Canadian National Identity Essay

Canada's Identity Essay

Canada’s identity comes in many shapes and forms. Multiculturalism has been adopted and is at the forefront of Canadian identity. Following the Second World War, Canada’s multiculturalism policies became more acceptable and even successful in, not only accepting, but inviting multiple ethnic cultures in. In contrast to other countries, multiculturalism adaptation works for the Canadian culture. Canadian policies on multiculturalism have shifted over the past few decades; policies are now implemented for integration, not discrimination.
Multiculturalism is defines as “the policy of maintaining a diversity of ethnic cultures within a community” (). Canada does accept people from virtually every culture, but requires that cultural practices do not interfere with social order, or the cultures of other fellow residents. With that being said, compromises are often made and implemented. It is not possible to maintain a diversity of ethnic cultures if cultures contradict and impact each other. Canada has done its best in order to make multiculturalism work.
The Second World War ended in the year of 1945(). Before this time, immigration into Canada was not ideal, especially for the Chinese, Indian, German and Japanese (1). In the year of 1885, Canada proposed its first policy regarding immigration into Canada (1). The “Chinese Head Tax” law was passed in order to filter the overwhelming number of Chinese immigrants into Canada (1). Chinese immigrants were required to pay a fee in order to come into the country. The amount, person, rose from fifty dollars in 1885, to an astounding five-hundred dollars in 1904. Ten years later, another unjust act was expressed, this time focusing on Indian immigrants. All 376 emigrants possessed valid British passports, yet were still “barred entry into Canada” (1). In 1930, the St. Louis ship, that carried many German Jewish war-refugees, was denied entry into Canada, and three years later, Japanese already living in Canada were shipped out to internment camps (1). An internment camp is a “large detention center created for political opponents, enemy aliens, people with mental illness, members of specific ethnic or religious groups, civilian inhabitants of a critical war-zone, or other groups of people, usually during a war” (wiki). Canada has come a long way since these times of immorality. Following the Second World War, immigration is still selective, but is a major improvement in comparison to historical times.
Recent issues focus more on changes the things already occurring in the country, in contrast to preventing people from coming, or preventing changes from happening. For example, Bill 94 requires people in Quebec to “uncover their faces to identify themselves in order to receive government services” (1). This is something that was not an issue in the past, but for whatever reason, the government has decided to enforce this new law. Although it may seem demeaning and unfair, the population must understand...

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Canada is known worldwide for our people’s resilience to nature, our acceptance of many different cultures, our universal healthcare, and our contributions to world peace. I believe for these reasons Canada is one of the greatest nations on Earth.

Firstly, Canadian citizens are among the hardiest people on earth when it comes to resisting Mother Nature. Canada is battered each year with ice storms, hurricanes’ and windstorms, yet we Canadians grit our teeth and fight through it. This treacherous weather helps bring Canada together, and unite us when things are at their worst. For example, during the 2013-2014 ice storms many parts of Ontario where left without power for days, yet out of this horrible tragedy, Canadians banded together and helped each other out, lending each other generators and supplies to help get through this hard time together as a nation. Canada is also ranked as the second coldest country on earth, with an average annual temperature of -3.6 degrees (Anand) with an annual temperature below freezing Canada is well suited for winter sports like skiing and snowmobiling.

The most Northerly settlement on earth is Alert, Nunavut, Alert is a Canadian Military and research base on the Northern Tip of Ellesmere Island, the lowest recorded temperature in Alert was -64 degrees Celsius, that’s the same temperature as the surface of Mars!(CFS Alert). It’s this extreme weather that allows us Canadians to grow tough, unite together against winter, and succeed at sports like skiing and hockey.

Secondly, Canada is one of the best countries in the world to immigrate to. Canada is very multicultural and accepts cultures from all over the world. Whether you are immigrating from Ethiopia or Korea you will most likely find a small part of your culture somewhere in Canada. Canada has been inhabited by immigrants ever since 1604 when French explorers settled in the Maritimes (Facts in Canada’s Immigration History). Also 23% of Canadian citizens are born outside of our Country, the highest amount out of all the G8 countries (Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada). Canada is unique because in over 100 different places minority groups are actually the majority. For example, Brampton Ontario has a population of 523,000 (Demographic Overview) and out of that number there are only 33,000 Irish citizens while there is 159,000 citizens from East India (Demographic Overview). Yet with all these different cultures in Canada, we all still feel united under the Canadian Flag and proud when we sing our National Anthem.

Thirdly, Canada has a world renowned healthcare system, unlike countries like the US where you have to pay to go to the hospital; Canada covers the cost of most medical bills for you. The idea for Medicare in Canada first came in 1947 when the Saskatchewan Government released their first hospital insurance plan (The History of Medicare), initially most Doctors and other medical professionals despised this “Medicare System” because they worried they were going to make less money than if the medical system was privatized , slowly but surely the idea of universal healthcare grew and in the 1960’s Pearson’s minority government created National Medical Care system; were the government pays 50% of medical costs (The History of Medicare). Today, Canada’s healthcare system is an interesting mix of both public finding and the private sector. Canada is ranked 30th in the world for its healthcare system, while the United States is ranked 72nd. As a Canadian citizen I feel safe knowing that if I ever get ill, I am covered without having to spend any money.

Finally, Canada has been fighting for world peace ever since it joined the UN during its creation in 1945. It was actually Lester B. Pearson who suggested the idea of a UN lead peacekeeping force in 1956 (The Canadian Contribution to United Nations Peacekeeping). Canada’s first peacekeeping mission was done in 1949, in India and Pakistan. The mission was codenamed UNMOGIP, Canada’s job was to negotiate a ceasefire between Pakistan and India, in 1950, almost a year after the war started the UN negotiated a ceasefire with the help of Canadian Soldiers (Canada History). Canada has lost the 2nd most amounts of soldiers out of any UN country, and has lost the most soldiers per capita as well. Canadian peace keeping missions help shape the Canadian Identity because it shows the world that we care for other countries, and that even though our population is small we still sacrifice a lot in the name of Peace.

In Conclusion, I feel that Canada is an incredible nation, and I feel our contributions to world peace, our people’s resilience to the weather, our free healthcare system, and our multiculturalism are some of the main things that have helped make Canadians respected in the international community today.

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