March 18, 2015 – Reported by iPolitics.ca – Canada has been singularly successful as a multicultural nation. While Europe and America have torn themselves apart over issues of immigration and race, we’ve been lucky in avoiding strife. Our luck may be running out.
Our polling is tracking an erosion of Canadians’ openness to diversity and immigration. Much of this may be due to a looming federal election in which rhetoric about terrorism and cultural accommodation is bound to play a prominent role. Attitudes to immigration are in flux and we appear to be turning into a less open society.
Questions of race and religious dress have rarely been ballot box issues in Canada. Now, however, they appear to be the key factors behind major shifts in the voter landscape.
Canada has absorbed a large number of visible minority immigrants over the past twenty years, turning us from a largely white society with ancestry drawn from Britain and France to an extremely heterogeneous one. Initial deep reservations about immigration dropped consistently over that period as we became more diverse. The public embraced the ideal of multiculturalism; dire warnings about ethnic enclaves and a fading national identity never came true. Our research over that period shows national attachment remained very high in Canada, while ethnic identifications actually dropped…story continues below…