics with two gold medals, setting the world record in the 100-metre dash in the process.

1. Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell is easily the most famous immigrant in Canadian history. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, he and his family moved to Canada in 1870. He is credited with inventing the telephone, with the official birth of the telephone coming on March 10, 1876.

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