Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Home Child Bonuses

Thanks to Dianne Nolin for a comment to a previous post pointing to a list of philanthropic organization emigrating children and youth receiving bonuses at $2 a head—Sessional Papers of Canada 1910:
Dr. Barnardo’s Home, $2,170;
Catholic Emigration Association, $266;
Children's Emigration Homes, Birmingham, $212;
Church of England Waifs and Strays Society, London, $170;
Geo. Greenway, Toronto, $144;
Hurst House Training Home, South Croydon, $26;
Miss Mac-Pherson’s House of Industry, London, $168;
Manchester and Salford Boys and Girls Refuges, Manchester, $104;
National Children’s Home and Orphanage, London, $148;
Orphan Homes of Scotland, $316;
Self Help Emigration Society, $78;
Sheltering Home, Liverpool, $278.

The government of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, prime minister from 1896 to 1911, was keen to stimulate development. It also paid bonuses to other types of agencies listed in the same sessional paper to build Canada's population.
Payment of incentives continued under governments of various stripes.
Maybe I should declare a conflict of interest here!
When I emigrated during the Pearson years, an interest free government loan paid my passage. Paid back within a year, the interest foregone was certainly greater than $2; and Canadian Pacific benefited from the extra passenger.
The charge has been made that some philanthropic organizations only migrated to Canada owing to the profit generated from Government of Canada bonuses.

According to the book Memoirs of the late Dr. Barnardo the cost to feed, clothe, and educate a healthy child for one year was £16 ($80)*.
At the time of his death in 1905 his organization had received a total of 3.25 million UK pounds in donations for his charitable work with children, much of it in small donations.
The government bonuses received, if $2 for each of the 15,687 migrated to Canada at the time of his death, amounted to less than one-tenth of one per cent of the total. Helpful, but a prime motivator for conducting a migration program?

*There's a chart of historic exchange rates in Appendix C at https://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/dollar_book.pdf

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