The Constructive Canadian Multiculturalism
Xiaoming Guo for Waterloo
Canadian Multiculturalism is not only about what we Canadians are, but also about our immigration and refugee policies; it is not only about how immigrants fit into our society but also our labor force and economy. The radical multiculturalism of the left ignores our economy, will hurt our economy and our society and will drag Canada into the same situation as Europe today.
A viable and constructive multiculturalism should have a constructive common ground that everyone put efforts to build a strong and prosperous Canada. Multiculturalism without a common ground will divide our society, and even breed homegrown terrorists. The common ground of the multiculturalism of Justin Trudeau is based on a shared dream and story. It is wrong. Canadian multiculturalism should allow different groups to have different Canadian stories. That’s already a historical fact. Canadian multiculturalism cannot have a common dream without shared effort to make our Canadian Dream come true. We should not accept new immigrants who have only a shared dream of getting rich without any intention of working hard for a strong Canada. Those who come to enjoy our welfare and join ISIS are examples of failed multiculturalism. Radical multiculturalism puts burdens on our economy and divides our society.
On June 22, 2006, Canadian Government made the full apology for the Chinese Head Tax. Our government corrected its Liberal predecessors’ errors and upheld the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In the apology address, Prime Minister Harper said: “Beginning in 1881, over 15,000 of these Chinese pioneers became involved in the most important nation-building enterprise in Canadian history – the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway”. This statement put Canadian multiculturalism on the common ground of working hard to build our country. Appreciation of minorities’ contribution to our nation and emphasis on their hard work on building our economy is the true common ground of Canadian multiculturalism. We should promote Canadian Multiculturalism on such a solid ground. We don’t need to mention tolerance among different ethnic group if we have a common ground of working hard for our country and our dream. If we have the common ground, different ethnic groups will naturally appreciate each other, and cultural difference is only a preference of living style and taste. Coffee drinkers and tea drinkers can appreciate each other for common effort building our country, and this is a healthy multiculturalism. We need a viable Canadian Multiculturalism that shares a common ground of building our country. Radical multiculturalism is base on tolerance. Tolerance is hiding the problem: I dislike you but I endure it, that’s tolerance. Healthy multiculturalism is base on appreciation: We are different, and the difference makes our culture richer, that’s appreciation.
A viable and constructive Canadian multiculturalism will enable each minority group to play a role in our economy. If a minority cannot find their role in our economy, they will feel marginalized and lose esteem. That, in turn, will be manifested as discrimination phenomena. If Canadian multiculturalism is not based on the ground of building our country, then some will eventually be marginalized and squeezed out of the economy. We value that earning one’s own life and elevates one’s esteem. That’s why the common ground is so important. Every culture that shares this common ground is part of Canadian society. What we need is a constructive Canadian multiculturalism, not the radical multiculturalism.
Canadian multiculturalism is essential for our economy because our economy needs new immigrants and because our economy is part of the global economy. A successful Canadian multiculturalism will boost our economy by making our labor force more effective, and enable Canada to gain a strong standing in the global economy. Constructive multiculturalism unites our society, and radical multiculturalism divides it. In the world of fighting terrorism, we need a Constructive Canadian multiculturalism.