Former Governor-General Clarkson says Canada has redefined citizenship

Globe immigration/citizenship reporter Joe Friesen’s interview with Adrienne Clarkson on citizenship:

You say citizenship is an act of imagination. What does that mean?

It means we imagine ourselves as part of a democratic structure, as equal, as able to get on with our lives without having to worry about our rights. We behave “As if” people who come here will be able to take their place in society and by doing that they are able to do so. [Northrop] Frye said that our imagination gives us our vision of what our society is and what it could be. Rather than having a grid imposed on us, we have become part of each other’s wishes, part of each other’s dreams and in the process we’re creating a new kind of society.

Situates citizenship (and multiculturalism) within that context, unlike many critics who forget, intentionally or not, that the Canadian approach, while allowing considerable flexibility and accommodation, happens within that context.

Former Governor-General Clarkson says Canada has redefined citizenship – The Globe and Mail.

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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