As much as I try to get away from this topic it continues to edge it’s way back into the public conversation and I feel compelled to add my two cents. For me, however, this is not about immigrants and the mixed feelings concerning that issue. This is about what we were told multiculturalism was about, what it represented and how Canada would benefit greatly. I am speaking about the grand experiment that was championed by Pierre Elliot Trudeau (still my favourite PM) back in the early-mid twentieth century. I am always amazed at the spin that is put on programs and ideologies when certain groups want to have their way as was the case here. The timing for this ideology to be introduced to us was perfect. The ideas around Peace , Love and Brotherhood were running at a feverish level especially among the ‘flower children’ so debate or opposition was near none. The ideology is about allowing large numbers of immigrants into the country to add people power to a faltering economy. It was also about introducing a variety of cultures and different ways of living into this dual-culture country of Canada so that French and Anglo ideals and culture would not be all that defined the country on the world stage.
I don’t have any problem with the concept of multiculturalism nor do I have a problem with offering people from different walks of life the opportunity to come and share the bounty of this great land. As I have said before–there is more than enough to go around for all of us. My problem is what we have given up to host these folks and what we continue to give up to this day. In 25 years and perhaps less the true settlers and founders of Canada–those whose blood lines are connected to those brave souls who carved out an existence and created a formula for living here–will become the minority in our own country. Our culture, our ideology and our way of life will all but be a blip on the big screen. What will be the reality created by those seers who believe that they are the enlightened ones and the true thinkers among us? So many questions abound such as:
—Is the cost of having a multicultural society worth the loss of our cultural assets, our freedoms and our uniqueness in the world?
–Other cultural groups come to Canada from a variety of global villages and they bring their customs and culture with them of course. However, our leaders seem to think it is OK for us to give up some of our customs and culture to allow our new guests an opportunity to enjoy their customs and culture in the process. Instead of each group sharing their cultures and customs with each other to learn more about each other it has become an ‘either or’ scenario. We have become accustomed to giving up our identity as a nation so that others who come to us can enjoy more of theirs whether we like it or not. How do we feel about that? What price do we pay for our generosity, tolerance and acceptance?
–Back then we were told that by allowing a huge number of folks to come to Canada that would bolster our economy because we could produce more from our resource base and therefore become much more prosperous as a nation. Our standard of living would certainly be increased. Apparently that has not happened and yet we continue to increase that labour pool each year even when there aren’t enough jobs for our own citizens. So that argument doesn’t fly. Why are we still being told that the opposite is true? Apparently new Canadians or those who are set to enter the country-legally-are receiving or will receive more benefit by being here and accessing our social systems than they are giving back to the country through taxation and so on. Why are we not addressing this issue?
–One great concern of mine is that gender equality will soon become a major issue or concern. When we consider that the majority of new comers to Canada are coming from countries where women are not respected or considered equal to men, how long might it be before that notion of inequality begins to find traction here? It is certainly likely that women who are arriving from those foreign lands would oppose any strength or movement that has developed here in the last 50 years.
–The unfortunate part of all this is: the people who stand up to pose legitimate questions about process and ideology, culture, heritage and the economy are branded racists and all rational, healthy and necessary debate is halted before it can receive a fair and public hearing.
I am not suggesting that we shelve the idea of multiculturalism-not at all. What I am suggesting is that we take another look at the ideology, vision and philosophy of the program and make adjustments to it that are at least as favourable to all those who participate and not just those who are coming here for a better life.
“IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO HAVE A STABLE SOCIETY WITHOUT HAVING A STABLE POPULATION TO GROW AND PROTECT IT”–JC
Anyways, that’s how I see it, Jim
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