Declarations by European leaders that multiculturalism is a failure are not applicable to York Region, academics and immigration advocates said, wrote the Aurora Banner, Feb. 18:
The dialogue sparked by the leaders mystifies York University City Institute director Roger Keil, himself a newcomer from his native Germany in the 1990s. “I’m puzzled (that) the national debate in Central and Western Europe is a point of reference in Canada,” he said. “Those making the comments have a specific agenda. They’re right wing and are under various influences, some fascist.”
Citing France’s republic, Germany’s federation and Italy’s struggles to define itself during a wave of Tunisian immigration, Keil said Canada demonstrates vastly different policies and history.
Canada has the highest per-capita immigration rate in the world, driven by economic policy and family reunification. Multiculturalism in Canada was adopted as the official policy of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau’s government in the 1970s.
. . .
Our welcoming nature and immigration policies have created a critical mass of socio-ethno cultural groups, creating a mosaic of diversity that outweighs influences by camps and enclaves found in Europe, Dr. Keil said. “Europe has a different political spectrum,” he said. “They have outspoken nationalists pushed by fascist forces stirring up unrest. We don’t see those forces operating in York Region.”
Keil leads the SSHRC-funded Global Suburbanisms: Governance, Land and Infrastructure in the 21st Century project, which is the first major research project to take stock of worldwide suburban developments in a systematic way.
Posted by Elizabeth Monier-Williams, research communications officer, with files courtesy of YFile – York University’s daily e-bulletin.