The 1890 Canadian Society


The1890 Canadian Society

The1890 Canadian Society

Withall the changes in the political and social-economic environment inthe world today, it is fascinating how people endeavor to change withthe times. One of the most dynamic environments of late has been theCanadian social-economic as well as the political scene. Amid therecent changes, one would wonder how a foreigner would cope with theworking environment in Canada. Meet Ned, a seventy year old retiredprinter and Bessie, his sixty-eight-year-old wife. This couple hasseen all the recent changes in Canada and the world at large, as theyaffect their lives. Ned was born in England, where he married Bessieand established a family in the English land. However, work demandsand their career paths led them to Canada together with their family.

Theirmigration from England to Canada saw them experience a change in theeconomic prospects. They thought the country had better jobs and moreopportunities in a country with over 30% of its population living inurban areas. This was particularly important for Ned, who was aprinter, and thought that business would be better in the developingcountry. While fortunes change with time, Ned’s fortunes changedbecause of his hustle. He hustled to get a job in one of thepublishing companies that were trying to set up (Ned, 1890). While hewas not fortunate enough to get a permanent job, Ned focused onindependent printing for the established publishers.

Hefinally got a contract to be an independent printer for a localCanadian publisher. His first job to be allocated was to print theprofile of the late Henry Sherwood, the 4thpremier for Canada West. The former premier had just died a few weeksafter Ned and his family had arrived in Canada in 1855. The way hehandled the job for the publisher was impressive to the publisher whogave him access to high profile jobs. His business had to beconcentrated in the towns since the rural areas in Canada wereturbulent due to the formation of the 1855 militia. During the timehe arrived in Canada, the Militia Act of 1855 was passed to allowformation of armed militia.

Afterbeing able to access jobs, for bigger publishers, Ned focused onprinting, political stories that marked the Canadian historicaldevelopment. One of the main jobs he printed was stories of a seriesof elections in the British Colombia province since its incorporationin Canada in 1871. Ned and his publishers were able to get jobs inthe new province because there were not political affiliations ofparties in British Colombia (Ned, 1890). Instead, the designationswere Government, opposition and independent, which promotedneutrality. When the Varsity Newspaper was established in 1880, Nedand a team of printers were engaged by the publisher to print.Through the Varsity Newspaper, Ned was able to print educationalstories about education and student life.

Ned(1890) tells of how he discovered the increased in the number ofworkers with few companies being formed to employ the students. Herecalls several features of the Varsity Newspaper that urgedemployers and government to increase job opportunities. Because ofhis excellence in his work, Ned was able to secure independentcontracting jobs for corporations and public authorities. He was ableto beat the unemployment in the country at the time when jobs wereavailable from a few companies and government agencies only. The twomain private employers in Canada were companies Canadian PacificRailway (CPR) and the T.Eaton Co. Limited, a retail giantin the country.

Aswe talk in his living room, the newspaper at his table reads of thehottest news in the country right now, the gold rush. Most workerswere migrating to the areas in the country that had gold deposits towork in the mineral mines. The main region where workers aremigrating to is the Atlin in British Colombia province. As theprovince is holding its sixth elections now, the worry by mostworkers in the country is whether the new regime will support them inthe growing mining industry (Dickinson&amp Smith, 1995). The workingclass is anticipating an increase in the levels of their livingstandards as the economy grows from the mineral outputs. As a resultof economic growth in Atlin, the newspaper reports that thetransportation and communication infrastructure has improved, leadingto the gold rush as many workers are looking for jobs there.

Allin all, his family had got used to the Canadian culture and adaptedto the changing economic, social and political environment. Comingfrom the English land which had relative peace, Ned and his familyfound the new situation a little bit challenging. In addition, thesocial life of the young family was changed from the friendly andcohesive English culture to the new Canadian culture. The childrenfelt out of place until they created social circles in their newschools. Through his business and excellent printing jobs, he hasdiverse investments and a printing company in his name, and ran bytwo of his sons. The old man now rests in his house with his dearwife, celebrating their old age.


Dickinson,F.C., &amp Smith, D.S. (1995).&nbspAtlin:the Story of British Columbia`s Last Gold Rush.Atlin, British Columbia: Atlin Historical Society

Ned,PersonalInterview,17thJuly, 1890