Pros and Cons of Multiculturalism in Canada

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Multiculturalism can be defined as cultural pluralism or diversity (as within a society, an organization, or an educational institution): a multicultural social state or a doctrine or policy that promotes or advocates such a state. It is a wider aspect to discuss because it is difficult to find out whether it is acceptable or not in the present world. There has been a huge acceptance of multiculturism around the world. However, there are viewpoints that state multiculturism is not good for a nation. The idea of culture once connoted all that freed humans from the blind weight of tradition, has now, in the hands of multiculturalists, become identified with that very burden. But the majority is of the opinion that multiculturism is good for a nation. Multiculturism is getting acceptance because it allows an individual as well as society to grow together and also helps in minimizing ignorance.

Multiculturalism is the mixture of various nationalities, cultures, races, genders, communities’ etcetera living in another country, state, or in a city, and follow their own culture under one roof without any cultural intimidation around the other cultures. Migration for various reasons helps in multiculturalism. Multiculturalism can be found in various parts of the world but it is not accepted completely. According to social psychologist John Berry, the success of multiculturalism is dependent on both the cultural maintenance by immigrants and cultural acceptance by host societies. The rate of migration is increasing each year. People can be seen migrating from towns to cities, states, countries. Migrating is done for increasing their living standard.

Multiculturalism in Canada

Canada is a country that supports multiculturalism without any restrictions and allows its immigrants to follow any culture. It can be noticed that migration started accepting other cultures back in the 1900s. Canada announced a policy of multiculturism in 1971. The goal of the policy was to improve the quality of intercultural relations. Two main elements of the policy were proposed as steps towards achieving this goal: support for the maintenance and development of cultural communities (the cultural component); and promotion of intercultural contact along with the reduction of barriers to such participation (the intercultural component). Bringing multiculturism to the Canadian economy seems to have created a diversity of culture in the society.

Multiculturalism at open-mindedness as a benefit, which is a quality valued by multinationals working in areas of technological innovation. One can enjoy freedom during their social and work life without worrying about cultural barriers. For instance, people from different nations and races come to Canada for employment which always leads to cultural integration along with a huge understanding of various aspects of cultures spread across the globe. Many studies have shown that immigrants do best, both in terms of psychological wellbeing and socio-culture outcomes when they can combine their ethnic identity with a new national identity. These advantages have encouraged a great deal of migration.

Multiculturism may be the antidote for the inappropriate and destructive behavior of dictatorial regimes and religious orthodoxy, regimes bent on breaking the will and spirit of their subjects and antagonizing their neighbors. The value of multiculturism must be disseminated like the seeds in a farmer’s field and nurtured with the fertility of our common goals.

Canada as a nation has incorporated people from various backgrounds and ethnic diversities. Besides, the Canadian government has played a role in motivating and fortifying the coexistence of the different cultures present in Canada. Canada was the first country in the world to pass the multiculturalism act in 1988. This has helped people from other nations to migrate to Canada.

Canada and Immigrants

Canada welcomes all immigrants from other cultural and social backgrounds but there were oppositions for the same. Not all the citizens of Canada were satisfied with this Act. In a Leger poll last month, 63 percent of respondents said they would prefer a federal government that makes limiting immigration levels a priority due to concerns that Canada may be reaching our limit to integrate newcomers. Some Canadians think that accepting other cultures will lead to the destruction of their own culture. They feel that if there is too much diversity of cultures in Canada, then it would lead to the diminishing the number of the real ethnic groups of Canada. Several critics of multiculturalism will describe such views as naïve. They see identities in zero-sum terms; the more attached to the country of origin or ethnic community, the less invested you will be in the Canadian experience.

The government of Canada had introduced and implemented various plans to encourage and support multiculturism. Many programs, such as the Stop Racism campaign, were developed to address hate and bias in Canada, but more recent programs have shifted their focus to immigration issues and the support of the new arrivals, including assistance with professional accreditation and access to employment. Multiculturalism programs have also recognized the historic significance of certain ethnic groups by developing educational initiatives, such as school programs promoting Black History Month, which aims to educate young Canadians about the Black community and its history in Canada. With these plans, it is evident that the government wants to encourage multiculturism in Canada.

