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RaceEthnicity - Essay Example

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Canada is home to a vast diversity of cultural heritages and racial groups. This multicultural diversity is a result of centuries of immigration. About 500 years ago, Europeans arrived in Canada. In 1867, thousands of Irish and Chinese laborers were imported as workers to build the Canadian Pacific Railway…
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Download file to see previous pages Immigrants and their children cross lines of wealth, neighborhood, education and profession. For example, a recent study of first year students at the University of Toronto showed that more than half identify themselves as non-white by race. Approximately 40 percent are Asians. Only about one third came from homes where English is the only language spoken. Toronto and Vancouver stand out as the most culturally and racially diverse cities in Canada, although the cultural mix in other Canadian cities also exist in varying proportions. (About Canada)
In 1971, the federal government announced its policy of multiculturalism. It challenged all Canadians to accept cultural diversity, while encouraging them to participate fully and equally in the Canadian society. Many urban English-speaking Canadians supported the policy, looking at it as a timely recognition of pluralism. When the policy was announced, the Canadian ethnic mosaic was still very much dominated by those of European heritage and was designed to recognize their contribution to Canada. As immigration to Canada from the developing world increased, the multiculturalism policy had to deal with the concerns of visible minorities. These new and emerging communities were more concerned about the elimination of racial prejudice and discrimination. They wanted to ensure equal access to jobs, housing and education. (About Canada)
The public education sector f...
Classrooms are evolving in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, as the majority of new Canadians, some 250,000 of them annually, take up residence in these cities. (Drummond and Lacey, 2007)
A holistic approach to education is required in the light of the most recent controversies in Herouxville, Quebec, some 200 kilometres northeast of Montreal, resulting from the passage of a controversial code of behavior aimed at potential Muslim immigrants. Last February 11, six women, accompanied by a handful of male and female Muslim students, appealed in Quebec for changes to the so-called "code of life," which lays out societal norms for Herouxville. May Haidar, one of the women, said "It's apparent there is a misconception and a wrong view of Muslim women, so we want to open a dialogue to let them (the non-Muslim Canadians) know us and, of course, we want to know them." (Moore, 2007)
Andre Drouin, the town councilor behind the code of behavior for immigrants, said the residents in Quebec are eager to welcome the visitors and prove that they are not racists. But Drouin was unrepentant about the code and said it will stay put. The debate over accommodation of ethnic, cultural and religious minorities continues to rage in Quebec and its Premier Jean Charest has named a special commission to study the issue. The Canadian Islamic Congress considered filing a human rights complaint against the Herouxville council. (Moore, 2007)
The controversial five-page immigrants' code, passed by the Herouxville town council in January, says a person's face should not be covered, except at Halloween, and that children should sing Christmas songs in December. It informs ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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