Kymlicka’s book sends a message to Canadians

(Canscene) — 

Will Kymlicka, who’s Canadian Research Chair in Political Philosophy at Queen’s University, has written a number of books and papers on multiculturalism. In his latest, Multicultural Odysseys (Oxford University Press) he examines the prospects for the adoption of multicultural policies by countries in which firmly entrenched ethnic enclaves threaten harmony and peace.

In the last analysis, says Kymlicka, the acceptance of multiculturalism is closely linked with acknowledgment and acceptance of human rights. He admits to the daunting nature of his desirable aim.

My own thoughts are that we in Canada can afford to be proud of our own record, although we lag behind in our attitude toward native communities as components of multiculturalism. Nevertheless, Canada along with, to a lesser degree, Australia, has far outstripped other countries.

Here, there’s relative harmony and understanding between ethnic factors that, in their countries of origin, are still hostile to each other. It is this attitude we must foster among all Canadians irrespective of their origin.

We must embed in the very idea of citizenship to which all immigrant newcomers should aspire that in no other country does there exist the opportunity to see in Canadian citizenship an ideal that can teach the world an understanding, beyond mere tolerance, of diversity within the law.

Let’s forget the external irritations felt by some: burquas, hijabs, turbans, kirpans. yarmulkas. these are not of themselves lawbreakers. Let’s dwell on the values of citizenship in a country that makes the most of the cultural and trading and peacemaking opportunities that have been bestowed on us.

Leave a Reply