Integration and Multiculturalism
Trudeau government goes silent on Syrian refugees
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s election promise to welcome 25,000 refugees from Syria was aimed at showing voters his compassion. The followup photo opportunities he arranged in 2015 with smiling Syrian refugees, such as doctors, drew international headlines.
Once in power, Trudeau’s Liberals switched the name of the Immigration Department to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, to highlight their concern for those forced to leave chaotic home countries, especially Syria.
Why diversity isn’t “Canada’s strength”
According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “Diversity is Canada’s Strength.” This assertion is repeated by various Canadian sources, such as the Latino Star paper, and the Canadian Policy Research Networks conference “Diversity — Canada’s Strength.” In Canada’s Liberal government and many other circles, the statement that “Diversity is Canada’s Strength” has become a motto, and largely an unquestioned and unquestionable one.
Political slogans have their uses, usually to advance a policy position and claim the high moral ground. But they may also selectively draw on the facts of reality, and massage the truth so that it becomes unrecognizable. Whatever views Canadians may have about diversity, Canadians are independent citizens who often think critically rather than repeat ideas and slogans. In that spirit of critical consideration, this essay addresses the question whether diversity really is Canada’s strength. Let us begin by looking at diversity in sports.
Multiculturalism: A Failed Policy
Are all cultures equal? Yes, according to Multiculturalism.
Let me first address the supposed equality of cultures. Nothing could be further from the truth. Cultures that ensure the legal equality of the sexes, that protect the rights of religious minorities and homosexuals, that provide legal protection for freedom of conscience, freedom of speech (see my earlier posts regarding this fundamental freedom here and here), freedom of religion, and freedom of association, that institutionalize a separation of state and church, are infinitely superior to those that do not. There is nothing shameful, arrogant, or jingoistic in stating so
The Failure of Multiculturalism
Thirty years ago, many Europeans saw multiculturalism—the embrace of an inclusive, diverse society—as an answer to Europe’s social problems. Today, a growing number consider it to be a cause of them. That perception has led some mainstream politicians, including British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to publicly denounce multiculturalism and speak out against its dangers. It has fueled the success of far-right parties and populist politicians across Europe, from the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands to the National Front in France. And in the most extreme cases, it has inspired obscene acts of violence, such as Anders Behring Breivik’s homicidal rampage on the Norwegian island of Utoya in July 2011.
How did this transformation come about? According to multiculturalism’s critics, Europe has allowed excessive immigration without demanding enough integration—a mismatch that has eroded social cohesion, undermined national identities, and degraded public trust. Multiculturalism’s proponents, on the other hand, counter that the problem is not too much diversity but too much racism.