Diversity

Would an independent Québec be as inclusive to minorities as Canada claims to be?

Yes, and even more so! Québec espouses the policy of interculturalism, which is a more inclusive version of the rest of Canada’s multiculturalism.

Since 1971, Canada has attempted to trivialize Québec and its culture through a multiculturalist ideology. Its advocates, like the Trudeaus, will proudly describe multiculuralism as creating a “cultural mosaic.” Canada is seen as a “tossed salad” in contrast to the US idea of a “melting pot” in which cultural differences are boiled down and assimilated. In reality, however, Canadian multiculturalism creates ghettos in which different cultural communities become estranged from each other, each living in its own little corner of a larger territory but not really interacting with the other pockets of communities. In a tossed salad model, the tomatoes and the cucumbers are adjacent to each other but don’t interact because they don’t speak the same language and have nothing to hold them together. On top of that, Ottawa’s policy refuses to recognize the most fundamental diversity of Canada, namely the existence of a French-speaking, distinct nation in Québec!

In contrast, Québec’s model of interculturalism, a policy that was officially adopted by Robert Bourassa’s Liberal government in 1991, is more inclusive because it allows people from different backgrounds to maintain their unique cultural heritage while sharing a common, unifying culture. Think of the interculturalism model like a tree: the tree may have leaves of various shapes and sizes and colours, but it also has a strong trunk to unite it and deep roots to keep it grounded. The French language and culture are the trunk and roots, but the leaves are the anglophone and allophone communities that make up modern day Québec. In Québec, our leaves are beautiful and the trunk ensures that the various leaves interact with each other, without being segregated into ghettos.

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