Immigration and the Cultural Landscape of Canada
Posted on 2013/02/20

Immigration and the Cultural Landscape of Canada

 

(reproduced from http://www.immigrationdirect.ca/immigration-articles/immigration-and-the-cultural-landscape-of-canada/index.html)

Canada, like many other countries in the world, has a couple of official languages. Permanent Residents must learn one of these two in order to become citizens. However, they are unique in that they are a former British colony that chose to have an official language. Both the United States and Australia decided to avoid potentially alienating their residents and citizens by forcing them to speak a certain language. This is often the criticism against official languages, that by forcing people to speak one language or another you run the risk of making it very difficult on the people who live in the country.

Fortunately, Canada is primarily either English or French speaking, so the policy of official languages works for them. However, the number of people who do not speak either of those languages at home is increasing according to a recent report.

Originally, the idea behind a bi-language country was multiculturalism. By writing French into law as an official language they guaranteed that it would retain a certain level of sovereignty within the largely British country. Though now, that very multicultural sentiment is beginning to seem exclusionary.

Immigrant populations across Canada continue to speak their mother tongues at home and use either French or English in public and in official work settings. Some of the more popular ones are Chinese dialects and Tagalog (a language from the Philippines). This is perfectly acceptable for populations of Permanent Residents and it certainly prevents feelings of anomie in the newcomer within society.

Anomie is a sociological concept that describes what happens when an individual feels so estranged and alienated from society that depression and other effects come into play. A person experiencing anomie often either retreats into seclusion or completely abandons their previous cultural ties. Canada does not want either to occur because the first will eventually lead to increased burdens on society and if the latter occurs a certain culture’s contribution to society is lost through assimilation, which is what Canada is trying to prevent by being a multicultural state.

Citizens are required to be relatively competent in either French or English to become a citizen in the Dominion of Canada and this is largely accomplished by participating in Canadian society, however there are programs designed to help you learn either language faster and more comprehensively.

Becoming a Permanent Resident of Canada is a h

ighly rewarding thing and comes with a great deal of advantages. Immigration Direct knows about this value and wants to help you find your way into the beautiful Dominion of Canada. There are a variety of different ways to enter Canada and all you will have to do is apply.