The recent comments by Ujjal Dosanjh, former NDP premier of British Columbia and present Liberal MP for Vancouver South, in reference to multiculturalism and political correctness are politically significant and commendable.
The high value of Dosanjh asking tough and relevant questions on a subject that is near taboo among the political and media elite is partly because he represents liberal-left thinking in the country.
In a column for the National Post on April 23, Dosanjh contended minority communities — immigrants of non-European origin — threaten the social fabric of Canada by an obsession with injustices in their “homelands” in the recent or distant past. The result is excessive emphasis “placed on the differences that keep us apart from each other” and “diminishing emphasis on commonalities and values that bind us.”
Dosanjh knows from experience what he speaks and writes about in unmasking the negative consequences of multiculturalism. He was a prominent victim of violence for publicly opposing extremists in the Sikh community to which he belongs by birth.
Sikh extremists are not alone in sheltering behind the politics of multiculturalism, then pushing their agenda that runs counter to Canada’s national interests and liberal democratic values.
The obvious 800-pound gorilla in Canadian politics — as it is in most of the western democracies — is the ideology of Islamism dressed as religion and its adherents skilfully exploiting multiculturalism to advance their agenda, whether it be importing Shariah (Islamic laws) or undermining Canada’s support for Israel.
Multiculturalism as a doctrine stipulates all cultures are of equal merit and deserve equal treatment. What remain unspecified — perhaps deliberately — in this formula are the criteria by which the equality of cultures is assessed.
Moreover, since the multicultural doctrine is untenable and easily falsified, it can only be sustained by the heavy-handed political correctness of the Canadian state promoting this balderdash at much expense and increasing public dismay.
The idea that Canada has been multicultural since the first Europeans arrived on its shores is a recent invention. It was devised out of necessity and bad faith to mitigate the challenge that Quebec nationalism and separatism presented to English Canada.
It could be said that Canada with its aboriginal population was multicultural. But once the English and the French engaged to wrestle control over this vast country, the Canada that eventually emerged as a dominion was bicultural and bilingual.
Immigration made Canada multi-ethnic. The success of modern, liberal democratic and multi-ethnic Canada rests upon the indispensable strength, culture and history of the founding peoples — English and French, Protestants and Catholics — and the institutions they built that would take in immigrants from around the world.
Multiculturalism is a diminution of Canada’s founding history. It diminishes the vitality and largeness of the political culture that has accommodated a multitude of ethnicities within its borders, while it fails in bringing to immigrants — especially of non-European origin — a compensating increase in appreciation for those values that went into building Canada as a model of civility.
Dosanjh has done a much-needed service to his country. It is now for the rest of us to engage in a constructive discussion on how to roll back multiculturalism, this doctrine of divisiveness, for the love of Canada.