The Land for All in Canada

Multiculturalism in any country is defined as the quality if intercultural relations in that country or region. In Canada, the policy of multiculturalism was introduced in 1971 by an act of the Legislature. The goal of the multiculturalism policy was to improve the quality of intercultural relations in the country. The quality of intercultural relations was to be realized by accessing how possible it was for people of any origin, color, sexual orientations, gender, etc. could receive equal treatment and rights in regards to education, security, political rights, income, etc. It was envisioned that, by supporting the maintenance and development of cultural communities, and by promoting intercultural contacts together with reducing barriers to full participation for all members of the society, the country would be a home to all people. The country has made great progress in achieving multiculturalism, and Canada is home to any person better than it has been in any other time in history.

One main thing that shows that Canada has made great strides in the acceptance of multiculturalism is the acceptance of immigrants into the country. Our countries immigration policy is relatively open compared to that of other western powers, after the policy that excluded applicants who were not of European origin was banned in 1976, by the enaction of new laws[1]. Once the country opened its borders to people of all ethnicity, it has become a destination for immigrants from many countries around the world. According to a 2006 UN report in International Migration and Development, Canada was ranked as the seventh country in the list of 28 countries that host 75% or more international immigrants.[2]

In the recent past, Canada has been in the forefront in receiving immigrants from war-torn countries in the Middle East such as Syria, led by the country’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau a factor that has depicted Canada as land for refugees even more. Immigrants from these countries come with in most cases, their religion, their cultural practices, etc. Despite these differences, the country still accepts them. The fact that Canada accepts all eligible migrants despite their ethnicity, country of origin, religion, and gender, proves that Canada has become more culturally diverse and has agreed to live with this diversity. 

Legislations is another thing that shows that Canada is a land for all. As previously stated, the country introduced the Multiculturalism Act in 1988. The result of this act is that the country set aside some funds that began to funnel down to ethnocultural groups to maintain themselves. More so, Section Fifteen of the Human Rights and Freedoms Charter shows that everybody in the country is equal to stations that every person in the country is equal before the eyes of the law.[3]

Hence, each person has equal rights to protection, and equal rights to the benefits provided by the law without discrimination whether by race, national or ethnic origin, color, sex, religion, age or disabilities whether mental or physical. The multiculturalism act recognizes the rights of the indigenous people, and social equality within the society regardless of a person's creed, religion, ethnic origin, national origin, ancestry, color or race.[4] These laws show that Canada as a country respects every person and every person is equal before the eyes of the law. Hence it can be described as a land fit for all.

In addition to federal legislation, provincial legislation and policies also support the peaceful co-existence of the different cultures, ethnicity, races, sexual orientations, and ancestry. Out of the ten provinces in Canada, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia have multiculturalism legislature.[5] A multiculturalism advisory council exists in the provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. In Ontario, social inclusion, Civic and Community recognition, engagement, and social integration are promoted by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and protected by an official multiculturalism policy. Furthermore, all the provinces and territorial governments are under the federal legislation of protecting people from discrimination and offering security and other social needs to all without discriminating based in religion, creed, sexuality, gender, national origin, ethnic origin, ancestry, color, mental or physical disabilities, or race.[6]

Everybody is under the law and is supposed to uphold the laws of the land and therefore the argument that Canada is a land accommodative to all. 

People who are of the assertion that, Canada is not a land for all critic that the country’s laws and policies are only good on paper and in theory but are not always implemented. They cite situations where Muslims have felt targeted and discriminated against, especially when the government has attacked terrorist cells in the country, and cite occasions where LGBT communities have felt discriminated against.[7] In as much as this is true, it is essential to acknowledge that individual Canadians hold their personal views and opinions on some social issues and it is not practical that every Canadian fails to discriminate against each other or to treat each other differently. 

It is also important to note that although such treatments still occur, the country has done great strides in ensuring that Canadians become tolerant to each other and over the last few decades this has borne fruits. A good example is in the LGBT community. The LGBT community has faced discrimination in this country for a long time. At some point, even the law was against same-sex sexual relationships. However, Canada has made great strides, and the country is more habitable to people of the same sex than ever before. The Chamberlain V. Surrey School District No 36 ruling that uplifted a ban of same-sex parenting books, and the Vriend v. Alberta [1998] case that ruled the word “sexual orientation to be included in the Canadian Charter of rights are some good examples of how the law has changed to accommodate all[8]. More so, gay people have been appointed and elected to influential positions in the country showing the increased level of diversity tolerance in the city.

In conclusion, Canada can be defined as a home for all despite gender, religion, sexual orientation, ancestry, ethnicity, origin, and physical or mental disabilities. The country's policies and legislation treat everybody equally. In as much as it is true that not all Canadians tolerate this diversity, where such discrimination and or favoritism occurs, people should always be aware that the law can protect them and they are free to file such allegations.


Berry, John W. "Research on multiculturalism in Canada." International Journal of Intercultural Relations 37, no. 6 (2013): 663-675.

Duval, Alexandre. "Les députés homosexuels de l’Assemblée nationale de 1977 à 2002: un facteur dans l’atteinte de l’égalité juridique des gais et des lesbiennes du Québec?." (2014).

Kymlicka, Will. The current state of multiculturalism in Canada and research themes on Canadian multiculturalism 2008-2010. Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2011.

Perry, Michael J. Toward a theory of human rights: Religion, law, courts. Cambridge University Press, 2006.

1. Berry, John W. "Research on multiculturalism in Canada." International Journal of Intercultural Relations 37, no. 6 (2013): 663-675.

2. Ibid.

3. Kymlicka, Will. The current state of multiculturalism in Canada and research themes on Canadian multiculturalism 2008-2010. Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2011.

4. Ibid.

                        5. Kymlicka, Will. The  State of multiculturalism in Canada. 2011.

                        6. Perry, Michael J. Toward a theory of human rights: Religion, law, courts. Cambridge University Press, 2006.

7. Berry, John W. "Research on multiculturalism in Canada. 663-675.

8. Duval, Alexandre. "Les députés homosexuals de l'Assemblée Nationale de 1977 à 2002: un facteur dans l'atteinte de l'égalité juridique des gais et des lesbiennes du Québec?." (2014).

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