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Immigration, Multiculturalism and National Identity in Canada

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This article describes historical circumstances and developments that contributed to the formation of Canadian national identity. Specifically, it focuses on the historical importance of immigration to population growth, the evolution of Canadian immigration policy from exclusionist to universalist, relations between anglophones and francophones, the advent of the multiculturalism policy, and how that policy has been both expanded and strengthened in reponse to the changing ethnic and racial composition of Canada's population. Despite pride in the country's support for tolerance and diversity, Canadians continue to be concerned about immigration and national identity. The challenge of promoting national unity in the context of remarkable diversity is faced by many countries, but it is especially daunting for the young, bilingual, and multicultural Canadian State.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Political Science, University of Toronto


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