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Multiculturalism in Canada Peoples and Policies. 2011 Study Canada Summer Institute For K-12 Educators Pierre Anctil - University of Ottawa. HISTORY IS DESTINY. The are major historical differences between the U.S and Canada that can easily be overlooked in the present

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Multiculturalism in canada peoples and policies

Multiculturalism in CanadaPeoples and Policies

2011 Study Canada Summer Institute

For K-12 Educators

Pierre Anctil - University of Ottawa

History is destiny

  • The are major historical differences between the U.S and Canada that can easily be overlooked in the present

  • The US opted for revolution, Canada negotiations

  • No plantation agriculture in Canada, no slavery

  • Canada remained part of the British Empire

  • Language a key component of Canadian history

  • A Canadian national identity developed over a much longer period historically

Canadian colonial history

  • Canada the political product of two competing empires in North America – one superposed on the other historically

  • 1763 Treaty of Paris – end of the French Regime

  • 60,000 French speakers remain in North America, mostly concentrated in the Saint-Lawrence Valley

  • In 1763 French Canadian have been rooted in Canadian soil for 150 years – they cannot be assimilated.

1867 confederation

  • Allows the use of French in the Federal parliament and the publication of laws in French (article 133)

  • Allows the use of French in courts

  • In Québec a provincial Parliament is created which is under the control of a French speaking majority.

  • Francophones are 33 % of Canadian population

The great migration of 1905 1914
The great migration of 1905-1914

  • Until the twentieth century Canada is made ESSENTIALLY of two founding peoples, Francophones and Anglophones

  • 2 million immigrants settle in Canada mostly from Southern and Eastern Europe

  • Canada has a population of 5 millions at the time

  • The population of Canada is tiny compared to the U.S.

Reasons for the great migration
Reasons for the Great Migration

  • Sustain the growth of the country economically

  • Create an internal consumer market

  • Settle the enormous territories west of Ontario and protect them from direct American influence

  • Cultural diversity is introduced in Canada for the first time

Post war unrest
Post war unrest

The end of WWII brings sweeping changes to Québec society

  • Quiet Revolution

  • Anger at the lower social status of Francophones – public rallies and demonstrations

  • Appearance of the INDEPENDENCE movement

  • Violence in Montréal the form of the Front de libération du Québec (1963-1970)

Royal commission of 1963 69
ROYAL COMMISSION of 1963-69 rally, early 1960s

  • André Laurendeau and Davidson Dunton chair the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism

  • French minority education

  • Improved teaching of French as a second language

  • Official languages act of 1969

  • Declaration on Multiculturalism 1971

Main goals of the commission
Main goals of the Commission rally, early 1960s

  • Institutional support for all Canadians to become fluently bilingual

  • Bilingualism in the federal administration

  • Increased role of public and private organisations in the promotion of official languages

  • Equal opportunity for Francophone Canadians

Outcome of the commission
OUTCOME of the COMMISSION rally, early 1960s

  • Official Bilingualism – YES

  • Biculturalism – NO

  • Canadians are invited to welcome bilingualism as a central element cementing the country together

  • But they are free to remain attached to their culture and language of origins

  • Multiculturalism introduced as a political notion and supported by Canadian «Ethnic leaders»

Elements of multiculturalism
Elements of MULTICULTURALISM rally, early 1960s

  • Celebration of the culture and language of immigrant communities

  • Education with regards to RACE related issues of discrimination and prejudice

  • Promotion of Canadian citizenship as a unifying factor across cultures and languages

Definition of multiculturalism

  • «The Government of Canada is committed to reaching out to Canadians and newcomers and is developing lasting relationships with ethnic and religious communities in Canada. It encourages these communities to participate fully in society by enhancing their level of economic, social, and cultural integration».

    Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2011

Migration to canada 2006
Migration to Canada - 2006 rally, early 1960s

  • Proportion of foreign born highest in 75 years: 19.8 % of the total Canadian population

  • 70 % of newcomers are allophones (do not speak French or English as a mother tongue)

  • 20 % of Canadians are allophones

  • 58.3% of recent immigrants from Asia - Europe accounts for only 16 % of total

  • 1 million persons speak a Chinese language in Canada – mostly in the Canadian West

Challenges of multiculturalism
Challenges of Multiculturalism rally, early 1960s

  • 250,000 immigrants to Canada per year – one of the highest rate of acceptance in the world

  • TORONTO, MONTREAL and VANCOUVER welcome 70% of recent immigrants to Canada

  • More than 200 different ethnic origins reported in 2006 census

  • VISIBLE MINORITIES 16 % of the Canadian population in 2006 or 5 million persons

Carifesta montreal 2009
Carifesta, Montreal, 2009 rally, early 1960s

Consequences of multiculturalism
Consequences of Multiculturalism rally, early 1960s

  • In English Canada the concept has had enormous influence

  • A defining element of Canadian identity, especially in the younger generations

  • 1988 Canadian Multiculturalism Act

    A Canadian answer to a Canadian problem of balancing the various national origins of the country within a bilingual frame of reference.

Problems with multiculturalism
Problems with multiculturalism rally, early 1960s

  • Leaves out the First Nations completely who fall under a different set of laws and rules

  • Has tended to insist on the folkloric and ancestral aspect of culture and language

  • Failed to be accepted by Québec where it has been seriously criticized as a ploy by the federal government to marginalize the historical contribution of French-Canadians

Problems of canadian governance
Problems of Canadian governance rally, early 1960s

  • Language has been and is the key political issue in Canadian society to this day

  • Multiculturalism is language blind

  • It has largely failed to sway Québec Francophones

  • Constitutional patriation of 1982

  • 2011 Federal census questions

Qu bec s response
Québec’s response rally, early 1960s

  • Creation within the Québec state of a parallel set of values promoting the integration of immigrants to the French language, officially called


  • Appears in the early 1990s

  • Key issue in the maintenance of the French language in Montreal

Definition of interculturalisme
Definition of Interculturalisme Commission, Montréal, 2007

«La société québécoise, qui vit à l'heure de l'interculturel, profite pleinement de la richesse sociale, politique, culturelle et économique de son ouverture au pluralisme, à la diversité et à la multiplicité des appartenances»

Ministère de l’Immigration et des

Communautés culturelles du Québec, 2011

Elements of interculturalisme
Elements of Interculturalisme Commission, Montréal, 2007

  • French as a common language for all citizens

  • Basic freedoms and rights as based on Québec’s Charter of human rights and freedoms of 1975

  • Acceptance of cultural diversity

  • Rule of law and application of the principle of laïcité (separation of Church and State)

  • Equality between men and women

  • Selection process geared to Québec need and administered by the province

CONCLUSION Commission, Montréal, 2007

  • Multiculturalism is a Canadian ideology reflecting an increasingly DIVERSE society in a bilingual frame of reference

  • Quebec forms within Canada a distinct society with its own parallel language policy and cultural symbolism

  • Because of history, LANGUAGE not race is the key issue to be resolved in Canadian society

  • Canada has adapted well - for the most part - to the complex issue of multiple identities