Work hard or stay home

Be prepared to work hard or stay home, was the advice offered to prospective immigrants to Manitoba on April 15, 1879 by the Winnipeg Daily Times in the following article.

Immigrants and adventurers. The people we need and those we don’t want. A floating population who find it hard to float.

The eyes of all Canada are upon Manitoba. Our young province is already known throughout Britain and Europe. Never was there a new country as well advertised, but with the rush of European farmers and business men, we have had our quota of ne’er-do-wells and adventurers who come here to better their finances, if possible, and forget the past.

At the present time there are in the different hotels in this city, men who have come to this country without any definite plans whatever, without energy, capital or experience, young men who have never had a dollar in their lives, middle-aged men who have wasted a youth and expect, simply because it is a new country, to live without work and drop into some wonderful speculation by which they will become independently wealthy.

Undoubtedly there may be found among the throng of unemployed laborers, many honest workers who have met disappointment in one shape or another since they came here. Unfortunately there can be only sympathy extended to them; but to the others, who came here without an object save that of speculation, or who squandered the means which should have been invested in some one of the many safe enterprises which Manitoba holds forth, no consideration should be shown.

To the man who is willing to labor, labor should be given; and, although in a new country where there are so many men looking for employment it is difficult to distinguish between the worthy and unworthy; yet there should be no encouragement given to the willfully, helpless though genteel vagabond. It is difficult to tell who is who, it is hard to discriminate between the rascal and the unfortunate, but we strongly advise those who expect to come here to have an easy time of it, who hope for luck and that sort of thing, to remain where they are.

Unfamiliar Canadian history stories 064

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