Multiculturalism in Canada is part of Canada’s social fabric that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s when the Canadian government officially started to promote multiculturalism in the policy.
There are various definitions of Canadian multiculturalism. Some Canadians describe it as religious and cultural differences, creating an exceptional cultural mosaic in Canada. The country is full of people that come from different racial, religious, and cultural backgrounds.
Since the establishment of Canada, there has been a lot of immigration. At the outset of the 21st century, there were more people that weren’t of British or French origins.
The multiculturalism in Canada is reflected in manifold ways. For instance, Canada embraces refugees and immigrants and doesn't care about their race, religion, or culture.
Multiculturalism is also evident in the Canadian Multiculturalism Act of 1998 and section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms under the Department of Canadian Heritage. So the integration of newcomers and their descendants has been part of Canada, is its present, and will be part of Canada's future as it aims to welcome more than one million immigrants between 2021-2023 – 401,000 immigrants in 2021, another 411,000 in 2022, and 421,000 in 2023.
Testimonies of Multiculturalism in Canada
The Lebanese immigrant
“My name is Isra, and I am from Lebanon. I never hand on my mind to move to Canada or anywhere else. Living so far away from my family seemed impossible to me. So when a friend of mine suggested introducing me to her brother who lives in Canada, I rejected the idea immediately. I always wanted relationships with someone who lives in Lebanon. But I decided to chat with him to spend time. The more we talked, the more I liked him; I realized he was not only handsome and cute but honest and kind. After a few months of online dating, he arrived in Lebanon, and when I saw him, there was no doubt that he was the right man for me. Eventually, we got married, and I joined him in Canada.
I am still new in this country and often feel homesick. Yet Canada's multiculturalism helps me to feel better. My husband and I are both Muslims, and we are free to express our culture and religion. Families that come to Canada from other countries fear that their children will lose their tradition and religion and become more secular. But I can't entirely agree with that. Multiculturalism in Canada is about integration and not assimilation. Canadians respect all kinds of people regardless of their race and religion. There are no obstacles to maintaining your cultural identity while freely engaging with the new society. I am integrating into the Canadian society but not assimilating.”
The Syrian immigrant – Saad’s story
"Escaping Syrian war, first, we had migrated by boat to Lebanon in 2013, and then arrived in Canada in 2016. It was a terrifying experience being in a new culture with poor English skills. To be honest, I didn't expect such support. Everyone here tried to help us, including our neighbors. The Ottawa Community Immigrant Service Organization helped me find a job at one local car repair service. We bought a house; our children go to school. Of course, there's still work ahead, but we are in a safe country, and we know that all our efforts will be compensated. We feel it now."
The bottom line
Multiculturalism in Canada contributes to Canada's overall success. The country's ability to integrate newcomers and their families, ensuring economic and social inclusion and the equality of opportunity, is central to the Maple Country. Every resident in Canada is entitled to the protection of their identity and beliefs.