Multiculturalism -- several views
Over the weekend, one of the Star's regular columnists proclaimed that he was fed up with politicians trying to exploit the "ethnic vote."
Angelo Persichilli wrote this a day after a big article appeared in The Globe and Mail, describing Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's efforts to court multicultural communities. (Persichilli's column was about his frustration with Liberals on this score, it should be said. It's not clear whether Kenney's efforts annoy him too.)
Now former Liberal MP Omar Alghabra is weighing in with his protest about how multicultural politics is being played at the moment and he's calling it "vacuous." You can find it here, in its full version, but below is a small excerpt.
Multicultural communities share the same concerns with the rest of Canada. They want a growing economy, an accessible healthcare system, an affordable world class education, a sustainable environment, reduction in poverty, fairness in our society and judicial system and foreign policy that promotes peace and justice. In addition, they seek assurances for equal and full citizenship, respect and understanding for their faith and culture, safe space to practice their faith and culture, protection against stereotyping and discrimination, welcoming political leadership that would stand up for their equal rights and invite them to participate in society as full citizens.
Folks who are interested in this debate, and who were doing something else other than reading about politics over Christmas, may want to check out an article I wrote in December about whether the word "pluralism" was coming to replace "multiculturalism" in the Canadian government lexicon. I interviewed Kenney for this article, and he's clearly given this matter a lot of thought.