Good to talk about Canadian values, and let’s think it through: Andrew Cardozo

Good piece by Andrew Cardozo going through all the limitations in values testing for immigrants and proposing a more positive approach:

But this is not to say we cannot talk about Canadian values or tell newcomers—and immigration applicants, about Canadian values; that way they can know what to expect or decide not to come here if they don’t like any of our values.

The healthier way is to be strong and clear about these values, because there is no question that some of our values are not universally held or practised. Besides some Canadian-born folks who have old-fashioned ideas, there are some newcomers who come with attitudes of inequality as compared to the “Canadian norm.” Many people come here precisely because of our values and others come here without considering what that may mean for them and their families and children.

Not only is it healthier and nicer, it is a more successful way to encourage newcomers to embrace the values of our liberal democratic society. Being proudly progressive and Canadian is the best way to root out many of the attitudes of inequality and discrimination across all communities.

The thing about the uniquely “Canadian values” of equality and respect is that they are fairly clear, only fairly. Some are legislated, some are not. And it is that complex and careful balancing over time—with lots of variation and nuance—that allows for a free and peaceful society. Fundamentalist societies are the ones that allow for no deviation and they generally are not very peaceful or cohesive.

Source: Good to talk about Canadian values, and let’s think it through – The Hill Times – The Hill Times

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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