Enough of multiculturalism – bring on the melting pot
Issues don’t get much hotter than immigration. It’s where political correctness abounds, where allegations of intolerance and racism are but a breath away, where ministers had best show finesse with their pronouncements.
Not so Jason Kenney. Our man at the immigration turnstiles has been in a bull-in-a-china shop mode lately. He’s told newcomers they have to speak our official languages better, he’s barred British MP George Galloway from admittance, he’s accused refugees of systematic abuse of the system, he’s called for more integration of immigrants, and he’s gone to war with the Canadian Arab Federation, a group that accuses him of being a shill for the Jewish community.
It’s serious stuff. The purport is that immigrants must do more to conform to Canadian standards. The minister wants to tighten the definition of what it means to be Canadian. The pitch – when in Rome, do as the Romans do – is for less multiculturalism and more melting pot. “We want to avoid the kind of ethnic conclaves or parallel communities that exist in some European communities,” says Mr. Kenney. New Canadians have “a duty to integrate. … We don’t need the state to promote diversity.”
Monte Solberg, the previous Conservative immigration minister, favours the move to the melting pot, saying the Liberal concept of the multicultural mosaic is dated. Immigrant communities are more self-assured now. Ottawa, Mr. Solberg says, shouldn’t be in the business of preserving their cultures.
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