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What is Multiculturalism?
Dictionary definition: Multiculturalism is a situation in which all the different cultural or racial groups in a society have equal rights and opportunities, and none is ignored or regarded as unimportant.
As a sociological reality, multiculturalism relates to people from various racial and ethnic foundations. Ideologically, multiculturalism comprises of a moderately reasonable arrangement of ideas and standards relating to the celebration of Canada’s cultural diversity. At the appropriate level, multiculturalism refers to the performance of diversity through formal activities in the federal, provincial, territorial and municipal locations.
What does multiculturalism mean to Canada?
Canadian multiculturalism is important to believe that all citizens are equal, regardless of who they are, where they’re from, what language they speak and what they look like. Multiculturalism guarantees that all citizens can keep their identities, can take pride in their ancestry and have a sense of fitting in. Acceptance gives Canadians a feeling of security and fearlessness, making them welcoming and accepting of diverse cultures. The Canadian experience has demonstrated that multiculturalism supports racial and ethnic harmony and culturally diverse understanding. Mutual respect helps develop common attitudes. New Canadians respect and adhere to the political and legal procedure and want to address issues by legal and constitutional methods. Through multiculturalism, Canada perceives the potential of every Canadian, urging everyone to integrate into their society and take an active part in its social, cultural, economic and political projects.
History of multiculturalism in Canada
On July 21, 1988, the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney announced the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, which completed the government’s promise to “promote the full and equitable participation of individuals and communities of all origins in the continuing evolution and shaping of all aspects of Canadian society” by developing legislation to defend ethnic, racial, semiotic and religious diversity inside Canadian culture and society.
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This policy was completed to counter the Quebec separatist movement which had reached its top one year earlier in 1970. To the uninitiated, Quebec is the French-speaking province in Canada, established by ethnic French pioneers in 1608. It remained a French area until the French were conquered by the British in 1759, indicating the surrender of Quebec to the British.
Canada’s accomplishment in incorporating disparate people groups from around the world through its policies and immigration system has been held up as a model for the world. Australia’s own point-based system, founded in 1989, was modelled on Canada’s. What’s more, similar to Canada, Australia has turned into a truly multicultural society.
This country formally embraced multiculturalism in 1971. It is based on the guideline of the right to citizenship by birth). Further, the Multiculturalism Act of 1988 gives all Canadian citizens the opportunity to protect and share cultural heritage and encourages the protection and improvement of their ancestral dialects. It likewise requests that every single federal agency promotes practicing ensuring equal business opportunities and progression in that.
Multiculturalism in economy
Multiculturalism exists when people accept and urge many cultures to thrive in society. Multiculturalism can lead to numerous incredible results, including racial and ethnic harmony, which just implies that people from various backgrounds get along well together. Living with and accepting various cultures encourages us to see one another and discourage hatred and discrimination.
Canada officially turned into a multicultural society in 1971 when the government started to understand the value and pride of Canadians of all races and ethnic gatherings, all languages, and all religions. Moreover, it’s important to take note that no culture is consistent. In fact, there are not many things in life that stay steady. Each culture is always advancing as people and society are.
There are no severe “laws” for cultures and old practices, so in Canada, we don’t support practices that conflict with our essential human rights. Yet, why is it that if Canada is a multicultural country that racism still exists? For what reason do children feel humiliated or bullied if their families wear their traditional clothes or have an accent? Furthermore, why do we judge people based on their background? Some people have hatred or distrust toward a specific race or ethnic group. However, encouraging hatred isn’t permitted in Canada. Everybody has a privilege to protect their own culture and we should also respect each other’s right to do the same. There is no logical evidence that people from a specific background have certain qualities. They are all stereotypes. What’s more, the more people keep on bringing them up, the greater they get. We as citizens need to think before we talk. Our words have more importance than we imagine. They speak to us as well as add to our society.
Statistics Canada progress of multicultural citizens
The Indigenous people groups incorporate First Nations (Status and Non‑Status Indians), Métis and Inuit. Their extent of Canada’s total population is growing. Statistics Canada’s 2016 Census uncovered that simply over 2.1 million people reported having some Indigenous ancestry, speaking to 6.2% of the population. By comparison, in the 2011 Census, people with Indigenous family represented 4.3% of the population. French and British colonizers began arriving in the mid-1600s, and at the time of Confederation, Canada’s population was predominantly British (60%) and French (30%). At the turn of the 20th century, workers from other European nations were permitted entry into Canada. In rate terms, the entrance topped in 1912 and 1913, when yearly entries surpassed 5% of the total population.
