Toronto is racist towards people in the Black Caribbean


Heribert Adam
Comparing Canadian Immigration Policy, Xenophobia, and Multiculturalism[1]

1. Historical comparison of social demography

Canada as a multicultural immigration country with relatively harmonious group relationships is increasingly being touted as a role model for other, less tolerant countries. The Canadian government and press treat multiculturalism as an export commodity and bask in the light of global peace efforts, human rights obligations and liberal refugee admission. The romanticizing self-image is not only unrealistic, but also politically dangerous because it denies potential intolerance or explains it as an aberration of pathological loners. As has been proven at least since the Milgram experiment, however, aggression against others or strangers is not limited to a specific national character. Under certain conditions, resentments against artificial enemy groups can be mobilized in any society. Scapegoats are found everywhere when they are needed. There is a potential fascist in everyone. The insight into the "normal" of the authoritarian character syndrome is one of the basic requirements of its attempted change. Presenting xenophobia as "typically German" is therefore just as wrong as the Canadian illusion of being immune to racial hatred. On the contrary, the German past and conscious democratic re-education can be assumed to have created more favorable preconditions for combating xenophobia than the widespread self-satisfied denial of such attitudes in Canada allows.

After all, Canada has had a racially discriminatory immigration history up to the recent past, which the southern

African apartheid is only inferior to it in nuances. Apart from the particularly marginalized Native American Indians (2% of the population), Chinese migrant workers have been the main target of prejudice since 1867, although they contributed significantly to the country's economic development as railway construction workers, miners and domestic workers. In 1885, Chinese immigrants were subject to a poll tax in order to curb "yellow foreign infiltration". Immigrants from India were only allowed to enter with freighters that docked directly in a Canadian port without stopping, because such transport connections did not exist. Sikhs who worked as loggers in British Columbia since 1885 were particularly despised. Even today, despite official multiculturalism, Canadian minds still argue whether Sikhs, as members of the mythologized Federal Police (RCMP), are allowed to wear the turban prescribed by their religion. Canadians of Japanese, but not of German descent, were deported and expropriated as potential collaborators in the interior of the country during the Second World War. Canada has proportionally taken in the fewest number of persecuted Jews of all western countries (Abella and Troper 1982). Until 1964, black Canadians, whose ancestors immigrated to Canada as English loyalists after the American Revolution, had to attend separate schools in Ontario.

It was not until the mid-1960s, when economic developments in Europe drastically reduced the number of European immigrants, that Canada's immigration regulations became "color-blind". Since then, the increasing number of immigrants from the Third World has permanently changed the familiar appearance and group relationships of Canadian society even more profoundly than in Germany because of their non-assimilable skin color.

The classic immigration country Canada and the comparatively overpopulated Germany belong to the group of the seven richest industrial countries with the highest quality of life and a remarkably high income level. Both countries are therefore popular destinations for migrants from all over the world. Liberal asylum law and the labor shortage during the early boom years have affected both societies.

explores the role of immigrants beyond sociological interest to explosive resentment. Population growth in both states is only guaranteed by external influx, since natural birth growth of 1.7% in Canada is below the reproductive rate. Both highly developed welfare states need young immigrants in order to be able to meet social obligations towards a growing proportion of older citizens. Both countries benefit from the influx of skilled workers and newcomers willing to work, whose training costs were borne elsewhere and whose motivation and productivity often exceed those of the local population.

Despite this structural similarity between two Western welfare states, the political culture and institutions in Canada and Germany differ considerably. A rational immigration policy, the multicultural self-image of two founding cultures in Canada, the different economic and geographical factors result in generally more tolerant and humane manners than in Germany. Progressive laws and diverse social practices regulate and facilitate the integration of immigrants, compared to the German official attitude, which denies de facto immigration de jure. In recent years, both states have absorbed roughly the same number of newcomers relative to the total population.

With 250,000 immigrants annually, immigrants represent just under one percent (0.92%) of Canada's total population. This is the highest admission rate of the western countries, especially when it is compared with the other classical immigration countries Australia (0.46%) and the USA (0.42%). 16% of Canada's population were not born in the country. Although the German annual influx, including repatriates, labor migrants and asylum refugees, is not much lower in relation to the total population, the majority is still made up of immigrants from Europe, a large part of whom come under the legal fiction of German ethnicity and is received accordingly. The countries of origin of the Canadian immigrants

However, they now stretch almost proportionally across all countries in the world, and in contrast to Germany, the majority of the newcomers are of non-European ("non-white") descent. Almost 50% of the immigrants are now from Asia.

Table 1:
Ten most important countries of origin for immigrants to Canada
1980 and 1991





















United States






















11 987


























Source: Employment and Immigration Canada, Immigration to Canada: A Statistical Review, Nov. 1989

This category of nationals is foolishly classified as a "visible minority", as if the majority population of European descent were "invisible". In reality, however, the opposite is true: in the political and economic decision-making bodies, in the elites, mass media, rituals of representation and state symbols, the Anglo-French segments dominate and the "visible" minorities remain invisible.

