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In this weeks classes we will examine…

-Multicultural Policy in Canada
-The Development of Canada as a
Multicultural nation
-The Pros and the Cons of Multiculturalism
-The Face of Multiculturalism in Canada today
Multiculturalism – The Basics

• A 2001 census done by Statistics Canada reported that

43.3 percent of Canadians claimed an ethnic
background other than Canadian, French or British.
• In 2006, more than 200 different mother tongue
languages were reported to be in use in Canada.
• Ethnicity: The language, religion, dialect and cultural
heritage that commonly define a certain group.
• Ethnic Origin: Refers to the ethnic or cultural group to
which an individual’s ancestors belonged. This pertains
to the ancestral roots or origins of the population, NOT to
place of birth, citizenship or nationality.
Multiculturalism- The Basics
• Ethnic groups in Canada are unevenly mixed throughout
the population.
• In 2001, 94% of immigrants who had arrived during the
1990s were living in metropolitan areas. (Big Cities)
• Nearly three quarters of them lived in Toronto, Vancouver
and Montreal.
• World history shows that many states can successfully
accommodate vast economic differences, and they do so in
2 major ways:
• The Melting Pot
• The Mosaic
Multiculturalism- The Basics
• The Melting Pot: A method of cultural integration that
concentrates on a coming together of cultures based on
shared experiences and a commitment to shared political
ideas and values.

• Different cultures “boil down” and melt together into one

• This process involves cultural assimilation: Blending in to

the dominant culture of the land.

• The United States provides an example of the “melting pot”

method of cultural integration.
The Melting Pot
Multiculturalism- The Basics
• The Mosaic: This approach has been to encourage
different cultures to exist side-by-side in harmony and
• The “Mosaic” forms the basis of the ideology that governs
• It encourages the retention and promotion of ethnic and
cultural differences instead of the “melting” together of
• Canada stands as an example of the “Mosaic” and bases
itself on a model that integrates different cultural interests
• This approach was established and is defended through the
Constitution and continued policies –bilingualism,
multiculturalism, different rights and equality provisions.
The Mosaic
Multiculturalism- The Basics
• When non-English or non-French speaking immigrants
choose Canada, they usually learn to speak English or
French and this begins a process of cultural layering.
• Cultural layering is adopting different multiple layers
(cultural aspects) from other cultures and adding them to
your experiences and world view.
• Canadians have “layered” cultures… not just immigrants
• Antoine Maillett Acadian, French, Canadian.
• As the flow of immigrants to Canada increases and the
ethnic composition of the country changes, there is a
growing challenge to maintain the balance between
national loyalty and respect for diversity.
Immigration: Patterns and Policies
• Immigration is a shared jurisdiction between the federal and
provincial governments.

• Both levels of government consult annually about desired

numbers of immigrants and settlement measures.

• Quebec selects the immigrants it wishes to settle in the

province independently due to the Canada-Quebec Accord
Immigration: Patterns

• Since Confederation, immigrants have come to Canada in

several large waves.
• The first three were related to depressed economic/post-
War conditions in Europe.
• First wave(1896-1914): Mainly British labourers, Eastern
European peasants and US farmers.
• Second wave(mid-1920s): Central and Eastern
• Immigration ceased briefly during the Great Depression.
• Third Wave: Began after WW2 and lasted until 1960. This
wave saw mostly well-educated Europeans immigrating.
Immigration Since Confederation
Immigration: Policies
• The Canadian Bill of Rights (1960) dramatically changed
Canada’s immigration policy.

• For the first time, a federal law in Canada barred

discrimination on the grounds of race, national origin, colour,
religion or gender.

• In 1962, changes in federal immigration regulations shifted

the main source of immigrants from those of British or
French origins to Asians.

• Immigration levels rose again in the mid-1960s in a fourth

wave that has remained well above 100 000
immigrants/year until today.
Immigration: Policies
• In the 1960s Canada introduced a points system that
favoured highly skilled foreigners by assigning points for
education and work experience and accepting those who
earned high scores.

• In 1992, at the pinnacle of the fourth wave, Canada

accepted 253 000 immigrants and refugees.

• In 1995 a 10-year immigration plan took effect and

increasing numbers of immigrants were selected on the
basis of their skills and their capacity to contribute to
Canadian society and the economy.
Immigration: The Extent
• Throughout the 90s Canada accepted, annually, about
1% of its population in immigrants… roughly 235 000/year
• This number has increased to about 240,000/year since
• Of the 1.8 million immigrants who arrived between 1991
and 2001, 58% came from Asia and the Middle East and
20% from Europe.
• Nearly two-thirds of Canada’s yearly population growth
comes from immigrants.
Immigration: The Result
• This immigration has created a multi-ethnic population and
provided the fuel for economic growth in Canada.
• Between 2001 and 2006 immigrants added more than 1.6
million Canadians, this was responsible for raising Canada’s
population growth rate from 4% to 5.4%
• In 2006, Canada had the highest growth rate of all G8
countries, due to immigration.
Population Growth in G8 Countries from 2001
to 2006
• Over the years, the reception and accommodation of
newcomers to Canada has changed considerably.
• The initial tendency was towards assimilation.
• Later, during the high immigration period (1940s and
1950s), cultural pluralism or multiculturalism began to
take hold.
• Multiculturalism: Within the context of Canadian
citizenship and economic and political integration, ethnic
customs and cultures should be valued, preserved and
• This is an integrative approach as opposed to an
assimilationist one.
• The basic assumption of this policy is that confidence in
one’s own cultural foundations helps break down
prejudice and discrimination between groups.

