When you look at Canada, you see it as a multicultural society, but is Canada actually all that multicultural? Though, the first question is what is multiculturalism? Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance, or the preservation of different cultures or cultural identities within a specific area. In Canada we allow immigrants to become Canadians by integrating into our culture without abandoning their own.
Though Canada was not always so multicultural. When reading journals or reports about the life in the colonies of British North America, you’ll see that they are written by relatively well-to- English-speaking people. Many colonist in Upper Canada did not consider themselves being English such as the Americans, Irish and/or Scottish. These colonist came and also brought their language, culture, music, values and traditions with them. On the other hand, Lower Canada was dominated by Francophone. They had their own desire of remaining separate and distinct from the English-speaking groups, which often led to conflicts between the two. Because of these problems, immigrants become disturbed because they can’t be anglophones, francophone or native they become and do not have a national identity in their country which hey consider theirs.
As of today, Canada has become very different and more accepting of different cultures. Canada has became a diverse community and an example of how countries should be. Though this can be debated because the Canadian government has been very negative toward some refugees, like the Tamil refugees, because they came to Canada in the wrong way. Though I think it is reasonable for Canada to be not all perfect in accepting all cultures because it is quite hard to maintain and control all these different cultures at the same time. Canada is filled with more than 100 different cultures, thus it is hard to be fair and choose what the law should be based on. Not all cultures can be highlighted either. Canada is slowly becoming a “melting pot” , a country with a common culture, English. A nation being multicultural can lead to conflict but we should be able to accept all people from different races.
Another issue is that there are many people just using multiculturalism as an excuse to use Canada. Many people claim to have a Canadian citizenship yet they don’t even live in Canada. It is like they don’t think Canada is their country and just like an insurance where they come back for medical services or shelter. Is Canada’s multiculturalism real or just an image?
Shuan Merritt. Monument to Multiculturalism by Francesco Perilli. 2008. Photograph. aaaaaaaaaFlickrWeb. 28 Apr 2012.