Divisive [multiculturalism]

CalgaryHerald.com – story
February 13, 2011.   By E. W. Bopp, Calgary Herald

Dividing ourselves into so many hyphenated identities and ending up with no cohesive national identity has been the stock-in-trade of Canada’s official policy of multiculturalism. The forces at work have become sadly centrifugal, as we desperately search for a sense of national community and purpose, against a domestic background of creating growing numbers of internal solitudes.

Instead of unequivocally adopting Canada and its national customs, its cultural values and its laws, and leaving their own wars, hatreds and divisions behind, Canada seems to have become for many newcomers merely an economically convenient and politically welcoming place to wave foreign flags, to voice foreign grievances, to fight foreign battles, to demand Canada’s unreserved accommodation to suit their religious, social, cultural and even legal preferences -and to claim injustice and discrimination when such demands are not readily met.

Ottawa’s brand of multiculturalism has merely contributed to the kind of “multi-identity-ism” that has turned all of us, myself as an immigrant included, into a nation of hyphenated Canadians.

Canada’s journey to nationhood must be based on that deeper sense of diversity from which, fed by a multitude of tributaries, flows a new, distinctive and enriched national stream.

E. W. Bopp, Tsawwassen, B.C.

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