? asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 8 years ago

Has the policy of multiculturalism created in the 1970's had a positive or negative impact on Canada?

10 points for whoever has a point why its negative or positive!?

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  • 8 years ago
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    When the Multiculturalism Policy of Canada was proclaimed in 1971, Canada became the first country in the world to officially implement a legislative framework for multiculturalism. In addition to formalizing a policy to protect and promote diversity within Canadian society, the policy addressed the rights of Aboriginal peoples and formally supported the use of Canada's 2 official languages.

    With the advent of the British explorers in the 18th century, the gold rushes of the 19th century, and the settlement of the West in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Canada became one of the world's main immigrant-receiving societies, a position it retained through the 1920s and after the Second World War (see IMMIGRATION; IMMIGRATION POLICY). Except in French Canada, ethnic and cultural groups were presumed to be assimilated by the English majority. This expectation was replaced first by the paradigm of the "melting-pot," ie, the creation of a new ethnic or cultural group out of the combined elements in the population, and then by the ideal of the "mosaic," ie, the collaboration of all ethnic and cultural groups, which would retain their distinctive characteristics within the society as a whole. The mosaic or VERTICAL MOSAIC was the precursor of multiculturalism.

    It was only after the turbulent 1960s that the provincial and federal governments adopted explicit policies of multiculturalism, although, in the first decade, the federal government allotted these policies far less money than the policy of French-English bilingualism. Federally, there has been a minister responsible for multiculturalism since 1972, and the Canadian Multiculturalism Council and a Multiculturalism Directorate within the Department of the Secretary of State were established in 1973.

    Government policies of multiculturalism have been viewed with hostility and suspicion by many. The policies were viewed by some French-Canadians as injurious to the French-Canadian position as one of the 2 linguistic communities of which Canada is composed; some scholars decried them as a means of buttressing Anglo-Saxon dominance by diverting the efforts of the non-French and the non-English from political and economic affairs into cultural activities and excluding other ethnic groups from power and influence. Advocates from ethnic groups viewed multiculturalism policies as unacceptable substitutes for aid and many considered the policies and programs to be bribes for "the ethnic vote."

    Since the 1970s, multiculturalism has become part of Canadians' sense of identity and has evolved as a collective state of being known as "social cohesion." At times, hostility and suspicion toward multiculturalism resulted from ambiguities in policy statements and in the term multiculturalism; subtle but necessary distinctions between cultural and structural assimilation, culture and ethnic group were not always clearly communicated. Aspects of the multiculturalism policy have been misunderstood and were presumed to categorize or divide ethnic groups within mainstream society rather than, more accurately, describe them as cultural fractions that integrate to form Canadian society.

    Many of the original programs, such as the Stop Racism campaign, were developed under the multiculturalism policy to address hate and bias in Canada, but more recently programs have shifted their focus to immigration issues and to the support of new arrivals including assistance with professional accreditation and access to employment. Multiculturalism programs have also recognized the historic significance of certain ethnic groups by developing educational initiatives such as those promoting awareness of the UNDERGROUND RAILROAD and Black History Month that were designed to educate Canadians about the BLACK community and its history in Canada.

    Culture is communicated in as many diverse expressions as the multiculturalism within Canada. Through languages, festivals, cultural practices and beliefs, music or art and food, cultural communities across Canada celebrate their heritage and unite through shared identity as Canadians. The Ethnic Diversity Survey found that more than half of all Canadians retained "a strong sense of belonging" to their ethnic or cultural group. In 2002, to recognize and celebrate the diversity of the population, the federal government proclaimed June 27 of each year as Canadian Multiculturalism Day.

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