Canada and Multiculturalism Essay

Submitted By corbsters
Words: 1249
Pages: 5

* Canada is often described as a multicultural nation. This means that Canadians are not of any one cultural background, race or heritage. Instead, Canadians today reflect a vast diversity of cultural heritages and racial groups. Canada is truly a multicultural country as Canada ensures that all citizens can keep their identities, can take pride in their ancestry and have a sense of belonging. As more and more immigrants come to Canada searching for a better life, the population naturally becomes more diverse. The Government of Canada recognizes the diversity of Canadians as regards to national or ethnic origin, colour and religion, as a fundamental characteristic of Canadian society, and is committed to a policy of multiculturalism designed to preserve and enhance the multicultural heritage of Canadians while working to achieve the equality of all Canadians in the economic, social, cultural and political life of Canada. These themes will be discussed to prove that Canada is truly a multicultural country. * The 1991 Canadian census showed that the population had changed more noticeable in the last ten years than at any other time in the twentieth century, with one out of four Canadians identifying themselves as black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Metis or Native. In 2006 Statistics Canada reported that more than 200 different ethnic origins made up the Canadian population. Eleven of these ethnic origins passed the 1 million mark. An estimated 5,068,100 individuals were members of the visible minority population. They represented 16.2% of the total population in 2006 up from 13.4% in 2001. In 2006 Statistic Canada reported that Catholic’s made up 43.6% of the population with the balance being Protestant, Jewish, Lutheran, Muslim, Buddhist etc. * Most people agree that an important first step in successfully joining multiple cultures is to develop an understanding of each other’s background. Multiculturalism can lead to many great outcomes, including racial and ethnic harmony, which simply means that people from different backgrounds get along well together. Living with and accepting different cultures helps us understand each other and discourage hatred and violence. When multiculturalism is looked at simply as meaning the existence of a culturally integrated society, many people have no problem understanding that concept. But, when you go beyond that and try to suggest a different way of looking at a culturally integrated society, everyone seems to have a different opinion. Canada takes the concept of multiculturalism a step further with its importance of individual freedom. In the book the “Delectable Lie”, Salim Mansur said, “The importance of individual freedom, that's what Canada represents. So if it is a matter of freedom, than the cultures that don’t respect freedom or gender equality or minority culture, how can those cultures be given equal treatment?“1. What Salim Mansur doesn’t take into consideration is that Canada protects the freedom of all individuals and this is afforded to all cultures. If those cultures choose to ignore or not participate in this freedom that is their choice as long as they do not break any laws. There is much ethnic diversity in Canada and there are four out of five citizens that live in neighborhoods with some or many persons of different ethnic or racial backgrounds. In fact, 40% of people surveyed said they have family members of different ethnic or racial backgrounds. 79% said they believed "multiculturalism is important in uniting Canada and 90% believed that promoting equality among Canadians of all origins regardless of racial or ethnic origin was important.”2 With this type of ethnic diversity an opportunity existed for Canada to step up and lead the way for a multicultural nation.
Canada didn’t just pay lip service to the concept of multiculturalism it acted on it from a governmental level. Canada officially became a multicultural society in