A Changing Society
Over the last half-century, Canada has become a more open and tolerant society. School and university opportunities were increasingly made available to women, and the female representation in the workforce increased because of this.
Before World War II, the majority of Canadians descended from Asian immigrants were not permitted to vote in federal or provincial elections. In 1948 Japanese-Canadians, the last excluded group, were given the vote. Aboriginal peoples were permitted to vote from 1960. In present-day Canada, all citizens aged 18+ may vote.
Canada has welcomed many thousands of refugees from oppression and war; these include around 37,000 Hungarians who escaped Soviet dictatorship in 1956. When the communist forces triumphed in the Vietnam war in 1975, large numbers of Vietnamese people escaped, with 50,000 of them being granted a safe haven in Canada.
Because Canada has always been so welcoming to immigrants, it is naturally a place where multiculturalism has gained much ground. By the 1960s, a third of Canadians had no British or French heritage and were proud to maintain their culture as part of Canadian society. Canadian life today, particularly in cities, is enriched by multiculturalism.