Multiculturalism In Canada

.. ghts and Freedoms (1982). (Blackman 1993:144) Because the C.M.A. is so enmeshed in the legislation of Canada its value is felt all throughout the country. There are over one-hundred and twenty organizations and groups involved in the C.M.A.

from “Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada” to the “Western Grain Transport Office”. Another reason why the Act is such a part of Canada is, in 1994 and 1995, many small institutions and businesses: Stated support for the policy and its objectives, Distributed a statement on multiculturalism to the staff, Consulted with representatives of ethnocultural and visible minority groups, Encouraged members of ethnocultural and visible minority groups to apply for employment, and Represented Canada’s ethnocultural diversity in publications. (Savisky 1996: 40) Because of the support from the private, public and business factions the policies that surround multiculturalism in Canada have a strength directly associated with the population of the country. This relates to the economic dimension of multiculturalism. In 1961, 90% of all immigrants to Canada came from Europe.

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By the 1980’s, Europeans constituted only about 25% of immigrants, most coming from East of South Asia, the Middle East or the Caribbean. (Statistics Canada 1991:5) This makes Canada’s net worth as a country even greater. For example, the ethnocultural communities possess linguistic skills, cross-cultural business expertise, and natural trade links with foreign markets. They are able to give companies insights into foreign business practices, translation assistance and give detailed information to assist in market penetration. (Minister of Supply 1993:3).

As well, these communities act a s abridge to the same ethnic group in other countries. China is a prime example of this. The Canadian Chinese population has extensive contacts with Chinese groups scattered throughout the countries of South-east Asia. Canada’s Chinese and Taiwanese communities provide links to the markets of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore as well as China itself. Commercial opportunities arising from diversity can also be very important in giving Canadian investment activities promotion. In the global economy, trade and investment complement each other.

Companies pursue partnerships as a foundation for enhancing trading activities. In the government book, Directory of Canadian Ethnocultural and Bilateral Business Organizations written for the Minister of Supply and Services it says the following: Canada is a multicultural country. This diversity can be of decisive advantage in today’s highly competitive international business environment. Through their energy, entrepreneurship, linguistic skills and cultural perspectives, Canada’s ethnocultural communities constitute significant force in the business life of this country..the economic advantages that diversity offers Canadian society by facilitating contact, networking and cooperation. (1993:1) Helping these diverse communities is the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDB).

It is in constant contact with ethnocultural communities through its 78 branches across Canada. Since it operates on a cost-recovery basis, the BDB keeps close ties with minority organizations that help to sponsor many aspects of its work. Many BDB publications are available in non-official languages-especially when it helps entrepreneurs to learn about the assistance that they can get to start or expand their own businesses. New Canadians: A Guide to Starting a New Business is a 30-page booklet that is available in Chinese and Spanish. It focuses on new Canadians, but it also addresses established members of ethnocultural communities.

(Savisky 1996: 45) Another part of Canada’s government that uses the multiculturalism of Canada as a resource is Revenue Canada. Revenue Canada integrated the multiculturalism policy objectives in both its services and operations. Integrating our ethnocultural diversity into Canada’s mainstream is an integral and evolving part of the organization’s operations. In 1994-95, Revenue Canada kept in close contact with various ethnocultural organizations. They are often consulted for advice on the services provided to their communities, and on the departmental publications to ensure that they reflect Canada’s ethnocultural diversity.

As a result, for instance, this year’s Tax Guide has used names as examples that are neither French nor English. Language is vital to the everyday business of Revenue Canada, especially during the tax season. The department relies on the special language skills and cultural understanding of employees who voluntarily help taxpayers of various backgrounds to deal with the department, especially about revenue collection. A directory of language skills, which it has established, is kept up-to-date for such purposes. At certain times of the year, for instance, the Toronto North Tax Services Office can provide services in 36 non-official languages, in person and by phone. (Savisky, 1996:108) Because of the increased awareness to multiculturalism and the diversity of Canadian demographics the effective utilization of these resources depends on the running a smooth government and domestic marketplace. The need to manage this diversity becomes more urgent when, by the end of the century, 80% of all new entrants into the Canadian workplace will be women, immigrants, visible minorities and aboriginals. The labour force will be growing less quickly (Minister of Supply 1993:9) and thus the labour power will begin to leave the family. Companies will have to pay special attention to the needs of the labour pool if they are to attract and hire the best qualified people.

The largest corporations in Canada have already responded to this reality by introducing programs that handle stereotypes, biases and barriers in the interests of producing a better workplace. (Minister of Supply 1993:5) One of the last aspects of multiculturalism in Canada immigration itself. Much of the government policies concerning culture and the Canadian mosaic involve this topic in one form or another as is it is impossible to have diverse ethnic population without it. The history of immigration in our country is not a proud one. The policies regarding foreigners not of European origin have been harsh in the past. In 1885, the Canadian passed the Chinese Immigration Act due to growing anti-Chinese sentiments. The Manitoba Free Press wrote in an editorial on July 2, 1885, the following warning for the government: If something is not done speedily it will be too late to consider whether the Pacific Province shall be given up to the Chinese or not.

