We have nothing to fear regarding multiculturalism

In his letter damning Canada’s concept of multiculturalism, Don Munro wrote that many other cultures practise “stupid traditions, persecutions, radical religions and unstable politics.”

Re: letter to the editor: Let’s dump multiculturalism, April 9.

In his letter damning Canada’s concept of multiculturalism, Don Munro wrote that many other cultures practise “stupid traditions, persecutions, radical religions and unstable politics.” He maintains that citizens with diverse backgrounds should celebrate their ethnicity in the birthplace of that culture and not in Canada.

Contradictorily, you allow that some cultures like “Ukrainians, Scottish, Germans, etc,” have traditions that would be just fine to celebrate right here in Canada. Hmmm . . . you seem to be quite an ethnocentric and intolerant fellow, Mr. Munro. I wonder if your remarks are based mainly in ignorance or in fear.

You give the impression that you are proud of Canada’s policies of equality, respect and fairness but do not appear to think you need to actually practise them.

Frankly, I love the diversity of Canada’s citizens, just as I love the diversity of the Canadian landscape. I feel blessed to live in a country that understands and respects all people’s differences and protects their rights no matter who they are or what cultural group they fit into.

Intolerance, such as you are suggesting, breeds oppression and marginalization. All we have to do is open a couple of history books to see the consequences of these acts.

Do I need to remind you about Canada’s history of intolerance and oppression? I’m sure our First Nations citizens have not forgotten. I cannot see how being exposed to another culture will make me less Canadian, in fact, I think it makes me more so. In Canada, I have celebrated a Cambodian New Year, enjoyed numerous First Nation dances, opened presents on Ukrainian Christmas, and attended many other festivities that were born in countries my ancestors were not.

While I love hockey and camping, these activities don’t make me Canadian. Loving my country and its citizens make me Canadian.

By experiencing what other cultures offer, I feel more knowledgeable, understanding and less fearful. What does make me afraid — and dare I speculate, may be Munro’s main concern — is when prejudice, power struggles and divergence from world human rights make the journey to Canada.

Since we have had these problems since day one, I cannot see how relinquishing another’s cultural traditions will alleviate them. It hasn’t yet, anywhere.

Canada is unique in the world with our multicultural approach and has become a model to the world in our policies and practices. We have even received a Nansen Medal from the United Nations for our country’s work, the first time an entire nation has been given this recognition.

We should be proud of what we have accomplished so far. We have taken a proactive and unparalleled approach in an increasingly diverse landscape and created stable social and political systems that we are envied for.

Diversity is a reality in Canada. It has been since its creation. By understanding it, we won’t be afraid of it.

Patricia Helmer-Desjarlais

Blackfalds

Just Posted

More than $25k raised for Red Deer firefighter who is recovering in hospital

‘I think the support he’s getting is because of the person he is’

Lacombe backs Blackfalds stormwater plan

Stormwater management plan will open up more land for development in Blackfalds

Two men facing charges in alleged abduction

RCMP issued alert for woman on Wednesday morning who was found safe later that day

Red Deer RCMP seek public assistance to identify suspect in indecent acts

Red Deer RCMP are looking for a man believed to be responsible… Continue reading

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Leon Draisaitl has overtime winner as Edmonton Oilers down Boston Bruins 3-2

EDMONTON — Connor McDavid set up Leon Draisaitl for the overtime winner… Continue reading

Edmonton girl guide sells out of cookies in front of cannabis store on first day

EDMONTON — She’s being called one smart cookie. As people lined up… Continue reading

New vacuum needed: Calgary family adopts three bonded St. Bernard buddies

EDMONTON — Three adult St. Bernards who couldn’t be separated because they’re… Continue reading

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis cancelled after tax case

BEIJING — The director of “Air Strike,” featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing,… Continue reading

Michael Buble shuts down rumours of retirement from music

LOS ANGELES — Michael Buble is shutting down rumours that he’s going… Continue reading

After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world

MONTREAL — Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s… Continue reading

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an otherwise innocuous part of Facebook’s expansive… Continue reading

Military to overhaul morale-boosting trips after review finds serious problems

OTTAWA — Canada’s top general is overhauling military morale-boosting tours after an… Continue reading

Most Read