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2018 | 44 | 4 (170) | 59–75

Article title

The Assistance of Canada and the Polish Diaspora in Canada to Polish Immigrants in the 1980s and 1990s



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In the 1980s and 1990s, Canada accepted more than 115,000 Polish immigrants. Some of them went through refugee camps in Western Europe, some arrived in Canada from the U.S., and there were also those who came directly from Poland. This great influx of Poles to Canada was caused by a confluence of factors. The most vital was obviously the economic and political situation in Poland, but Canada’s immigration policy also played a significant role, particularly the new regulations enacted in 1978. They gave temporary preferences for East-European Self-Exiled Persons – those who left the Communist bloc and could not or did not want to return to their home countries. It is worth emphasizing that the Self-Exiled class formally existed in Canada until as late as 1990. Moreover, the new Canadian regulations enabled admitting immigrants who were sponsored by Canadian residents. This allowed the Canadian Polish Congress (CPC), following the1981 agreement with the Minister of Employment and Immigration, to act as a guarantor to persons and institutions bringing in immigrants. With the cooperation of the CPC, ethnic organizations, and Roman Catholic Church institutions, a network of Polish information and aid centers was established in Canada. They were actively supporting the Canadian system of assistance for new immigrants, helping the newly arrived to adapt to life in a new country.


  • Jagiellonian University in Kraków


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Publication order reference


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