Japanese removed from by-law prohibiting hiring of white women

Japanese removed from by-law prohibiting hiring of white women

Japanese removed from by-law prohibiting hiring of white women!

1913; Japanese and East Asian restaurant and store owners are celebrating. A by-law, passed last year, prohibiting them, align with Chinese, from hiring any white woman to work for them, today will only apply to Chinese. These merchants felt that they had been unfairly discriminated against and took their case to the Saskatchewan Supreme Court. Their complaint was heard and the Saskatchewan legislature has been notified to remove the phrase "Japanese and East Asian" from the by-law. The by-law otherwise stands though now applying only Chinese. It is expected that an attempt will be made to Chinese business owners to similarly have their names removed.

Almost from the time of arrival in Canada for many Chinese, the government was determined to impose legislation on them to discourage them from setting up businesses or even remain in the country. The anti-Chinese hatred had reached epic proportions, particularly in British Columbia but its sting was felt throughout the country. Any hint of impropriety by a Chinese person could force yet another restriction. In Saskatchewan, in 1912, a white woman, hired as a waitress by a Chinese restaurant owner, reported to authorities that she had been mistreated. The newspapers sensationalized it and the public was inflamed. This resulted in the passing of an act making it an offence to:
employ in any capacity any white woman or girl or permit any white woman or girl to reside or lodge in or to work in or, save as a bona fide customer…to frequent any restaurant, laundry or other place of business or amusement owned, kept, or managed by any Japanese, Chinamen or other Oriental person.

The Japanese felt that they had been unfairly discriminated against and took their case to the Saskatchewan Supreme Court in 1913. They won and their designation, along with that of "other Oriental persons" was removed from the by-law, leaving it solely Chinese. One year later, a Chinese restaurant owner from Moose Jaw appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada claiming that this act violated his rights as a British subject. His appeal was dismissed. The Chinese continued to protest, winning an amendment in 1919 to "may employ Caucasian women with permission". It wasn't until 1931 that the provinces finally rescinded the by-law.