French is a powerful vehicle for Canadian multiculturalism

The place of French in Canada 50 years after the Official Languages Act was first enacted shows we can and must do better

French is a powerful vehicle for Canadian multiculturalismBy Sen. Raymonde Gagné and Sen. René Cormier To mark the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act (OLA) and the International Day of La Francophonie, an open caucus was held at the Senate of Canada to reflect on the place of French in Canada. Professors Stéphanie Chouinard, Michael MacMillan and Benoît Pelletier addressed the following question:…

Canadian organizations struggling with inclusion and diversity

People with disabilities were the most underrepresented employment equity group

Canadian organizations struggling with inclusion and diversityWith all the emphasis in recent years on inclusion and diversity, you would think that Canadian organizations would have made a positive impact in that direction. But a new report released by the Conference Board of Canada on Thursday suggests inclusion strategies, investments and actions by Canadian organizations are not always aligned. The report, Measuring…

Excluding irregular migrants from health care violates international law

People with irregular legal status generally receive no health benefits whatsoever and must pay out of pocket or rely on charity to cover their health needs

Excluding irregular migrants from health care violates international lawShould migrants living in Canada without legal authorization be entitled to health care? The answer according to a decision issued by the United Nations Human Rights Committee in August was clearly yes, especially if lack of health care threatens migrants’ lives. Sadly, the government of Canada has yet to respond. People living in Canada with…

Sympathizing with minorities, with a twist

Sociologists have convinced us to think of people solely in terms of their census categories and their victim credentials

Sympathizing with minorities, with a twistWhen an acquaintance accused me of being unsympathetic to minorities, I was indignant. I’m a member of a much-maligned minority ethnic group, with which I identify strongly. And both of my children are visible minorities: my son was adopted from Thailand and my daughter was adopted from China. In this cultural moment, to be unsympathetic…

What comes after multiculturalism?

Of all the alternatives that have been tried and rejected, nationalism seems like the best possibility

What comes after multiculturalism?You don’t have to be an anthropologist to understand that multiculturalism as the cohabitation of multiple distinct cultures is a non-starter. If ‘culture’ is understood in its simplest meaning, as a distinct way of life, then the idea of many distinct and mutually contradictory ways of life sharing the same space is obviously nonsensical. One…

Canada’s multiculturalism model stands the test

But we need to avoid repeating the mistakes so common in western Europe when it comes to immigration

Canada’s multiculturalism model stands the testCanada’s multiculturalism policy came together largely in response to the strong separatist movement that took hold in Quebec during the 1970s. Those were the days of the firebrand Réne Lévesque and the extreme Rose brothers, Paul and Jacques. Pierre Trudeau’s Liberal government developed its multiculturalism policy to demonstrate that all races, religions and ethnic groups…

We shouldn’t teach ethnic languages in public schools

Teaching such languages is better done by parents and ethnic associations. Schools must focus on core subjects

We shouldn’t teach ethnic languages in public schoolsThe Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called upon governments to make the teaching of Indigenous languages in public schools a priority. No one would disagree with the idea of having more Indigenous people become familiar with their ancestral languages. Many Canadians want their children to learn their ethnic languages. Parents with Scottish roots might…

A commitment to diversity must include room for faith

Religious and faith communities are among the most racially and ethnically diverse parts of Canadian society

A commitment to diversity must include room for faithDepending on political preference, most Canadians would likely agree that diversity is our strength or is a product of our strength. Regardless of the preferred permutation, those views recognize diversity as a central feature of Canadian society. That’s all well and good, but what does that commitment to diversity really mean? A quick scan of…

Support for multiculturalism declining in Sweden

The influx of immigrants into Sweden in 2015 is threatening the country's vaunted beliefs in multiculturalism, immigration and political conformity

Support for multiculturalism declining in SwedenAs the final votes are counted in Sweden’s general election, the rifts in this famously conformist society are getting deeper. Sweden may be the western world’s most self-consciously liberal state, but significant cracks are appearing in the foundation. To get a sense of the trend, look at the trajectory of the gradually-building support for the…

Why the CFL’s Diversity is Strength campaign falls short

Diversity separated from unity is generally not a good thing. We need unity of purpose, on the field and in life

Why the CFL’s Diversity is Strength campaign falls shortDiversity concerns have been front and centre in recent days. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau characterized a woman’s view as “racist” after she heckled him; Maxime Bernier criticized “extreme multiculturalism” before he left the Conservative Party to set up his own. Rhetoric about diversity can be both heated and so routine as to be boilerplate, obscuring…

Diversity in Canada has the capacity to inspire the world

It’s imperative for our political leaders to continue being strong custodians of Canada’s pluralistic identity

Diversity in Canada has the capacity to inspire the worldIt’s a time of reckoning for Canada’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. A new poll shows that many among us want to see the number of immigrants coming into our country lowered. According to the Angus Reid Institute, 49 per cent of surveyed Canadians want to see the federal government's 2018 target of 310,000 immigrants…

Worried about the alt-right? Be the anti-right

The best way to reduce the possibility of more alt-right-inspired violence is to confront its narratives head on

Worried about the alt-right? Be the anti-rightBy John Grant and Fiona MacDonald EvidenceNetwork.ca One year since the violent alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., and months since the Toronto van attack, Canadians can legitimately worry about increased political violence. The images of angry white men marching openly in Nazi regalia loom large alongside the revelation that some men are organizing groups driven by views of…

How the philosophy of personalism brings us together

Personalism embraces the goodness in every one of us. It encourages us to become our best selves, and it requires love and respect for everyone

How the philosophy of personalism brings us togetherIt’s fascinating how certain ideas can unite all people, yet we can be so unaware of their presence. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Personalism posits ultimate reality and value in personhood – human as well as (at least for most personalists) divine. It emphasizes the significance, uniqueness and inviolability of the person, as…

Racial tension on the decline, harmony on the rise

Across North America, the statistics clearly show that multiculturalism is a growing fact, right down to the family unit

Racial tension on the decline, harmony on the riseWe’re often told that Canada and the U.S. are racist societies. But amidst all the demands from minority advocates and hand-wringing among ‘social justice’ champions, the reality is quite different. In fact, in Canada and the United States, racial intolerance has declined remarkably. There are clear indications in recent Canadian surveys of substantial racial tolerance and…

Why Canada’s multiculturalism dream defies logic

A society can’t be at the same time egalitarian and hierarchical, decentralized and centralized, kin-oriented and law-oriented, secular and religious

Why Canada’s multiculturalism dream defies logicLike disciplined anarchy, monogamy with multiple spouses and promiscuous chastity, multiculturalism is an incoherent and self-contradictory idea. So is Canada’s multiculturalism in a bilingual society. Culture is the way of life of a people. In the 19th and 20th century, culture was the central concept of anthropology, a tool to guide the study and understanding of peoples…