Canadian Heritage Departmental Plan 2017-18 – Multiculturalism

Multiculturalism-related excerpts from the latest PCH departmental plan, starting with where it fits in the overall departmental strategy and then progressing to the “sub-program” level.

To date, no change in the Conservative government priorities, although these have been updated with respect to the grants and contributions element, where the new priorities are:

  • work toward the elimination of discrimination, racism and prejudice;
  • provide opportunities for youth community engagement; and
  • bring people together through art, culture and/or sport.

The re-integration into Canadian Heritage has not yet raised the profile or influence of multiculturalism. The reduced resources, the dispersion across different branches, and Ministerial focus on more important priorities are likely the main reasons.

Promote diversity and inclusion to enhance Canadians sense of belonging and pride and to promote inclusive economic growth.

  • Deliver a successful year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation through a wide range of national and local community events and initiatives.
  • Implement a new and modernized Court Challenges Program, in collaboration with the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.
  • Support and enhance our approach to diversity and inclusion through the Multiculturalism Program and other initiatives.

Operating context: conditions affecting our work

“The more people engage with the breadth of our country’s diversity, the more Canadian they become.”

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

The work of Canadian Heritage will continue to play an important role in the lives of Canadians in a dynamic and evolving context. Globalization is creating new domestic and international markets that provide significant opportunities to promote and invest in Canadian creative industries and Canadian creators. The rise of new technologies and digital platforms are changing the way Canadians create, access and experience culture. As the Canadian population becomes increasingly diverse there is an opportunity to build on Canada’s strength in achieving inclusive diversity. In international surveys, Canadians are amongst the most likely to say they are “very proud” of their country. Canada can play an influential role in promoting diversity globally and to share the lessons of its unique historical experience as a multicultural, bilingual, treaty nation with the shared values of human rights. Given the mandate and responsibilities of the Department, Canadian Heritage will continue to play a key role in promoting and celebrating an inclusive society that strengthens and sustains the Canadian social contract and promotes innovation and economic prosperity.

Sub-program 2.2.5: Multiculturalism Program

The objectives of the Multiculturalism Program are to build an integrated, socially cohesive society; to improve the responsiveness of institutions to the needs of a diverse population; and to engage in discussions on multiculturalism, integration and diversity at the international level. The Program provides grants and contributions to organizations for projects and events that enhance intercultural/interfaith understanding, civic memory and pride, respect for core democratic values, and participation in society and the economy. It undertakes public outreach and promotion activities that are designed and delivered to engage Canadians on multiculturalism issues. The Program’s ongoing public outreach and promotional activities include Asian Heritage Month, Black History Month, various web-based resources, and other initiatives. The Program is designed to implement requirements set out in the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, including the development of the Annual Report on the Operation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, which is tabled in Parliament. The Program’s international engagement supports Canada’s participation in agreements such as the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, and in institutions that address multicultural issues globally. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payments: Grants in support of the Multiculturalism Program and Contributions in support of the Multiculturalism Program.

Note: This represented a decline from the amount originally transferred from PCH to then CIC in 2008: $8.7 million for salaries, $5.9 million for operating, and $22.8 million for grants and contributions (G&Cs also included funds for the Canadian Historical Recognition Program, which sun-setted shortly thereafter). The Multiculturalism Program had about 80 FTEs at the time of the transfer.

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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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