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The amount of the population born out of the country decreased during the Great Depression and World War II but has been increasing since the mid-1950s. The origins of immigration have also migrated toward places such as Asia, the Caribbean, and South and Central America. By 1981, the blending of a decreasing birth rate and improving immigration saw the British and French populations reduce to 40% and 27%. Toward the start of the 21st century, the people with British, French, as well as Canadian ethnic roots had dropped to 46%. (The term “Canadian” ethnic origin was first introduced in the 1996 Census.) An ethnic diversity questionnaire published by Statistics Canada in 2003 showed that 21% of the population aged 15 years and older was of British‑only heritage, while 10% proclaimed just French origins, 8% were Canadian, and 7% were a mix of these three origins.
This developed diversity is clear from the data from the 2016 Census did by Statistics Canada, in which about 250 unique ethnic origins or heritages were accounted for. The most well-known announced ancestries were Canadian, English, Scottish, French and Irish, followed by German, Chinese, Italian, First Nations, Indian (from India), Ukrainian, Dutch and Polish.
The census data also discovered that 21.9% of the population was not born in Canada– the highest proportion since the 1921 Census. In 2016, most immigrants reported were from Asia, speaking to 48.1% of the population born overseas. The visible minority population, which is the non-white population, excluding the Indigenous people, represented 22.3% of the total population, up from 4.7% in 1981.
Linguistic diversity is also at the center of Canadian multiculturalism. In 2016, according to census data, English was the main language (first language) for 58.1% of the population. This was a slight downfall in 2011 when 58.6% of the population said English was their mother tongue. A similar pattern was observed for French, the second most common language after English. 21.4% of the population declared French as their first language, compared with 22% in 2011. In conclusion, the level of those whose mother tongue was a language other than English or French was 22.9% in 2016. In 2016, many immigrants didn’t speak English, French Indigenous languages as their first language which was more than 7.7 million people and 22.3% of the population.
The languages that the immigrants spoke regularly at home were Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, and Arabic. The Indigenous dialects spoken by the biggest number of people were Cree dialects, Inuktitut, Ojibway, Oji-Cree, Dene and Montagnais (Innu).
Benefits of multiculturalism
Innovation and creativity: About 35% of Canada Research Chairs are born out of the country. Immigrants make up only 20% of the Canadian population. Immigration rates improve trade between Canada and countries which immigrants originated from.
Bigger communities: ever since people began immigrating to Canada, it had a big impact on the country. Immigrants have opened ethnic restaurants, grocery stores, and clothing stores to add excitement and to express their cultures. This attracts tourists and even attracts new residents. As more immigrants settle, communities benefit from cultural festivals, diverse traditional foods, music, and arts. Although communication might be difficult, it gives you an opportunity to learn a new language.
Business development and economic increase: many immigrants are skilled and are very beneficial for Canadian companies. A skilled workforce brings a mix of cultural experience required for problem-solving and building a strong company. Immigrants can also open their own businesses to attract foreign investment in Canada. New citizens come with different education and work experience and knowledge of a global business setting.
Immigrants can grow the customer base through cultural awareness and information. There is a lot more creativity and productivity. It gives you an opportunity to compete with other companies and partners internationally.
What multiculturalism lacks
Some people fear that by associating and meeting immigrants, they might get influenced and they may lose their culture and identity. It takes a while for immigrant children to get used to the Canadian culture and it influences their academic performance. There is also a language barrier between citizens and immigrants. It doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to interact with each other, there are many ways to communicate.
While service has been pretty much important, as English and French ‘Canada crises’ played out, and the original cooperative connection with Native people groups was replaced by attempts at adaption, the knowledge that one society or culture would never persevere. Thus this original diversity and the progressing productive tension between people made a culture of comfort and compromise, focal and distinct to Canada’s ability to understand and unify the numerous immigrants who have settled here. Early language on incorporation, rather than absorption, followed this way to deal with perceiving the difference as a way to encourage participation and set the stage for multiculturalism.
Multiculturalism in Canada has been around for a while. Many people move to Canada because of the hospitality, job opportunities, cleaner scenery, social services, and freedom. The unity that helps create a bond with people of different backgrounds and religion is the appreciation of multiculturalism. Now, people living in multicultural areas take the acceptance of all cultures for granted and don’t realize that it was a big issue in the past. Multiculturalism is a big character trait of Canada, and is what defines Canada and makes this country much safer than others. The ability to practice your own culture and religion anywhere in the country is a big blessing and helps the country grow as a result. Many countries that don’t support multiculturalism have a hard time accepting others and makes it harder for immigrants in those countries. In Canada, many people oppose accepting others based on colour and ethnicity, but the country allows them to learn to appreciate and make everyone feel welcome. In conclusion, multiculturalism in Canada is a success.
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