Monday, September 11, 2006

Migration Matters - Canada and the US

In my post Migration Matters I said in part: These (the changes in the Australian population as a consequence of immigration) are dramatic changes by any measure. I think that Don (Aitkin) is probably right when he suggests that no other country has experienced such dramatic changes in the composition of its population with so little ethnic or racial disturbance. The recent troubles at Cronulla achieved such prominence in part because they were so rare.

Having said this, I was referred to a story on the Learned on Women blog. This said in part:

I'm preparing for a presentation to a Canadian retailers conference and, while talking with a friend at Publicis in Toronto, was reminded of a difference between their version of multi-cultural and that of the United States. We think "many cultures" and refer to the fact that we have lots of Hispanic and Asian immigrants, with a smattering (comparatively) of immigrants from other countries. Canada's version of cultural diversity, on the other hand, refers to immigrants from a much broader range of countries with no one culture being so obvious. (Interesting statistic from The Toronto Star, March 23, 2005: By 2017 more than half of greater Toronto will be non-European.)

I found this short story very interesting. I simply do not know enough of the post war Canadian migration experience. It may be that Canada and Australia display similar patterns.

Postscript: I was just finishing this update when I heard a news report saying that Opposition Leader Kim Beasley wanted migrants to sign a document expressing support for Australian values as a condition of visa grant. I shuddered. This is one of those things that sound superficially sensible but is in fact an example of the type of response that is starting to frighten me.

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