History of Multiculturalism in Canada

Most Canadians are welcoming to other cultures and social backgrounds. Looking back at the history of Canada some evidence proves this point. Multiculturalism in Canada was not an official policy until 1971, it has however been identified as a historical and social fact since the Canadian West settlement. The Canadian government had vigorously started promoting large-scale immigration during the nineteenth century second half. This shows hoe Canadians has been open to different cultures from all over the world. Over 5 decades multiculturalism has evolved from a feel-good ideal to official policy to a national article of faith and defining part of Canada’s national identity. Canadians have shown great interest to accept other immigrants of different cultures, social backgrounds, ethnicity. Supporters of multiculturalism counter that multiple identities are inevitable and their acceptance strengthen rather than weakens attachment to Canada. Multiculturalism day celebrated in the 27 June of every year shows the acceptance of other cultures. Multiculturalism recognizes and celebrates this reality seeking to integrate but not assimilate immigrants as well as native-born members of ethn0-cultural communities into Canada’s cultural mosaic.

There are plans to increase the number of immigrants in the coming years. Many immigration advocates and economic groups had called for bigger increases to Canada’s immigration numbers. The government’s economic advisory council suggested admitting 450,000 people in a report in 2016. Plans to increase the intake of immigrants show that multiculturism has gained wider acceptance. The Liberal government announced plans to raise immigration to 350,000 per year by 2021.
Various polls and surveys and conducted to find the favourability for multiculturism. In a 2015 Environics poll, 95 percent of respondents said that immigrants are as likely to be good citizens as the native-born. Poll results can vary according to the questions asked, but as recently as March 2017, the Canadian Studies Association reported that Canadians were increasingly comfortable with diversity. This result clearly states that the majority of Canadians are accepting multiculturalism.

According to A. E. Barnes multiculturalism is a term that has come to serve as shorthand for a host of different and not necessarily related to cultural and educational issues. Arguments relating to gender studies, ethnic and racial studies, affirmative action, freedom of speech on campus, compromise, and corruption among educational administrators have all been aired under the title, multiculturalism. It can be found all over the world with people migrating to different places. For multiculturalism to be effective, assimilationist societies must be prepared to change elite and public attitudes and implement policies that do not produce backlash among the native-born majority population.


Even though the concept is gaining wider acceptance in Canada, there is a relevant opposition too. Multiculturism comes with its pros and cons. It is multifaceted and brings about various changes in the human thought process and viewpoints as well. It should be continued until the human era ends because technology developed, thoughts have changed, and multinational corporations emerged. Because of all these, cultural aspects have also been changed enormously. People explore various places where they are comfortable to settle down and to lead a stable life without looking at the cultural obstacles. So multiculturalism is inevitable in every single aspect of today. As for the future of multiculturalism, despite its critics, it is a policy that is here to stay. It is here to stay because there is no acceptable substitute for it. It is and will always remain a key element of Canadian life. With relatively limited data to back their view, critics of multiculturalism point to unacceptable acts committed by individuals identifying with specific groups as proof positive that Canadian multiculturalism is a serious problem. Too often the criticism is reduced to so-called evidence that is little more than some combination of generalizations, stereotypes, anecdotes, and assumptions.

Cite this paper

Pros and Cons of Multiculturalism in Canada. (2020, Oct 29). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/pros-and-cons-of-multiculturalism-in-canada/



What are the benefits of multiculturalism in Canada?
Multiculturalism in Canada promotes diversity, understanding, and respect for different cultures and traditions. This leads to a more inclusive society that celebrates differences and fosters a sense of unity among its citizens.
What are the pros and cons of cultural diversity?
The pros of cultural diversity are that it can lead to a more creative and innovative society, and it can also lead to a more tolerant and understanding world. The cons of cultural diversity can be that it can lead to cultural conflict and tension, and it can also make it more difficult for people to communicate and understand each other.
What are the pros of multiculturalism?
Multiculturalism can lead to a more tolerant society where people are more understanding and accepting of others. It can also help people learn about and appreciate different cultures.
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