Possibilities and Limitations: Multicultural Policies and Programs in Canada

The areas explored are: the federal multicultural policy and its articulated discourse, intentions and outcomes in today's Canada; how ethnic, racial and religious minorities and immigrants have fared in a society with official multiculturalism; the limits and possibilities of multicultural education; and the capacity of employment equity to address discriminatory employment practices in today's cultural context. The contributors demonstrate that instead of opening opportunities for full and effective participation in Canadian society, the current discourse of multiculturalism often operates to homogenize, essentialize, racialize and marginalize ethnic and racial minority group Canadians, and in the process negates individual and intra-cultural group differences as well as cultural variations and complexities of groups. In light of this situation, we observe that there is a need for a paradigm shift that would facilitate the development of policies, programs, curricula, practices, strategies and pedagogies that would bring about equitable conditions for minority group Canadians and immigrants.