The objection that the geographically much larger country offers much more space fades when you consider that 90% of Canadians live within a 100 km strip between the 45th and 50th parallel and that the majority of all immigrants are in the three major cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Table 2:
Ethnic origin of the population of Canada and the inhabitants of the three largest metropolises in the country:
1991 census - 20% sample





Total population


100,0 %






20,8 %


747. 250




22,8 %






15,4 %






6,1 %






0,1 %






0,3 %






0,4 %












1,7 %






28,9 %




Source: Statistics Canada, Ethnic Origins, Ottawa: Industry, Science and Technology, Canada 1993.1991 Census of Canada. Cat. No. 93-315

Toronto and Vancouver in particular embody a microcosm of the world's population in which immigrants from all countries in Asia are now the fastest growing ethnic group. In 1986 78.6 percent of all immigrants lived in cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, compared with 45.9 percent of the Canadian-born part of the population (Desilva 1992: 6).

Ethnicity is determined in the Canadian census with two questions: "What language did you first learn as a child and do you still have a reasonable command today?", "What was the ethnic origin of your family when they originally settled in Canada?". While the answers to these questions determine ethnicity objectively, the identification of "visible" minorities is based solely on subjective criteria, i.e. self-identification.

What is surprising is the high number of a third of the total population who give double or multiple indications of origin. These mainly Anglo-French mixed identities and other multi-ethnic partnerships in the history of the country testify to a relatively high willingness to socialize, which is not the norm in all immigration countries. In South Africa or Israel, for example, there are few intercultural marriages.

2. Canadian immigration policy

Roughly speaking, Canada selects its immigrants according to three categories:

  • Family reunion,
  • independent applicants and
  • Refugees.

Between 1980-89 the first group accounted for 39% for the independents 48% and 18% for the refugees (Economic Council, 1991, p.4). Each category has different subgroups, the definition and selection process of which have been changed many times.

Officially, immigration policy is guided by four considerations:

  • economic benefit,
  • political impact,
  • social sustainability and integration opportunities,
  • humanitarian considerations.

The four motivations often contradict each other. For example, humanitarian considerations of increased refugee admissions through higher social costs can jeopardize the economic benefits of immigration or put a strain on social resilience. In the politically controversial decision-making process, considerations of economic benefit were generally decisive. The admission criteria for certain occupations depend on the labor market situation; Investors willing to invest $ 250,000 over five years get residency straight away; younger and better educated applicants have a better chance of being successful in a differentiated point system. But also the rate of economically less profitable family reunification and refugee reception was increased under the political pressure of organized immigration organizations, churches and lawyers specializing in immigration cases. Currently, only 15% of all immigrants are selected on the points system, up from 32% in 1971 (The Globe & Mail, September 16, 1993).

Canada distinguishes two groups in the refugee category: refugees in camps abroad who, after careful selection, are granted entry visas under international agreements, and asylum seekers who apply for admission in Canada themselves. Similar to Germany, every asylum refugee who is on Canadian territory has the right to residence, support and a work permit until his case is examined individually by various bodies. Despite the far lower number of 37,720 people in this group (1992), a large number of unexplained cases has built up again, as in Germany, since a general amnesty was declared in 1986. However, the current recognition rate of 57% is much higher than in comparable countries, especially Germany with 4%[2] . Almost identical to the most recent German practice are the containment measures that have been in force for some time to secure the influx of so-called economic refugees by requiring a visa or automatic deportation

Contain third countries. Unlike Germany, Canada can justify these containment measures by stating that potential immigrants are not allowed to undermine a rational immigration policy on their own. As in Germany, the Canadian municipalities also complain that they have to bear the rising costs of central quota increases without being able to influence the decisions. Schools in particular are demanding more support for language teaching. Some countries, most notably Quebec, insist on determining who immigrates to their areas. However, all residents of Canada, including immigrants, are free to choose their place of residence, which is why northern and rural areas, despite their best efforts, hardly attract settlers.

For this reason, influential conservative voices are currently arguing to regulate the flow of immigrants more closely and, above all, to increase the proportion of better qualified independents at the expense of family reunification and refugee reception. Extreme proposals boil down to generally selling immigration permits on the international market for maximum prices. Amazingly, and in contrast to Germany, immigration policy is hardly part of the election campaign. Even conservatives avoid touching on the subject in order not to be labeled as racists and to scare off potential "ethnic voters".

After three years of residence, the immigrant can apply for Canadian citizenship, which is given to him after a few ritual questions about the country's history and the constitution. The permanent right of residence ("landed immigrant status") of the newcomer is equal to nationality, with the only difference that only citizens have the right to vote and stand for election. The immigrant does not suffer any disadvantages if he / she does not apply for citizenship.

