Diversity is as much a part of the Canadian cultural identity as maple syrup.
In 2011, 20 per cent of Canadians were foreign-born, according to the National Household Survey by Statistics Canada.
So as the pictures of Alan Kurdi sparked a worldwide debate on immigration policy, they hit hard with Canadians. Not only because the toddler and his family were trying to get to Canada when he, his brother and his mother drowned, but because many Canadians are themselves former refugees and immigrants.
But historically, Canada has done more to help refugees and migrants. Some fled because of economic crisis. Others, because of war. But Canada accepted them all.
To remind us of the importance of immigrants to Canada's history, columnist Stephen Lautens started the hashtag '#WeAreAllImmigrants'
I want to start a hashtag - #WereAllImmigrants - I'll start. My great grandfather arrived on a boat as an "economic migrant" on May 1, 1900.— Stephen Lautens (@stephenlautens) September 12, 2015
Of course, Canadians responded resoundingly by sharing their (and their family's) stories of coming to Canada:
My Grandfather came to Canada as an "economic migrant" circa 1924 via the US and UKSeptember 12, 2015
Accused of 'loyalism' my father's family escaped the noose in 1785. Starving, my mother's survived the Coffins in 1847.. #WereAllImmigrants— dexterdyne (@dexterdyne) September 12, 2015
My Papa moved to Canada as a boy from Scotland. As a result, I've been able to immigrate to the UK #weareallimmigrants— Alison Fox (@alisonleighfox) September 12, 2015
My Great Grandfather got a change to legislation to allow single Sikh immigrants to bring their families to Canada #WeAreALLImmigrants— Prospero (@Prospero37) September 12, 2015
Do you have a story to share? Tell us in the comments below.
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