Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Promoting national cohesion through multiculturalism - POLICY OPTIONS

by Mohammad Qadeer 
Originally published: June 6, 2017

Multiculturalism is under pressure, but we can ensure its success by enforcing mainstream society’s laws, norms, and ethics.

Immigration has sparked nativist sentiments, racial divisions and economic insecurities in Western liberal democracies. The election of Donald Trump as the US president is evidence of the political foothold that anti-immigrant sentiment is gaining. It comes in the wake of Britain’s Brexit vote and the rise of populist nationalist parties in France, Italy and Germany.

Canada has, by and large, escaped this populist sentiment, though in some pockets of the Conservative Party and among Quebec nationalists, misgivings about immigration are voiced in the code words of preserving “Canadian values.” Still, even Canada harbours ambivalence about immigration, despite its credible record of welcoming immigrants, including, recently, Syrian refugees. An October 2016 Angus Reid/CBC national opinion poll shows 67 percent of Canadians are satisfied with the integration of immigrants into their communities, but 68 percent also want immigrants to do more to fit into Canadian society.