1998: “Visible Minority” is now used as a departmental standard for Statistics Canada

“Visible Minority” refers to whether a person belongs to a visible minority group as defined by the Employment Equity Act and, if so, the visible minority group to which the person belongs. The Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as ‘persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.’ The visible minority population consists mainly of the following groups: South Asian, Chinese, Black, Filipino, Latin American, Arab, Southeast Asian, West Asian, Korean and Japanese.
Sources say “The qualifier “visible” was chosen by the Canadian authorities as a way to single out “newer” immigrant minorities from both Aboriginal Canadians and other “older” minorities distinguishable by language (French vs. English) and religion (Catholics vs. Protestants), which are “invisible” traits”.
However, the UN Working Group for the International Decade for People of African Descent at the invitation of the Canadian government visited Canada in 2016 and has criticized this terminology.
BCBHAS: Many people that Canada deems as “visible minorities” are neither visible and in some communities are not the minority. As for “newer”, People of African Descent have been here since the 1600’s.