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The Pros And Cons Of Multiculturalism In Canada

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Multiculturalism has been an integral part of Canada since its adoption by the Trudeau government in 1971 and its formal implementation through The Canadian Multiculturalism Act in 1988 (Burnett and Dreidger, 2014). Multiculturalism has allowed for Canada to engage in a complex social, political, and economic experiment that has heavily informed policy and decision making. In this essay I shall argue that multiculturalism in it’s current form is a failed project. The noble goals of positive social, economic, and educational development as well as the preservation of culture and identity have shifted. The focus of market strategy in multicultural policy has diluted the main tenets of multiculturalism. The search for a meaningful life, trust,…show more content…
At its core, multiculturalism is an approach which can be used to foster and sustain ethnic and cultural differences by using social, economic and educational mean to celebrate diversity. (Hasmath 2016). Using The Canadian Multiculturalism Act as the basis of understanding multicultural policy, particularly sections three and five, which outline the policy and actions government must take to enact them, it can be inferred that the goals of Canadian government are to foster and include all cultures, ethnicities and religions in society. Using demographic trends, the government can understand how certain groups settle within Canada and how to accommodate their needs (Citizen and Immigration Canada 2012). There is a fundamental belief in rights of the citizen regardless of origin (Canadian Justice Laws 2016). This diversity is encouraged in the social, economic spheres but there is a disregard for the political agency of ethnic groups. The market strategy approach strips groups of political involvement by relegating their role as extraneous to the majority population, and a glorified decoration for Canadian society to appeal to more immigrants (Robinson 2011,…show more content…
The current intentions of multicultural policy is to appeal and retain immigrant populations in Canada (Adsett 2011, 47-48). In the essay “More than a Market Strategy: Multiculturalism and A Meaningful Life” by Andrew M. Robinson he argues this point. He states that that federal multicultural policy has shifted away from the foundations of a meaningful life, a key component of a healthy multiculturalism, towards a market strategy (Robinson 2011, 38). Robinson argues that Canadas motives for multiculturalism is less about fostering diversity and more of scheme to make Canada appear as a better option for immigrants to work and live; multiculturalism is used like an advertising campaign (Robinson 2011,29). For example, The Canadian Multiculturalism Act section (5) subsection (d) appears to work in the best interests of marginalized groups and ethnic minorities by focusing on strategies to integrate ethnic businesses into the economy but there is an underlying goal to assimilate these groups into the mainstream, as well as benefit from their businesses that fill a niche. (Canadian Justice Laws 2016). In this way groups become depoliticized, as tools the state can use to mobilize interest and multicultural appeal when it is suitable (Robinson
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