Multiculturalism (7/10)

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Canada: a population of 32 millions… and we are all different. Isn’t it nice?
multiculturalism

Granted, these pictures mostly depict Chinatown… well, we all have our favorite neighborhood, right? But the country is truly diverse: traditional Chinatowns and Little Italy area can be found close by Ukrainian, Russian, South-East Asian, Latino and Indian neighborhoods, and I bet you could find a community newspaper in almost every language on earth in Canada.

As a “new country”, Canada has always been a destination for immigrants. Event though the first draft of a Canadian citizenship was only created in 1910, four major waves of immigration have already taken place:

  • The French settlement in Quebec and Acadia
  • The English and Irish settlement
  • A wave of immigrants from Western Europe right before WW1 and after WW2
  • A current wave of immigrants mostly from Asia and India

Since the seventies, immigrants are mostly visible minorities from developing countries. According to Stats Canada, Canada has 34 ethnic groups with at least one hundred thousand members each and 13.4% of the population belongs to visible minorities. And the trend will continue: between 225,000-275,000 newcomers make Canada their home every year and we have the highest per capita immigration rate in the world.

Indeed, Canada has a pretty good immigration policy, welcoming skilled workers to fill labor market needs, reuniting families under the sponsorship program and caring for refugees with a good humanitarian program.

The result is a truly multicultural country with a rich ethnic diversity… and we’re proud of it! Multiculturalism was even adopted in Canada as a national policy. For example:

  • Canada recognized dual citizenship
  • It supports newspapers, TV programs (like OMNI2) in several languages (Portuguese, Italian, Arabic, Chinese…)
  • It encourages minorities representation in the work force and in education
  • It offers support and help for newcomers in Canada (translation services, immigration advices etc.)

Generally speaking, the Canadian society is an undivided whole although extremely diverse. Liberal immigration policies aren’t criticized much here unlike in some country and both the Conservative and the Liberals acknowledge Canada’s diversity and need for immigration. Of course, problems arise, generally revolving around the acceptance of traditional and religious dress in society… mixed with the fact any society is prone to the irrational fear that its identity might disappears overnight. Ignorance exists everywhere.

Canadian multiculturalism… a model to follow? I’d say yes!

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

18 Comments

  1. I’m sure the mexican influence will grow too as we migrate north! (not me, but mexicans in general)

    Costco is definitely worth it, if you can pre-plan 3 weeks of meals at a time.

    With this year of not eating any meat, I’ve been really disciplined about what I eat so everything fits into that 3 week plan. Saturday to 3 weeks later saturday, then back to costco.

    Larger families probably go there more often. It’s definitely better than trying to do things weekly.

    It’s just pre-planning, that’s the key.

    sir jorge’s last blog post..Weekend Edition (Entrecard Crap,Personal Crap,Crap All Around)

  2. i always figured canada was a melting pot… i know a bunch of people who live in canada; a chinese guy, a bahraini, lebanese, and a frenchman.. i dont actually know any canadians

  3. I can’t wait the chance to visit this country after having been close to its border three times!
    I know it must have its downsides like everywhere else but every ones or your posts make it sound such an exciting place!
    Merci for sharing 🙂

  4. Mmmm, that reminds me of how Canada has a high sustainable index in terms of country survival.

    Multiculturalism is indeed beneficial as long as the home nation don’t forget it’s own heritage. Personally, I’d prefer nationalism to multiculturalism but then again, that’s just me.

    Shan’s last blog post..Nothing Wrong With P2P

  5. And the best part about diversity – the FOOD! I love being able to get almost every type of food imaginable – all a short street car ride away.

    Though I hope Sir Jorge is right – we need more Mexicans in Toronto. The only good place charges way too much for only decent food. I need good sopes that are cheap.

    Johnada’s last blog post..ANNUAL OSCAR PREVIEW

  6. I guess that’s one of the reasons why my brother likes Canada that much. He’s probably going to apply for a PR.
    I’d love to go to Canada one day. 🙂

    aline’s last blog post..Goodbye to winter

  7. Good point you raised there. I am also thinking of Canada as an option once I graduate and get my degree done with. Compared to the USA, Canada has a more open attitude with regard to foreigners, and I am afraid that the xenophobic attitude that the US government has may persuade me not to settle down here.

    I love to cross the border some day, something which, surprisingly enough, I haven’t done yet, even though the border is less than an hour away.

    Linguist-in-Waiting’s last blog post..Mirage

  8. Hi Zhu. I’m a recent arrival in Toronto, and yes, diversity hits you right on the face. I love the way so many cultures blend into one yet maintain their identities. Lovely blog.

    Priyank’s last blog post..Hibernation

  9. I’m coming! I’m coming! Let me get my passport already! 😛

    Ghosty’s last blog post..The Advancement of Culture (conclusion)

  10. Immigration isn’t always about bringing poverty and disruption to the local safety and economy. It could be the otherwise, by injecting new vigor and spirit to the stale economy and cultural background of the country. But, it’s always better to admit skilled workers and professionals then those who’d contribute nothing but crime and social problems to the society, just like what Singapore is doing.

    kyh’s last blog post..Gone rural

  11. @DianeCA – I love that too. I work close to Chinatown and in the summer I always go for a walk there, buying cheap stuffs 😉

    @Art – The USA must be quite diverse as well, right?

    @Spyder – Yep, me too. It’s more fun!

    @sir jorge – We don’t see the Mexican influence here much for now. Even Mexican food (real Mexican food!) is hard to find actually. But maybe in the future! I’d love to see more Latinos around, love the culture! Thanks for the info on Costco 😉

    @shionge – Yes, probably. And Canada is quite peaceful so it has a good reputation!

    @Froggywoogie – I don’t see the downsides personally. I love diversity and wish I had seen more where I grew up…

    Getting closer to Flogland by the minute, if the %$## plane finally leaves today! (Currently stuck in Montreal…) 😉

    @Shan – Given European history, I have an hard time with Nationalism. That said, I totally understand that it is necessary for some nation to be strong. Like China… at one point, they had too. 😉

    @Johnada – Need more Mexicans in Ottawa as well… Mexicali Rosas sucks! Love the food diversity too. Where else can you have Dim Sum, then Pizza, then curry??

    @aline – Good luck for him for applying! PR is quite easy to get actually,,, which is another reason why people come to Canada!

    @Linguist-in-Waiting – Same here — I rarely go to the USA and the border is only a hour drive from Ottawa!

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