• Reasons for the change:

• Economic prosperity in Canada had eased cultural conflicts
and a new wave of immigrants (many whom were educated
and professional Europeans) helped break down the rigid
correlation between socio-economic class and ethnicity.
• Britain was declining as a super-power and Canadian
nationalism required a new self-image that distinguished
itself from the U.S. and their “melting pot” immigration
• Canada’s historical relationship with Quebec (2 nations in
one state) provided a good conceptual framework in which
to consider multiculturalism.
Multiculturalism: The Policy
• In the early 1970s, the federal government and the
provincial governments of Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan
and Alberta formally adopted a policy of multiculturalism.
• In 1971, the federal government defined Canada as being
“multicultural within a bilingual English-French framework”
and established a Cabinet position in government of the
Minister of the State for Multiculturalism.
• Multiculturalism Act was passed in 1988
• A governmental department Multiculturalism and Citizenship
Canada was established in 1991.
• All-in-all Canada has been rather successful with adopting
Multiculturalism, although it has had its share of challenges.
Multiculturalism Act 1988
• A. Canadian Multiculturalism Act (Bill C-93)
• Bill C-93, which provided a statutory framework for the existing policy, was
adopted by Parliament in July 1988 and immediately given Royal Assent.
Passage of this legislation has imbued the principle of racial and cultural
equality with the force of law.

• The Act recognizes the need to increase minority participation in society by

ensuring that federal institutions are responsive to the multicultural reality of
Canada. Moreover, all government agencies, departments and Crown
corporations – not just the ministry responsible for multiculturalism – are
expected to provide leadership in advancing Canada’s multicultural mix.

• It is also noteworthy that the Act makes the government accountable to both
Parliament and the public for ensuring compliance with its provisions by
requiring annual reports. A multiculturalism secretariat was established to
support the government in implementing improved delivery of government
services in federal institutions.
Multiculturalism Chronology
• 1996 - The federal government established the Canadian Race Relations
• 1997 - The Minister of State for Multiculturalism announced a renewed
multiculturalism program.
• 2002 - The federal government announced that Canadian Multiculturalism
Day will be held on 27 June each year.
• 2005 - In the February budget, the federal government announced
commemorative and educational initiatives to highlight the contributions of
groups that have troubling memories as a result of historical events during
times of war, or as a result of immigration policies of the day.
• 2005 - In March, the federal government released A Canada for All:
Canada’s Action Plan Against Racism.
• 2005 - Between August and November, the federal government announced
agreements-in-principle with the Ukrainian-Canadian, Italian-Canadian, and
Chinese-Canadian communities as part of the Acknowledgement,
Commemoration, and Education Program announced in the February 2005
• As of 2001, almost 4 million Canadians were part of visible
minority groups.
• Employment Equity Act: “Persons other than Aboriginal peoples,
who are non-Caucasian in race or non-White in colour.”
• The number of visible minorities in Canada is growing much
faster than the population itself.  25% 1996-2001,
Population 4%
• After 2001, Chinese constituted the largest visible minority
• More than half of Canada’s visible minorities live in Ontario
and British Columbia. In 2001 they formed 36.8% of
Toronto’s population.
• In spite of Canada’s multicultural policy, ethnic tensions still
• Studies show that visible minorities are more likely to suffer
from racial discrimination than Caucasian/European
• Racial discrimination: Is the imposition of handicaps,
barriers and different treatment on individuals because of
their race.
• Systemic Discrimination: Unintentional, institutional form of
racism that manifests itself in high levels of unemployment
and exclusion from certain sectors of the economy.
• The worst levels of racism in Canadian history have been;
the Chinese head tax to prevent Chinese from immigrating
to Canada, the internment of Japanese Canadians during
WW2 and the poor treatment of Native people.
• Prevalence: In a 2002 government survey on ethnic
diversity asked people whether they had been discriminated
against because of their ethnicity, culture, race, skin,
language, accent or religion. 93% said they had never or
rarely experienced discrimination due to these reasons.
Further Resources
• Ethnic Diversity Survey --

• Canada Gov. site


• Jean Leonard Elliot and Augie Fleras Unequal Relations:

An Introduction to Race and Ethnic Relations in Canada.