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Canada's multiculturalism is no model for Europe

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CHIMO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 07:46 PM
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Canada's multiculturalism is no model for Europe
Multiculturalism is to Canada as the welfare state is to Britain: Canadians view their multicultural model as distinct from the European version, and as suffering from none of the defects of the latter. Many Europeans do so, too, seeing in the Canadian model the answer to Europe's multicultural problems.

Last month I was invited to give a talk on immigration and citizenship in Europe to a Trudeau Foundation conference in Nova Scotia. For someone like me, a European in favour of mass immigration but critical of multiculturalism, it was a fascinating experience.

The foundation, whose aim is to promote academic research, was set up in 2001 in memory of former Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau, and is indelibly shaped by his liberal humanitarianism. Trudeau is particularly associated with the nation's multicultural policy that has come to shape Canadian self-image.

At first glance, there seems much to be said for the success of the Canadian policy. Community relations in Canada have remained relatively peaceful, and there has been far less of the violence and tensions found in Europe. And yet the argument that all is rosy in Canada's multicultural garden is unconvincing.
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