Multiculturalism In Toronto Essay

The policy constitutes linguistic rights and institutional obligations with respect to the norms and practices of the dominant two charter groups (English and French), without granting various cultural practices as collective public rights.3 Two different objectives of multiculturalism developed: promoting cultural retention and social equality.While the first objective seems to have been accommodated with the various official multiculturalism programs, the latter fell short of being realized due to the lack of political demand and pressure on key cultural, educational, and political institutions to fundamentally change their politics.4 Political, economic, and social equality was not achieved.L’idéal représenté par le multiculturalisme a donné lieu à un large débat dans lequel le projet est parfois critiqué car, en dépit des objectifs d’inclusion sur les bases égalitaires au sein de la société canadienne, il n’a pas permis de répondre aux questions liées à l’hégémonie eurocentrique, aux inégalités socio-économiques et politiques, ni aux questions liées aux préjugés et au racisme.

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Focussing often on the situation of women, their poetry exposes multiple forms of oppression and silencing on the grounds of the nexus of class, race, and gender.

The article attempts to filter out textual strategies with which they mirror socio-economic realities of non-European immigrants and critically look at Canadian multiculturalism.

It briefly outlines the concept of multiculturalism, its fallacies and inadequacies, followed by an introduction to dub poetry.

The main part is dedicated to the discussion of dub poetry by Lillian Allen, Ahdri Zhina Mandiela, and Afua Cooper who present female Caribbean Canadian views of multiculturalism.

Dans leur poésie, Allen, Mandiela et Cooper exposent de multiples formes d’oppression et de censure dans le Canada multiculturel, qui se basent sur des discriminations raciales, sexuelles ainsi que de classe.

Avec des stratégies textuelles variées, les auteurs reflètent la réalité des immigrants non européens et apportent un regard critique sur le projet multiculturel canadien.This policy is very ambitious and unique in its endeavour to create a model society that accommodates the needs of all its inhabitants.However, it fails to do so in various aspects and has been widely debated and vehemently criticized for many reasons. Li, multiculturalism is a policy that lacks clarity because of changing official explanations and political emphasis.Subsequently, Li concludes that the “highly publicized multiculturalism policy […] was mainly symbolic,” that it “offers a description of a form of ethnic relations that represents more an ideal than reality,” and that “the program contents have been ineffective in producing institutional changes.”5 Since non-European immigrant groups participate in societal institutions under the conditions of the dominant values and practices, the dominant groups enjoy more rights and powers than the non-dominant groups and their values and practices are consequently self-understood as the ‘norm.’ Hence in the public sector, Canada’s version of multiculturalism turns into a version of assimilationism.6 More scathing criticism of Canadian multiculturalism comes among others from Marlene Nourbese Philip, Neil Bissoondath, and Himani Bannerji.Philip argues that multiculturalism is designed to equalize power between the two central cultures (English and French) as well as among the “individual satellite cultures”.Hence, this policy/ideology diminishes structural, economic, political, and social inequalities, cultural hegemony, discrimination against and othering of non-European immigrants, male violence and patriarchy within non-European immigrant groups to political non-issues.12 Her view of multiculturalism is diametrically opposed to the proposed objectives of this policy/ideology: “The problem of multiculturalism, then, is how much tradition can be accommodated by Canadian modernity without affecting in any real way the overall political and cultural hegemony of Europeans.”13 The ideological Englishness / Europeanness / ‘whiteness’ is the hegemonic Canadian identity and forms the point of departure for multiculturalism, othering non-’white’ individuals and cultural groups and reducing them to Philip’s ‘satellite status.’ Because the ethnicity of English and French Canada is not acknowledged, Bannerji says, "the whiteness in the ‘self’ of ‘Canada’s’ state and nationhood” is left unnamed.Hence, this “white center” is rendered transparent and invisible and its identity universal so that cultures perceived as being different are marked “visible” and “multiculture” and placed at the orbiting margin.14 These selective modes of ethnicization constitute multiculturalism as vehicle for racialization.15 Bannerji concludes: As long as ‘multiculturalism’ only skims the surface of society, expressing itself as traditional ethics, such as arranged marriages, and ethnic food, clothes, songs and dances (thus facilitating tourism), it is tolerated by the state and ‘Canadians’ as non-threatening.These writers, in concert with English and French Canadian authors, create the multiracial and multiethnic nature of Canada as an immediate reality for Canadians and write this reality into their minds.20 In the same vein, Judy Young, in defence of Canadian multiculturalism programs, outlines a variety of such programs and their achievements and lists a number of writers, directors, and artists who were promoted through multiculturalism grants.As a result, she affirms that “Canadian literature displays a vibrancy and diversity that derives from a real mixing of sources, influences, and origins.”21 The vibrant and diverse Canadian national literature has become a significant part of world literature and its potential to globally advertise Canada in concert with multiculturalism was recognized and exploited by the Trudeau and Mulroney governments as Sabine Milz notes.Immigrants are a source of diverse knowledge and experience.They can increase innovation, creativity and prosperity in our city.

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