CANADIAN MULTICULTURALISM IN HISTORICAL AND COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE: IS CANADA UNIQUE?

Will Kymlicka

Abstract


The title of this conference implies that there is something unusual or distinctive about the way Canada deals with issues of cultural diversity. Is this true? In his introductory remarks, Professor Abu-Laban suggested that what is distinctive to Canada is not the sheer fact of diversity — one can find equally high levels of ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity in the United States, Brazil or Nigeria — but rather the legal and institutional response to diversity.1 Canada is unique, he suggested, in that our laws and institutions accommodate and promote diversity, most obviously through the Multiculturalism policy.


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