Is multi-culturalism a failed policy?
Old 03-16-2009, 10:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is multi-culturalism a failed policy?

I was discussing this with some friends over the weekend and the topic of multicultralism and whether it can be deemed a success or a failure arose. Since there is a wide array of individuals on this board, I'm curious as to what people here think.

Is Trudeau's policy/legacy of Multiculturalism a failed one? Would we prefer a melting pot society?
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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definitely not a failure. the fact that all canadians bring a piece of their own cultural history is precisely what has always made us canadian. officially this began with trudeau, but unofficially this has been part of canada's legacy since day one. we have struggled with it, undoubtedly, but the fact that we have never forced our immigrants into a box called 'canadian' is what has given us such a deep cultural fabric. we are our collective identity.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, but can it not be argued, that it has created "cultural ghettos" where people who immigrate to this country, simply go to where they can find their own peoples and living seperate from the entire whole and not caring about the whole in general? Doesn't this open "them" up for additional stigma to be attached? Or is the entire idea of a nation/nationalism a dead one?
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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US = Melting Pot
Canada = Mosaic

People are people and if they're good natured/hard working I couldn't care less where they're from
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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nationwide nationalism is a mythin north america. vancouver has a lot more in common with california than toronto, and toronto more with buffalo than anywhere else. it's a north-south continent divided along east west lines because the main thoroughfare during exploration was the st lawrence.

yes, we have some ghetto-ization, but how is this a bad thing? they have it pretty much everywhere in the western worlkd, multiculturalism or not. people just tend to go with people that are culturally like them.

the stigma will work itself out as our society matures. we have a long way to go, but i'd rather see a canada that recognizes and celebrates its difference than one that tries to impose some adstract idea of what it means to be canadian.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Canada has been USAs puppy dogs for a while now and that won't change.

Our cultures are believably quite similar to each other but different in the same way. USA fought for independence. Canada was given independence. What Trudeau's administration did was not perfect but at least it separated this country from our English friends. Multiculturalism gave the same right to every immigrant may he/she be from England, Italy, Spain, Croatia, South America etc.

Its something that this country really needed. Bowing to a flag that is for everyone. Now their are plenty of drawbacks in this. For example in Toronto I find the culture changes by the year. We have to be very tolerant to many things but if you head up to small town Canada things change a bit. We definately live in a country with peaks and troughs of culture depending where you live.


There are plenty wrong with what Trudeau's administration did but also plenty to be proud off. I'll also extend the leaf by saying Pearson did a lot by giving Canada an identity
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't like hearing about our courts re-writing laws because somebody's culture says they can't be like other Canadians.

I don't like the fact that this approach has nurtured an environment where people feel that they are Canadian only secondarily, with first allegiance to the country of their or their parents' birth. I hope this will become less prevalent as we mature.

But on the whole, I do take pride in Canada's multi-cultural identity.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by XiaominWu View Post
I don't like hearing about our courts re-writing laws because somebody's culture says they can't be like other Canadians.

I don't like the fact that this approach has nurtured an environment where people feel that they are Canadian only secondarily, with first allegiance to the country of their or their parents' birth. I hope this will become less prevalent as we mature.

But on the whole, I do take pride in Canada's multi-cultural identity.
Also problem is when "those people" that team first allegiance to their background. I'd like to see what they consider themselves when they go back "home"?
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Also problem is when "those people" that team first allegiance to their background. I'd like to see what they consider themselves when they go back "home"?
You end up with a number of "convenient Canadians" ie: the Lebanese residents with Canadian citizenship who expected the government to pull their asses out of the fire when Israel was bombing the shit out of them.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You end up with a number of "convenient Canadians" ie: the Lebanese residents with Canadian citizenship who expected the government to pull their asses out of the fire when Israel was bombing the shit out of them.

Oh boy this will get political. To add the fuel:

Tamils protesting Sri Lanka's problems IN CANADA.

Hey I remember when immigrants used to come here to get away from their former countries problems
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Yea I heard that. My friend said he went there
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XiaominWu View Post
I don't like hearing about our courts re-writing laws because somebody's culture says they can't be like other Canadians.

I don't like the fact that this approach has nurtured an environment where people feel that they are Canadian only secondarily, with first allegiance to the country of their or their parents' birth. I hope this will become less prevalent as we mature.

