Selling Diversity: Immigration, Multiculturalism, Employment Equity, and Globalization

Description

202 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
$27.95
ISBN 1-55111-398-8
DDC 305'.0971

Publisher

Year

2002

Contributor

Reviewed by Graeme S. Mount

Graeme S. Mount is a professor of history at Laurentian University. He
is the author of Canada’s Enemies: Spies and Spying in the Peaceable
Kingdom, Chile and the Nazis, and The Diplomacy of War: The Case of
Korea.

Review

These authors deal with Canadian immigration and multiculturalism
policies as well as with employment equity. All three are under attack,
and this book suggests ways in which Canadians should respond. Cultural
diversity, the authors say, is something to be welcomed—not merely
tolerated or, worse, resisted. More than a way to promote international
trade and increase the gross domestic product, cultural diversity can
“increase understanding between peoples of the world.”

The authors have a point, but it is necessary to look at facts they do
not mention. Yes, John Diefenbaker indicated that he approved credit for
wheat sales to China because of his respect for Chinese Canadians and
their demonstrated integrity. Yes, most Canadians enjoy ethnic
restaurants, ethnic costumes, and ethnic dancing. On the other hand,
unassimilated immigrants often place the perceived interests of their
homelands ahead of Canadian interests. An Armenian group tried to
assassinate the Turkish Ambassador in Ottawa. Indian diplomats posted to
Canada need bodyguards to protect them from Sikh militants, also
suspected of dynamiting an Air India flight with hundreds of Canadians
on board. In February 1992, Greek immigrants demonstrated on Parliament
Hill to urge the Government of Canada not to recognize newly independent
Macedonia. For many Canadian Jews, Israel can do no wrong and Canadian
authorities should respond accordingly; at the same time, there have
been attacks on Jews and Jewish property in Canadian cities. As this
review goes to press, an Iranian-Canadian family is demanding the
suspension of Canadian-Iranian relations because of the brutal behaviour
of the Tehran government toward their courageous

matriarch, who had gone to Iran on an Iranian passport.

Does Canada have collective interests that amount to more than the sum
of its parts? It would appear so. Few would want Canadian streets or
airports to become scenes of ethnic conflict. Overseas, after Canadian
Croats had promoted and financed the disintegration of Yugoslavia,
Canadian soldiers found themselves fighting their fiercest battle since
the Korean War—against the Croatian Army. Some degree of assimilation
is a worthy goal, and unrestricted multiculturalism can be a mixed
blessing.

Citation

Abu-Laban, Yasmeen, and Christina Gabriel., “Selling Diversity: Immigration, Multiculturalism, Employment Equity, and Globalization,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/18092.