by Qasim Warraich
Originally published: February 14, 2017
Exploring multiculturalism and immigration during these turbulent times
The word ‘immigrant’ evokes many emotions in me every time I hear it. It connotes a sense of hope and excitement that a family will be starting their new life in this country, yet it’s paired with a sense of nervousness for the trials they will face. Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and many citizens will be marking this day by reflecting on their own cultural diversity, demonstrating how immigration has essentially shaped this country over the last century.
Being an immigrant anywhere in the world is often a daunting and terrifying experience. To gather up all you own and say goodbye to the home and friends you’ve always known for a chance at something better is a perilous task many of us will never have to face. I myself have had the privilege of being born a Canadian citizen because my parents immigrated to Canada from Pakistan over 30 years ago.
“One out of five people in Canada’s population is foreign-born” according to a 2011 report released by Statistics Canada. Approximately 1.1 million foreigners immigrated to this country between 2006 and 2011, according to the same report. New data should be available in the near future though, considering the Trudeau government conducted a nationwide census in 2016.