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Do the policies and ideology of multiculturalism unite us or divide us - Essay Example

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Is the Salad Too Coarse or too Fine? Canadians like to say that the US is a melting pot, while Canada is a salad. The government takes great care to help immigrants retain their ethnic and cultural identities. In this way, for more than a century, we celebrate the uniqueness of each, recognizing their diversity, while applying the law equally to all…
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Do the policies and ideology of multiculturalism unite us or divide us
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Do the policies and ideology of multiculturalism unite us or divide us

Download file to see previous pages... In order to promote multiculturalism, policies are in place to protect ethnic identities of immigrants and Canadian ethnic minorities. There are programs for education, employment and support for navigating government services. However, these policies do not always result in equal treatment. Multiculturalism is a laudable goal and it looks good from the outside. However, it is not always good from the inside. The idea of multiculturalism, especially in Canada, makes people feel like they are part of a greater good, a bigger picture promoting anti- racism, and that they fighting for group and individual equality. However, policies created to help protect identity or to aid aboriginals protect their culture or immigrants to integrate into Canadian society sometimes offer advantages to immigrants that native born Canadians do not enjoy. One very visible difference in policy is in the area of education. Canada has actively recruited immigrants to boost the economy for more than a century. Because of the Offical Languages Act in 1969 to mollify Quebec separatists, numerous ESL and EFL programs exist for adult immigrants across the country to help new arrivals integrate (Derwing and Thompson 2005). However, over the years these programs have been modified to emphasize the employability skills of participants and to communicate Canadian values. Other programs, such as neighbourhood national festivals are promoted and subsidized by the government to allow immigrants to communicate their culture to other Canadians in an effort to promote understanding, acceptance and equal opportunity. The LINC program improved upon its predecessor by adding women, who were considered unemployable, to the list of beneficiaries, but it still emphasized “Canadian” values, rights, and responsibilities (Bettencourt 2003, 25), including laws, shopping and banking, plus information for services (Bettencourt 2003). It was changed again in 2000. Based upon standards of measurement of language skills, it aims to bring all immigrants’ language skills to a useful level (CIC 1996). Various changes were made to this program by the CIC (CIC 2001; CIC 2006; CIC 2007; CIC 2009) While all this work to help new immigrants benefits society as a whole, the amount of money spent on these programs is not equalled in educations programs for native born Canadians. For example, a native born Canadian who moves to Quebec is not eligible for free French lessons, nor is a Quebec resident who moves to an English province. This is seen as favouring immigrants at the cost of native born Canadians. Education of immigrant children required a change in Canadian school systems. However, public education is the purview of the provincial governments, not the federal government (JEAN-PIERRE, 2011). So many provinces have developed multicultural programs to help resolve the problems of immigration of non-English or French speaking immigrant children. Since schools are funded mostly by property taxes, this is seen as spending the taxes of the Canadian middle class, generally native born, citizens on programs that do not visibly benefit their children. While a case can be made for the value of foreign language instruction to child educational and intellectual development, Canadian schools already offer bilingual education: French and English. Adding other languages might be better accepted if those added languages ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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