As Canada’s immigration population exploded in the 20th century, a reaction to it by white Anglo-Saxon Protestants was brewing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Specifically, this reaction manifested itself into a pseudo-science puff program known as eugenics.
More ideological than scientific, the eugenics movement sought to improve (or at least maintain) the human race (well, certain races anyway) by manipulating reproduction. Notions of “feeble mindedness” and immigrants with “weak genes diluting the strong Canadian racial stock” were the bedrock of the movement in Canada. It found many supporters particularly among women, most of whom worked for women’s suffrage and temperance groups.