Canadians think immigrants should do more to blend in; immigrants would do well: Tarek Fatah

Tarek Fatah on Canadian values and integration:

How else would 30 million Canadians offer three of the most liveable cities of the world – Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary – considering our large size and low population.

It’s our values and culture that makes us the envy of the world. What are those values that we wish all newcomers embrace, as we welcome them to become part of our family?

More than Canada being a liberal, secular democracy, newcomers find our embracing of the disabled, and the intellectually challenged a pleasant shock.

It’s also how we, over the years, have come to accept gays and lesbians as our sisters and brothers and live next to them as neighbours with who we chat, bake, help clear their snow despite the recognition that just a few decades ago this would not have been possible, but we did it.

Our cities are relatively safe; young women can jog late in the night without the fear of posses of young men taunting and throwing sexual epithets at them.

And then there is that colour bar and anti-black racism that has been largely defeated – even though we have miles to go before we rest.

If there is a nirvana, this is it.

However, this is our inheritance from generations gone before us and it is our duty to ensure these values and this culture does not get tarnished or diluted. Because there is still that awful disease that pushes newcomers into ideological, cultural, ethnic and religious ghettoes of old. Sad to say, anti-black racism still thrives in some corners, homophobia is still common in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and the disabled are still viewed in many parts as a curse from the gods for sins committed by their parents. A visit to Uganda or Pakistan, Somalia or Saudi Arabia, will confirm those observations.

Source: Canadians think immigrants should do more to blend in; immigrants would do well

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About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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