They will have solved the question by taking complete possession of it. The Celestial wave may be expected to roll eastward. The channel for it will have been cut by the Canadian Pacific Railway through the Rockies. Ten times more people than Canada now holds could be poured in on us from the teeming soil of China without being missed from that land. (Con, 1982:57) More than one-hundred years later the sentiments toward the Chinese have changed drastically. Where one time there was a”head-tax” on Chinese immigration and only two to three-thousand were allowed in to Canada a year. Now, over the course of ten years from 1981-1991 over 173,000 Chinese immigrated to Canada.

Making the Chinese people the number one source of immigration to Canada in the world. (Statistics Canada 1994: 7) Canada’s new immigration involves the Multiculturalism Act and all the support that goes along with it. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) spent several months during 1994-95 in Canada-wide consultations on our future immigration policy. The campaign sparked an unparalleled national debate about some domestic and international challenges that Canada faces, and the role that CIC should play. Among other things, decisions about the total levels of each immigration category were influenced by the opinions that were expressed.

All CIC’s operational courses include some training in ethnocultural diversity. In addition, about 500 employees at CIC received cross-cultural awareness training in 1994-95. Given the nature of its programs, this training is integral to most officers’ work-related learning. This is especially true for people who deal directly with the public, which includes immigration officers, citizenship officers, investigators, escort and removal officers, and case-presenting officers. (Savisky 1996: 97) CIC’s Settlement Branch funds a number of organizations across Canada to deliver services to newcomers on its behalf. This includes second-language training and the production of settlement aids-such as life-skills courses that might involve learning about good shopping techniques, job skills and appropriate winter clothing, etc.

Many ethnocultural ly diverse people are generally on the staff of these immigrant-serving organizations. Among many others, these include: Ottawa’s Catholic Immigration Centre; the Association for New Canadians in St. John’s, Newfoundland; the Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association of Halifax; and Regina’s Open Door Society. (Savisky 1996:103) All of these groups and legislated organizations help smooth the process of immigration into Canada. Each policy of multiculturalism and amendment to government law creates a more judicial atmosphere in which to inspect the mosaic that is Canada.

CONCLUSION Multiculturalism is a varied term in Canada. There are many facets of this concept; education, the attitudes of Canadians, the official policy, the economic dimensions and finally the question of immigration. Each facet has been laid out in the preceding essay. In a nation that’s growth rate is 50% made up of immigration from other countries, multiculturalism has a lot of meaning. Canada has always been a diverse country stressing the mosaic rather than the American ideal of the “Melting Pot”.

Diversity builds strength, but it also can be hard to manage given the hate that sometime results when inter-racial communities are mixed. The Canadian governments of past histories have made mistakes and passed unfair laws and legislation that has added fuel to the fire for splintering of our mosaic. With new Canadian polices, the Multiculturalism Act being just one of many that sets trends for a new Canada. The policies will set fourth an embrace of the concept of many cultures and instead of fear of change will make laws to increase diversity. Our country will become a whole created out of a thousand different pieces, held together by the policies of our people..a true mosaic! Bibliography Akbari. Ather, H. Economics of Immigration and Racial Discrimination: A Literature Survey (1970-1989) Multiculturalism.

University of Victoria 1989. Banks, James A. “Multicultural Literacy and Curriculum Reform.” The Education Digest, Dec 13th 1991: 10-13 Blackman, Sheri. Canadian Framework and its Bridges: Understanding Political Legislation . New York, Mcloud publishing, 1993 Canadian Multicultural Act. Government Publications, 1988 Con, Harry. Con, Ronald J..et al., From China to Canada: A History of the Chinese Communities in Canada.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart Ltd. 1982 Gould, Ketayun H. “The Misconstuing of Multiculturalism : The Staford Debate and Social Work.” Social Work, March, 1995 : 198-204 Minister of Supply. Directory of Canadian Ethnocultural and Bilateral Business Organizations. Ottawa, Government Publications. 1993 National Survey Report. Multiculturalism and Canadians: Attitude Study 1991 Hull, Quebec. Government Publications.

1991 Pyszkowski, Irene S. “Multiculturalism – Education For The Nineties; An Overview” Education Vol. 114 No. 1: 151-157 Riddell-Dixon. The Domestic Mosaic: Domestic Groups and Canadian Foreign Policy. Toronto, Canadian Institute of International Affairs.

1985 Savisky, Charlene. Agencies of Order: A Multicultural Dynamic London, London Ltd. 1996 Stosky, Sandra. “Academic vs. Ideological Education in the Classroom.” The Education Digest Mar. 1992 : 64-6.