Is the multiculturalism policy in Canada more a success or failure?

Topics: Culture, Canada, Multiculturalism Pages: 3 (1010 words) Published: November 23, 2013


Is the multiculturalism policy in Canada more a success or failure?

In modern globalization-oriented worldwide society, many countries and communities retain their cultural identity. However, Canada is one of the few that has officially adopted multiculturalism within itself. Naturally, multiculturalism is confused with diversity in racial and ethnical properties. To avoid this mislabelling, for the purposes of my essay, by a “multicultural” society I will assume a society where people of different cultures, nationalities, colour, and beliefs live together in one community. Therefore, multiculturalism is a diversity of two or more cultures in the same region or country. I would like to discuss the grounds on which multiculturalism exists in Canada, whether those grounds are legitimate, and whether the benefits of the policy offset the cost. As far as I am concerned, living in a multicultural society has three main disadvantages: lack of unity, constant conflict and resentment between cultures, and oversimplification of all cultural values in attempt to provide equal treatment to each culture.

Multiculturalism as an official policy was introduced by Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau in 1971. However, it is important to mention that the interpretation of the concept of multiculturalism changed dramatically at least a few times of the last few decades. As the matter of fact, some argue that conception of multiculturalism was to some extent accidental. Trudeau’s core intention at that time was to address the demands brought forward by French nationalists (Brotz, 1980, p. 41). Don Dawson comments: “The Canadian policy on multiculturalism is indeed muddled, and it is so because it was born of political expediency, not clear thinking.” . The concept was then broadened as a response to protests by ethnic groups, which felt unfairly, excluded from the equation. It became ruled under the flag of “cultural preservation”. In 1993, Tierney...

References: Brotz, H. (1980). Multiculturalism in Canada: A Muddle. Canadian Public Policy / Analyse de Politiques , 41-46.
Dawson, D. (1982). The Structural Realities of Canadian Multiculturalism: A Response to Roberts and Clifton. Canadian Public Policy / Analyse de Politiques , 608-611.
Sutherland, P. D. (2008). A Golden Mean Between Multiculturalism and Assimilation. Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review , 73-86.
Tierney, S. J. (2011). Multiculturalism and the Canadian Constitution. UBC Press.
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