The agency has no discretion when it comes to Canadian naturalization. Even people who do not speak the language of the country are naturalized on a regular basis, provided they do the other

fulfill suspensions (length of stay, integrity). The generous naturalization takes place in the expectation that the new status brings about political and social integration and not, as in Germany, that integration is a prerequisite for naturalization.

Multiculturalism as a state ideology denies the cultural pressure to integrate, which in Germany first wants to turn the foreigner into a German before the foreign resident is acceptable. The majority of foreigners already know that even intensive integration efforts ultimately fail because the judgment about their success depends on prejudiced "locals". As long as ancestry determines a German in advance, even a Turk who is willing to integrate has no chance of being recognized as a German, even if he is one of the 1% entitled persons who ultimately acquire the German passport.

In contrast, the Canadian passport is considered a travel document and not a loyalty card. An average of 4 to 5 years elapse between immigration and acquisition of citizenship for immigrants from Asia, Africa and Latin America, while the typical immigrant from Europe, the USA and Australia takes 15 to 20 years to acquire a Canadian passport. The considerable differences result from the prohibition of dual citizenship and corresponding pension rights on the one hand and the more ambivalent identification with the new home on the other. Because immigrants from the Third World, especially from the developing countries of the Commonwealth, not only have the option of dual citizenship, but have often left a politically or economically shattered country of origin, they also value the coveted Canadian passport more highly. This indicates that this group is more willing to integrate, while older immigrants from England in particular often never identify with the "Canadian colony" and instead glorify the mother country nostalgically. Incidentally, the date of naturalization or the place of birth is not noted on personal documents (passport, citizenship certificate, driver's license, etc.), so that a new status hierarchy does not develop after arrival. In informal use, however, one often hears the rating "third or fourth generation

tion Canadians "to give weight to a political argument.

The data listed indicate the main difference between German and Canadian immigration. Before 1973, immigration to Germany was and is still largely restricted to unskilled or semi-skilled workers. For example, the arrangement agreed with Turkey precluded the recruitment of urban skilled workers and recruited "guest workers" come mainly from the least developed Anatolian region.Even the "German" emigrants from the former Soviet Union do not come from the rich or highly educated classes. In Canada, on the other hand, the class membership of immigrants has been reversed since 1967. The Canadian points system - as well as the permission, which has been practiced for several years to literally buy immigration through appropriate investments in Canada - favors selection based on class and educational background.

Since the fundamental change in immigration regulations in 1967, a considerable part of the newcomers have not reached the promised land as impoverished outcasts who slowly work their way up the stratification hierarchy over generations, but many transfer established wealth and qualifications acquired elsewhere to the "safe" Canada. With regard to German immigrants to Canada, this difference was excellently characterized by a doctoral student as the contrast between "backpack Germans" in the war decades and "container Germans" since the economic boom. The corresponding "brain drain" from the developing countries, which had to bear the training costs of the later emigrants, justifies the demand for compensation payments.

3. Xenophobia

Where the foreigner is not synonymous with the lower class, but is considered a citizen with equal rights, there can hardly be any uniform discrimination. The strangers, distributed over the entire class system, are often more envied than despised. In principle, however, xenophobic reactions and integration conflicts are comparable in both societies. The riots in Germany and elsewhere may be directed against foreigners, while the race riots in Toronto may be directed against a racist police force that treats Canadian blacks as foreigners. A widespread distance to "visible minorities" is similar to the German resentment against "southerners". In Canada, too, children from ethnic minorities are disproportionately deported to special schools. Programs to enable minorities to participate equally in competitive performance based on their abilities suffer from financial weakness. Above all, the marginal location of the indigenous people is still treated as a taboo, which affects the image of a progressive country.

Many Indian reservations are neglected like South African Bantustans. During a conflict in Oka, in which rebellious Indians blocked a bridge in Montreal and the state deployed the Canadian army, frustrated citizens threw stones like in Rostock. In contrast to Germany, the resentment is not only triggered by immigration, but is directed against the natives who were resident long before. The second and third generation of guest workers born in Germany are still nonsensically categorized according to their country of origin. Canadian discrimination proves that attitudes towards minorities are not determined by their origin.

Xenophobia therefore has little to do with the actual minority, the influx or the legal situation of the attacked. It is not a rational response to irrational provocation by the other. The Canadian Sikh in the turban does not threaten the majority any more than the persecuted homosexual the Nazis. However, both threaten one

moral and symbolic order with alternative values ​​that the ego-weak, authoritarian type cannot afford. His hatred of others is hatred of himself and of the inability to cope with daily self-oppression.

