Canadian identity: the never ending quest

(Canscene) — The Multiculturalism portfolio plus something called Canadian Identity goes from Canadian Heritage to newly appointed secretary of state Jason Kenney: not quite a minister and not included in cabinet meetings.

The move has already aroused the wrath of Jim Karygiannis, federal MP for Scarborough-Agincourt He says it demeans the idea of multicuturalism which, from a declared policy became part of our 1982 Constiturion and Charter of Rights and was then enshrined in the Multiculturalism Act of 1988.

` What intrigues me, however is the inclusion of “Canadian Identity” in Kenney’s new title. In the midst of so many tugs-o’-war concerning this identity, must he now set out to produce a definition?

This business of defining Canadian identity must consider our aboriginal nations, the two so called founding nations and millions of immigrants from more than 170 countries.

How can such diversity be merged into one national identity unless diversity itself be considered that identity?

Let’s stop flogging dead horses
What we can do is stop harping on forging a single national identity based on one bias or another, and concentrate on the concept of Canadian citizenship which we don’t value enough.

We have to consider the blessings of citizenship in Canada — a country more highly regarded by others than by ourselves We have to think in terms of the right to equality that citizenship bestows on us and we have to begin to promote pride in that citizenship.

Let’s stop fussing about people wearing saris, turbans and hijabs, about religious practices or skin colour. Let’s think about ourselves in terms of our Constitution, our Charter of Rights and our Multiculturalism Act and their potential to give each and every one of us the right to enjoy equality along with discharging our responsibilities as citizens

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