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

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 South Asian, Chinese, Black, Filipino, Latin American, Arab, Southeast Asian, West Asian, Korean and Japanese.
Sources explain “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.”
The designation has been criticized. Many people who the Act deems as “visible minorities” are neither visible nor, in some communities, the minority. “Newer” is misleading and incorrect, as people of African descent have been in Canada since the 1600’s.