Multiculturalism in Canada
The concept of ‘Multiculturalism’ came into existence in 1960 in Canada to oppose the concept of ‘Biculturalism’ which was publicized by the B&B Royal Commission. The concept of multiculturalism is used to refer three different types of perceptions- the society which is based on racial or diverse culture, the feeling of mutual respect, understanding and equality among the racial and heterogenic cultured population and to refer the policies which were implemented in 1971 by federal government. The Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau has announced the policy of multiculturalism on 8 October 1971 to safeguard and foster the diversity, to acknowledge the rights of inhabitants and to assist the two formal languages of Canada. Furthermore, in 1988, the act of multiculturalism named as ‘The Canadian Multiculturalism Act’ has been established by Brian Mulroney to promote the involvement of ethnic groups so as to shape up the society of Canada in various aspects such as ethnicity, race, diverse languages and religion etc. Thus, multiculturalism in Canada has been viewed as a new inspiration to promote global understanding among all racial groups. (Multiculturalism)
Critical analysis of Canadian Multiculturalism
Can we continue to practice Multiculturalism as we have been? Why or why not? If changes are necessary, what sort of changes would those be? How would we know those changes would work?
The policy of multiculturalism has been viewed positively as well as negatively by the Canadians. For French Canadians it is not good for their community, some of them think that it is only the means of reinforcing the strength of Anglo-Saxons by distracting the non-French and English from political and economic matters or by not including the racial groups in power. Many of the critics considered the policies as a good method to get racial groups vote. (Canada)
According to John Porter, a sociologist it would treat the minorities as an insignificant people and undermines the social integrity. Neil Bissoondath claimed that the concept of multiculturalism came into existence just to divide the Canadians by focussing on the differences. But the more inclination is towards the positive side of this policy as the policy has been backed by majorities.
1. Multiculturalism has been considered as a dream of Canadians, a good concept and a part of national oneness and unity.
2. It supports the culture of minorities and identifies the Canada as a ‘multicultural country’ composed of various racial communities such as English, Scottish, Ukrainian, Irish, and French etc.
3. The policy promotes the diversity, develop the feeling of equality and respect among communities, focussed on the rights of minor sections.
4. Multiculturalism is a method of developing the communities and controlling the relationships of ethnic groups.
5. It helps in reinforcing the heritage of different cultural groups and also focuses on integration.
Therefore, the practice of multiculturalism must be continued as pros of this policy outnumber the cons. It benefits the Canadian society in different ways and it also has been supported by the majority which ranked this policy on second position among all policies of the government. But the critic’s claims must also be taken into consideration and the government should improve the policy and make the changes wherever they are required. (laws)
The Changes that should be done
1. The policy should acknowledge the role of leadership of the French-Canadian society in developing the different cultural groups. The government should be responsible to fund the minor communities and support them financially and morally.
2. The central point of culture is the ‘Language’. A culture cannot survive without language. Therefore, multiculturalism should promote the learning of different languages. The learning programs should be implemented as well as funded by the government to create connections between peoples around the world and also the coming generation became aware of their past culture and heritage.
3. The best possible way for any community to continue its existence and the growth in Canada is to come forward in the support of the rights of every ethnical cultural group to flourish. They have to support each other or they will get extinct.
4. A very important agenda that is needed in Canada is to be built on the basis of respect and tolerance of diversity of culture. The policy of power sharing should be in such a way that there should be the better reflection of the societies.
5. In government agencies such as provincials, federal and the municipal level, there should be better understanding about the multiculturalism. Understanding should be first, advanced and foremost.
Despites the critics, there is a policy which is here for the future of the multiculturalism. This policy exists because there is no other substitute available. This will remain the key part of the Canadian society. The important aspect of the policy’s positive implementation separates the Canada from other countries. Therefore, Canada remains the first choice of the immigrants to live, to work, to flourish and to earn their livelihood.
On the other side, multiculturalism never guarantees the possible integration of the millions of immigrants that are likely to arrive in Canada in coming future. If there will be the little difference between the multiculturalism and the immigrant’s integration, then the ongoing debates on the topic of multiculturalism, may be or may not distract one from addressing the most critical issues.
There are both positive and negative aspects of Canadian society, but the positives are in majority. In Canadian society, multiculturalism is a good idea in their thoughts. As we know that the policy came into existence in 1971 and the multiculturalism was backed up by the heavy majority’s polls. Multiculturalism is admired as the nation’s identity. In 1985, some questions were asked by the Pollster Michael Adams to the Canadian about what make them proud then it was found that multiculturalism was on the tenth number of the list. After that same thing was asked in 2006 and this time multiculturalism was on the second place.
The multiculturalism is proudly supported by the Canadians but they also want that immigrants should also support and follow the principles of the multiculturalism. There are many polls that show the majority of the Canadians are agreed on the fact that immigrants do not follow the Canadian ethics. If we talk about the economy, than Canada is a big investor in immigration as compared to the other countries. From last decade, there are millions of immigrants that are admitted by the Canada. Alone in Toronto, every year about 100000 immigrants are welcomed.
The term “Multiculturalism” is varying in Canada. There are different concepts of multiculturalism such as the education, the policies etc. Multiculturalism is very significant in a nation with the growth rate of about 50% due to the immigrants from other countries. Canada is a very diverse country with lot of immigrants belonging from different countries, religions, and cultures. It is a fact that the strength lies in diversity but it is also very hard to manage the peoples from different background.
Canada. (n.d.). http://reviewcanada.ca/magazine/2010/07/getting-past-yes-or-no/.
laws. (n.d.). http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-18.7/page-1.html.
Multiculturalism. (n.d.). Multiculturalism – Canada.ca.