Presentation on theme: "The Immigration Paradigm"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Immigration Paradigm Randall HansenUniversity of Toronto
2 Immigration is the issue of our time Each year we accept close to 1% of our populationSome 40% of them arrive in Toronto
3 Questions1. Whether an overarching Canadian identity can (or should) be maintained.2. About what can be demanded of new immigrants (and what they can expect from us).3. About dual and multiple citizenship.
4 Three slippages 1. An overly lax conception of citizenship 2. A confusion surrounding ‘multiculturalism’ and what it requires in terms of religious and other forms of accommodation3. A sort of democratic deficit, a diconnect between the way identity is being constructed & the way in which Canadians which to understand it.
5 How we are doingCanadians hold positive attitudes towards immigration while demonstrating integrationist attitudesMeasures of discrimination, vulnerability, income inequality, and social cohesion indicate that all is not well, particularly among visible minorities of the second generation
6 Understanding Ethnic Diversity and Social Cohesion in Canada Data show:1. Patterns of race-based economic inequality2. High and growing perception of discriminationSocial cohesion is measured by sense of belonging, trust, Canadian identity, citizenship, life satisfaction, volunteering, and having voted in the last federal election.Levels of perceived discrimination and vulnerability as well as actual income inequality between ethnic groups by visible minority status are also reported.
7 Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Canada Much of the current discussion is about IslamMisguided, both on the left and the right:1. Little evidence of any difficult with ‘Muslim’ economic incorporation.2. No evidence of unusual levels of anti-Muslim prejudice, ‘Islamophobia’
8 Slippage I: Citizenship Summer 2006: Lebanon evacuationsFramed in terms of dual citizenship: this is an errorDisconnect between naturalization and belongingDeclining levels of belonging overall
9 Slippage II: Multiculturalism & Accommodation: the reasonable accommodation road show Two basic confusions1. Multiculturalism and group rights2. Common laws, differential effect, and discrimination
10 Slippage III: The Democratic deficit Canadians are profoundly integrationistOpposition to rhetoric is driven by an intellectual intellectual elite.
11 Softer measures Recent controversies and elite representation Sharia LawPublic Funding of Religious Education in OntarioRecent Controversies:Note that a poll of Ontarians prior to the recent election indicated that 71% were opposed to the public funding of religious schoolsInstitutionalized means to recourse:Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees recourse to discrimination on the basis of race, religion, and gender
12 ConclusionChanges require a retooling, not a radical recasting of policyThey are fully consistent with high levels of integrationIf we attend to these, we can confidently look forward to the next century of immigration
13 Policy suggestions1. Raise the citizenship requirement from 3 to 5 years with a tighter link with citizenship2. Reweight language requirements more heavily + consider language training and tests at the early post-arrival stage3. Change little in multicultural policy, but place the accent more on a common framework uniting new and old Canadians, view immigrants not as culture-retainers but as new participants in a common political project embbeded in a secular public culture.