One Canada vs. the multicultural mosaic – Local – The Prince Albert Daily Herald

Commentary by Salim Mansur, one of the critics of Canadian multiculturalism, building upon former Prime Minister Diefenbaker’s vision of “unhyphenated” Canadian identity.

Mansur mischaracterizes Canadian multiculturalism as being anything goes, all cultures equal etc. He fails to acknowledge that recognizing other cultural identities within common Canadian legal and other frameworks, integration can be enhanced as it is not an absolute either/or requirement. Again, while cultural expressions like food and folklore, or a general tolerance for religious symbols (save the niqab), these all take place within a Canadian context. Yes, there are excesses, some individuals and groups push for more, but major deepening of multiculturalism to allow religious based family courts or funding for faith-based schools were rejected). The Canadian model works better than any of the European models with range from unitary (France) to deep multiculturalism (Holland at one time).

He is right, of course, that today’s world – free communications, specialty TV channels, cheap travel – make it easier for people to maintain their identity of origin. And he is right to flag the risks of excessive accommodation to overall integration.

Not a balanced article but one view.

One Canada vs. the multicultural mosaic – Local – The Prince Albert Daily Herald.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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