A Railway from Sea to Sea
In 1871, British Columbia joined Canada once Ottawa had given a promise that a railway would be built out to the West Coast. This promise was fulfilled on November 7, 1885, when the director of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Donald Smith (Lord Strathcona) hammered in the final spike. The railway was built with finance from Britain and America and the workers were mainly European and Chinese. Subsequently the Chinese were discriminated against, e.g. made to pay a Head Tax, a fee to enter Canada based on race. The Canadian government issued an apology for this policy in 2006. However, the railway realised a long-cherished ambition for Canada and symbolised national unity.