Statement by the Prime Minister on Canadian Multiculturalism Day

More substantive than in previous years:

OTTAWA, ON, June 27, 2020 /CNW/ – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Canadian Multiculturalism Day:

“Today on Canadian Multiculturalism Day, I join Canadians across the country to celebrate our diversity and reaffirm our commitment to equity, inclusion, and mutual respect.

“Canadian Multiculturalism Day is an opportunity to recognize the important contributions that Canadians from different backgrounds have made – and continue to make – to build and shape a stronger, more diverse, and inclusive society.

“Multiculturalism is one of Canada’s greatest strengths and a vital component of our national fabric. All Canadians – regardless of ethnicity, religion, culture, or language – have the right to be true to who they are, and to live peacefully as friends, neighbours, and colleagues.

“While we have much to celebrate, we also recognize that we still have a lot of work to do to make this country fairer and more equal for everyone. Far too many racialized Canadians, including Indigenous peoples, Black Canadians, and Asian Canadians, face systemic racism and discrimination as a lived reality every single day. This includes micro-aggressions, which are harder to see by those who do not experience them, and systemic racism within our institutions, which too often condone, normalize, and perpetuate inequity and injustice against racialized Canadians.

“In the face of the pandemic, we’ve seen Canadians, from all backgrounds and walks of life, help their neighbours and support each other. But even during a time where we have come together, these last few weeks have highlighted that there’s more work to do as a country – especially when it comes to issues of discrimination and systemic racism.

“People across Canada and around the world have raised their voices and asked that we address the systemic racism that exists in our countries and in our institutions. We, the Government of Canada, need to work with racialized Canadians and Indigenous peoples in a meaningful way to end it. It does exist. It needs to stop. Racism and discrimination have no place in our society.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I invite Canadians to take part in one of the virtual eventsbeing held across the country and celebrate the diversity that makes us who we are. I also encourage you to talk with your neighbours, and take time to listen and learn from someone who has had a different life experience. By gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of the differences that make us stronger, we can build a more inclusive society.”

This document is also available at http://pm.gc.ca

Source: Statement by the Prime Minister on Canadian Multiculturalism Day

In contrast, the 2016 statement, his first year as PM:

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement to celebrate Canadian Multiculturalism Day:

“I join Canadians across the country today to celebrate multiculturalism, and our long and proud tradition of inclusion and diversity.

“As the first country in the world to adopt a policy of multiculturalism 45 years ago, Canada has shown time and time again that a country can be stronger not in spite of its differences, but because of them.

“As Canadians, we appreciate the immense freedom we have to show pride in our individual identities and ancestries. No matter our religion, where we were born, what colour our skin, or what language we speak, we are equal members of this great country.

“Our roots reach out to every corner of the globe. We are from far and wide, and speak over 200 languages. Our national fabric is vibrant and varied, woven together by many cultures and heritages, and underlined by a core value of respect. Multiculturalism is our strength, as synonymous with Canada as the Maple Leaf.

“Today, let us celebrate multiculturalism as a vital component of our national fabric, and let us express gratitude to Canadians of all backgrounds who have made, and who continue to make, such valuable contributions to our country.”

Source: Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on Multiculturalism …pm.gc.ca › news › statements › 2016/06/27 › statement-pr…

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.

2 Responses to Statement by the Prime Minister on Canadian Multiculturalism Day

  1. gjreid says:

    Other than the word “racialized” which raises my hackles for a multitude of reasons, it’s a good, bold statement. We have to do a great deal to address racism but it would be helpful to define some of the terms, one of them being “racism.” Elastic terminology can be a recipe for bullying and intimidation. Also, the fight against racism and for effective equality should not imply a drift towards bad totalitarian habits – attacks on freedom of speech, the canceling and ostracizing of individuals, smear attacks on personalities, the systematic misinterpretation of people’s words or actions, used to destroy their careers, and so on. Aside from being evil in principle, such tactics are creating, in the wider public, a very strong, and possibly dangerous reaction that could easily compromise the important struggle against racism.

  2. Andrew says:

    Agree. Caution warranted. What I always find more difficult are the specific criteria to decide if and when cancelling events or ostracizing people. Who can and should decide? There are some easier ones to call: anyone who consistently denigrates ethnic, religious, LGBT etc groups is easier and should be considered distinct from being critical of some practices within those groups. Equally important, there has to be more recognition or openness to dialogue, as I think the discussion over systemic racism in police forces provides (e.g., rather than calling for the RCMP Commissioner’s resignation, meet with her to discuss). Good fodder for a chat!

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