But on the whole, I do take pride in Canada's multi-cultural identity.
Agree with the above. Also agree that this discussion is going to get political v. fast. Off the top of my head, I can think of one incident back in Nov-Dec 2008 that I read about in the TO Star that made me mad and had my saying, "Well, go back to your own country dammit and don't spoil it for the rest of us who are sane." A public forum is not the place to express my opinions on this matter though.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm all for celebrating different cultures and what not, but I'll echo some of the sentiments already expressed in that I get very irritated when my rights as a Canadian citizen are compromised to accomodate a special interest groups.
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I think natonalism has not been very important since it became so strongly engrained over the last century or so. The bonds involved have grown weaker decade by decade.

As for cultural ghettos, I think they were much worse when the muticultural policy initially took effect. I really disliked it then. Now you see very mixed neighborhoods, with populations shifting constantly. The patchwork of my neighborhood is dizzying. It's tremendous. And I think a bit of that has happened due to the initial policy of Trudeau becoming weaker.

As for Tamils - I have no problem with them raising their voices. What bothers me immensely, is the financial support that has been amassed for terrorists that force children to become soldiers, and disabled girls to be suicide bombers. The Liberal party supported the nationalistic ties back to Sri Lanka in a very cynical way to secure votes. They should be ashamed of that. The use of force and intimidation to ensure that money continues to flow to killers that have turned their backs on a peace process is just terrible - and goes back to the kind of cynical political support they got from the start.
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Old 03-16-2009, 03:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I've lived in Chicago, North Carolina, Ottawa, Calgary and Toronto, and have been on trips to Asia and Europe. If you haven't left Canada, it's tough to realize how unique this country is in comparison to the rest of the world. We really do take for granted how tolerant we are.

I had five oriental friends in high school and aside from the odd stereotypical joke, they were my boys, not just my de facto "asian" friends. Contrast that with my experiences in North Carolina, and I can honestly say I wouldn't have wanted to live there if I weren't white. My dad worked in an office where the black and white employees were separated by floor. Of course my dad, the tolerant Canadian, tried to bridge the gap and the blacks were put off by it.

Walking down Yonge Street it's commonplace to see white guys hanging out with Vietnamese dudes, or blacks hanging out with south asians - as Torontonians we don't even think anything of it. I can't stress enough how gifted we are as a society to be able to brush this fact off like it's nothing. Seeing past the colour of someone's skin is something that just doesn't happen in most places around the world, and Toronto is in the company of only a few cities when it comes to universal cultural tolerance and acceptance.
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I've lived in Chicago, North Carolina, Ottawa, Calgary and Toronto, and have been on trips to Asia and Europe. If you haven't left Canada, it's tough to realize how unique this country is in comparison to the rest of the world. We really do take for granted how tolerant we are.

I had five oriental friends in high school and aside from the odd stereotypical joke, they were my boys, not just my de facto "asian" friends. Contrast that with my experiences in North Carolina, and I can honestly say I wouldn't have wanted to live there if I weren't white. My dad worked in an office where the black and white employees were separated by floor. Of course my dad, the tolerant Canadian, tried to bridge the gap and the blacks were put off by it.

Walking down Yonge Street it's commonplace to see white guys hanging out with Vietnamese dudes, or blacks hanging out with south asians - as Torontonians we don't even think anything of it. I can't stress enough how gifted we are as a society to be able to brush this fact off like it's nothing. Seeing past the colour of someone's skin is something that just doesn't happen in most places around the world, and Toronto is in the company of only a few cities when it comes to universal cultural tolerance and acceptance.
I have to agree. My girlfriend is asian and went through NC last summer on a trip. She said she couldn't believe the looks she and her sisters were getting. You know, as if they each had 3 heads or something??

Sad shit.
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Old 03-16-2009, 06:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I was amazed at how much de facto segregation existed in the Washington DC area. It's pretty disturbing.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:16 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Canada really isnt that multi cultural except for a few big cities.
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:13 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Canada really isnt that multi cultural except for a few big cities.
If you count Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver and surrounding areas there you have more than a third of the population though
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:43 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Canada really isnt that multi cultural except for a few big cities.
I've always thought that being multi cultural means something completely different than simply being culturally diverse. As far as I'm concerned Canada is one of the most multicultural countries in the world, and its big cities are some of the most culturally diverse.

Just being culturally diverse isn't enough. Cultural diversity in the States is very much alive and well, in fact, I'd even go so far as to say the States has a higher level of cultural diversity than Canada does. That said, racism is still a huge issue in the States and that indicates a lack of multiculturalism.

To me, multiculturalism is the state of being tolerant and of being acceptant and I think that as a whole, Canada does a better job of both of those things than the majority of countries in the world. Yes, there are places out in Newfoundland where there's a good chance that minorities are few and far between, but my gut feeling tells me that community in Newfoundland would be much more accepting of a minority than a similar community in rural America.
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