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What is Multiculturalism? Canada Answers
Living in a Multicultural Society
What is Multiculturalism?
Multiculturalism is the acceptance and encouragement of many cultures in a society. Multiculturalism:
Encourages racial and ethnic harmony
Promotes cross-cultural understanding
Discourages hatred, discrimination, and violence
Multiculturalism in Canada
In 1971, Canada adopted multiculturalism as an official policy, which confirmed:
The value and dignity of all Canadians, regardless of their racial or ethnic origins, their language or their religious affiliations
The rights of Aboriginal peoples
The status of Canada's two official languages: French and English
Living in a diverse society can be a wonderful experience.
Canada promotes multiculturalism by encouraging Canadians to participate in all aspects of life. Regardless of their ethnic background, everyone can partake in social, cultural, economic, and political affairs. Everyone is equal. Everyone has a right to be heard. These rights are guaranteed through our Canadian Constitution and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Some people come to Canada with a history of hatred or distrust toward a particular ethnic group. Promoting hatred is not permitted in Canada. You have the right to preserve your own ethnicity in Canada. You must also respect others' right to do the same.
Marriages between people of different races are legal in Canada. Such marriages are widely accepted.
Almost every faith is represented in Canada. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the freedom of religious expression. The right to hold any religious belief implies that you too must be tolerant of the beliefs of others.
Canada has also experienced racial and ethnic tensions. The majority of Canadians, however, are fair-minded. They will accept and respect anyone who accepts and respects them.
As a potential newcomer to Canada, you may contribute to this country's diversity. However, you need to be prepared to live in a multicultural environment and adapt to the ways of your new home.
All immigrants will need to:
Learn English or French as soon as possible.
Obey Canadian laws and respect Canadian values and public behaviour.
Understand and respect the Canadian Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms - both forbid discrimination based on ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, and mental or physical disabilities
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