I Would Be?
When I was asked about where my ancestors immigrated from, immediately I knew it was Scotland. Both of my mother and father's side are from Scotland originally. The two sides go way back in history and there is much information about them both. But of course I can only pick one, so i'm going to focus on my mother's side which are the “Hutchisons”. The Hutchisons originated in Ross Shire, Scotland before coming to Canada in 1825. Ross Shire is a historic country in the Scottish Highlands and it is well known for mountain scenery (Wikipedia).
This is a picture of Ross Shire located in Scotland. Digital image. Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 2015. Web. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross-shire_(UK_Parliament_constituency)>.
According to a report of the Hutchison family history, Alexander Hutchison was the first born in 1806 and died in 1884. He came to Canada from Ross Shire, Scotland in 1825 at the age of 19 and after two years at Cornwall and Oakville, he then settled in Fergus. He had a rough passage to get to this land. He mentioned there was a fire on board the ship from his journey to Canada. Alexander was by trade a cooper and carpenter, and helped build some of the early houses in Fergus. He is said to have built the first house in Arthur. Arthur was started by James Webster, the co-founder of Fergus in the fall of 1840. The first building was used to house immigrants with as many as six or seven families living there. Alexander is listed as attending St. Andrews dinner in Fergus in 1837. As with other deserving settlers it was decided that Alexander Hutchison deserved land and after a time in Fergus he settled on Concession 9 in Garafraxa on land awarded by the crown. Shortly after Alexander moved to the farm in Garafraxa, he married a girl named Anne Vickers who was born in 1823 and was 23 when she married Alexander who was 40. This was the start of the Hutchison generation and I find it fascinating how it all started in 1825 before Canada was even named a country.
Nobody in my family really knew the reason for Alexander Hutchison leaving scotland since it was so long ago, but according to a conversation I had with my Grandpa Hutchison, many people left Scotland for the reason it had poor conditions and the land was mostly rock so that lead farming to be difficult (Hutchison). Some push factors consist of being forced off their crofts (rented land) during the highland and lowland clearances to make way for sheep grazing due to the British Agricultural Revolution. Another factor could have been the potato famine but that was said to have happened in 1840s. Scotland also had crop failures and as I mentioned before, the land wasn’t too great for farming. Also as I mentioned earlier, Ross Shire had many mountains which once again would make farming difficult since there was not much flat land. This leads into some important pull factors include that Canada had plenty of land and jobs and new opportunities which created a pull factor. People in this time must have thought that Canada would have great land for farming and that it would be the perfect place to settle. Many people in Scotland thought of Canada as this perfect place to start a new beginning which influenced many Scotland people to move there.
Scotland And The Industrial Revolution. Digital image. Education Scotland, 2011. Web.
According to Scotland.org, currently the employment in Scotland has increased by 17,000 and the rate is 73.5% which is the highest employment rate of the UK’s four countries. Scotland's youth employment has increased by 15,000 over the year to reach its highest November to January level since 2009. Scotland is known for highly regulated good working practices and conditions that safeguard employees. Has accessible on going education for all ages and languages. Also has a wide spectrum of industry opportunities, at many different levels (Scotland.org). According to the CIA Factbook, the unemployment rate in Scotland is 6.1%. According to MyWorldOfWork, the current rates for the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage are:
- 25 and over: £7.20
- 21 to 24: £6.70
- 18 to 20: £5.30
- Under 18: £3.87
The working time regulations are very similar to here in Canada, for example, you don’t need to work more than 48 hours a week, if you work more than 6 hours you are entitled a break, and the list goes on (Scotland.org). Also the same goes for the youth, there are many regulations that Scotland follows and to no surprise they are very similar to Canada.
Moving on to education, Scotland has an excellent world-wide reputation in education according to Scotland.org. Scotland has a comprehensive state education system and all children attend school from age 5-16 years, with the option of continuing until the age of 18. All children are provided with free nursery education for two years prior to beginning school. Scotland also offers further and higher education through a network of world class universities and colleges (Scotland.org). According to the CIA Factbook, Scotland's literacy rate is 99%. I find that remarkably good considering the population is around 5.2 million. With such high literacy, people in Scotland can have the ability to find great jobs and have access to be apart of well known education systems.
Furthermore, the research that I have found about Scotland's health care system is very practical. People living in Scotland can take advantage of a full and diverse range of healthcare, with the National Health Service (NHS). As well, both private and complementary medicine practices available. According to Scotland.org, the majority of NHS provision is free and any care which is accessed privately is paid for directly or usually through private health care insurance schemes. Newcomers to the UK are eligible for free NHS care, only if they have valid permits with one being a visa. NHS includes free advice from the doctor, medicine treatment, and medicine. The things the health care doesn't cover are some GP services, dental treatment, optical treatment, but the eye tests are free in Scotland (TalentScotland). The average life expectancy in Scotland is around 76.5 years old according to bbc.com. Scotland allows 100% people living there to have access to clean water and 99% have access to sanitation facilities.
The Rights and Freedoms in Scotland are set out in common law, with its strongest roots being in the Bill of Rights 1689, as well as the European legislation. Human rights in Scotland are given legal effect through the Scotland Act 1998. Section 52(2) of the act states, “A member of the Scottish Executive has no power to make an subordinate legislation, or to do any other act, so far as the legislation or act is incompatible with any of the convention rights” (Scotland Act 1998). The Equality and Human Rights Commision works to eliminate discrimination and promote equality towards age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief, and so on. The EHRC promotes the importance of human rights through teaching, research and public awareness and education programs. Also involves the government and parliament by making recommendations on existing and proposed laws and the process that will impact on human rights (Gov.scot).
Overall, I think that life in Scotland would be very similar to Canada for the reasons that education, healthcare, employment, and Rights and Freedoms are all alike to Canada's. If my ancestors did not move to Canada, I believe that my life would be about the same. As you can see above, many of the information that I have found about Scotland reminds me of Canada and how these two countries are so alike. After doing this research, I am glad that my ancestors made the trek to Canada for the reason that it is such a great country and there are many wonderful aspects to it. But I feel if my ancestors hadn’t moved to Canada and stayed in Ross Shire, Scotland, my life would be pretty similar other than growing up in such a different environment. It's hard to imagine that my life would have been completely different if my ancestors hadn’t decided to move. I am truly glad that I have been raised here in Canada.
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"Your Rights in Work." My World of Work. Web. 30 May 2016. <https://www.myworldofwork.co.uk/getting-job/your-rights-work>.
"Life Expectancy in Scotland Increases." BBC News. Web. 30 May 2016. <http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29645276>.
"Scottish Government." Protecting and Promoting Human Rights at Home and Abroad. Web. 30 May 2016. <http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Justice/policies/human-rights>.
"Scottish Canadians." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 30 May 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Canadians>.
Hutchison. Don. Personal Interview, 26 May 2016.