We are transitioning to a new era. A new era in which multicultural communities are what Quebec used to represent to Canada as a whole in terms of influence. They are increasingly the bloc of voters that all political parties constantly think about to placate and please, with good reason.
Let kids fail young -- while they are still in their beta phase, adaptable and resilient. Let them struggle with a math problem. Let them audition for the lead role when you know they're likely to be cast as an understudy. Let them make mistakes that will build self-care and even empathy.
Some observers insist that Canada's multicultural policies encourage newcomers to maintain their attachment to their countries of origin. This in turn makes it difficult for them to establish a proper connection with Canada. Defenders of this view rarely provide supporting empirical evidence.
I've wondered what to do about Canada's literary scene for some time. If you follow literary events closely, you'll see a lot of white faces on the lineups and in the promotions. In a multicultural country like Canada, that kind of oversight is a significant problem publishing professionals and festival organizers can't afford to ignore.
Visiting Canada on a European Parliament membership technicality with no federal or provincial parties willing to engage given her bigoted views (and possible stench of sulphur) has not prevented her from criticizing Canada's policies on immigration and multiculturalism. The terror attacks in Brussels have only added more ammunition to a sharp tongue already loaded with nationalist, nativist and jingoistic diatribe.
Multiculturalism, as a comprehensive communal doctrine, came to be the right answer for the nation of Canada to create its unique, coherent and inclusive society which guarantees equality, freedom, fairness and reverence to all its citizens. The various cultures, religious doctrines, social values and ethnicities merit equal respect.
Although the term multiculturalism has remained broadly popular, its application has been the object of ongoing controversy. At the center of the debate is the issue of whether identities are in inevitably in conflict. That, for example, individuals must choose between their ethnic attachments and their Canadian identity.
Instead of asking our parents to change, why don't we change the situation that caused our parents to change -- poverty? Poverty in Sri Lanka has left many children on the streets scavenging for food, or should we say crumbs. What if I told you for $20 you can buy change -- change in the form of a future.
I acknowledge that good, well-meaning people who genuinely care about Syrian refugees can have perfectly valid concerns about the security risk of bringing in tens of thousands of people from a war zone. It is as large an undertaking as it sounds. So, in light of Canadian political leaders playing on Canadians' concerns to spread fear and disinformation, I decided to research how Canada screens, accepts and settles Syrian refugees. It is my hope we can dispel fear and confusion with facts, reason and compassion.
What is most telling is that even given the divisive and downright xenophobic campaign the Conservatives have run thus far, they are still within striking distance to form government. This carefully crafted U.S.-style Republican narrative has set Canada on an extremely dangerous course, and one that only Canadian voters can steer back to the right path. From "old stock Canadians" deserving of greater government benefits, to the ridiculous niqab debate, to the absurd hotline dedicated to reporting "culturally barbaric" practices, the Conservatives are pulling no punches in their quest to mobilize their voter base.