This well-known psychoanalytic interpretation of xenophobia therefore focuses primarily on the autonomous development of the individual as a solution. Only if the young rioter gains enough self-confidence does he not have to acquire his identity through acts of strength in relation to others. At this level, the non-authoritarian Canadian school system operates more successfully than German education. The inefficient and non-elitist Canadian education system allows at least the loser to feel like a winner. Where everyone is winners, there is less need to invent culprits for failure.

4. Multiculturalism in Canada

Basically, five state reactions to ethnic minorities can be distinguished. It would be a special topic to show under what conditions and with what consequences which policy is pursued:

  • Elimination,
  • Deportation or secession,
  • Oppression and segregation,
  • Assimilation and
  • Multicultural integration.

Pierre Trudeau proposed multiculturalism as a state ideology in October 1971 because all attempts to Anglicize Canada's diverse population had failed. Compared to the opinion of a parliamentary commission on the official bilingualism and biculturalism of the country due to its English and French founding cultures, it was objected that the 37% of the non-English and non-French population were not taken into account. The answer

to the protest of this "third force" (mainly Eastern and Central Europeans in the prairie areas) was multiculturalism, an extension of biculturalism. It was defined as a policy with four apparently conflicting goals: (1) State subsidies for groups that want to preserve their culture of origin, (2) Support in overcoming cultural barriers that stand in the way of democratic participation by all, (3) Participation in intercultural understanding , Tolerance and national unity, (4) assisting immigrants in language teaching[3]

Behind the empty formulas lies the recognition of the same identity. The cultural hierarchy, which rates the English or French group of origin higher than later immigrants, has theoretically been abolished. With regard to school books or national holidays, for example, all ethnic groups can demand equal rights. They should all be represented representatively, and no group of origin can impose its norms, literature or ideas on life on another[4] . The Canadian state has defined itself as ethnically neutral and plural, in contrast to the melting pot ideology of the USA or the assimilation pressure in Germany. Old residents cannot register any special claims against newcomers. This leveling of historical rights has resulted in the rejection of multiculturalism on the part of the Quebec nationalists and above all the "first-nation people", as the 2% Indians have recently been calling themselves.[5]

Multicultural politics in Canada has changed several times in the twenty years of its application by all three parties. In the first phase, the focus was clearly on celebrating different lifestyles and exotic festivities. This superficial recognition of cultural diversity has given way to anti-racist programs. Instead of a lifestyle, chances in life are now emphasized. Nevertheless, criticism from the right and left has by no means died down. It focuses on three aspects:

1. Multiculturalism cannot be reconciled with national unity because politics promotes shared loyalties. R. Bibby (1990), in his highly acclaimed book "Mosaic Madness", complains about cultural relativism at the expense of universal standards. The right-wing reform party insists that it is not the responsibility of the state to keep exotic cultures alive with taxpayers' money. Other critics from this camp point out, with good reason, that self-appointed ethnic association functionaries skillfully exploit the government's interest in harmonious group relationships. Indeed, subsidized multiculturalism has created a group of co-opted speakers.

2. Multiculturalism requires multilingualism, which the government does not want to admit. Official bilingualism was the weapon Ottawa hoped to use to defeat Quebec separatism. Quebec understandably insists on monolingualism. How other cultures can be preserved without language and language support still needs to be explained, although Ottawa has recently also subsidized voluntary language teaching in non-official mother tongues.

3. On the Canadian left, by contrast, multiculturalism is confused with an "ethnic zoo" and museum culture. These critics fear that the promotion of origin will lead to voluntary ghettoization. Instead of imparting skills to minorities that increase their competitiveness, state intervention aims at cooptation and appeasement. Nonetheless, multiculturalism is supported by all three Canadian parties, not least because they all cast the votes of immigrants and "third parties."

Kraft "need. To be branded as a monoculturalist, given the heterogeneity of the Canadian electorate, would amount to political suicide.

Table 3:
Budget for multiculturalism under three federal programs
1984/85 to 1991/92



Languages ​​of origin


Ethnic promotion
v. Association activities


Total amount

$ Million









































Source: Economic Council, Faces in the Crowd, 1991, pp. 33. Own survey

Organizationally and financially, Canadian multiculturalism comes cheap. Although the Mulroney government finally kept a 1984 election promise in 1991 and set up its own department for multiculturalism, it never made more than 25 million Canadian dollars a year, including funds for anti-racism programs. This is less than the cost of an attack helicopter, of which 40 new ones have just been ordered. A widely heralded foundation for race relations fell victim to austerity requirements for the time being. In the course of deficit control, multiculturalism was also combined with state television, national parks and naturalization under a new section, "Cultural Heritage", and downgraded to a mere program. Immigration was the Ministry of Kim Campbell's government

Public safety assigned, which led to protests. Critics argued that this would reinforce the false impression that immigrants are an onerous security problem rather than a welcome addition to the Canadian mosaic. These organizational changes were made by the conservative government primarily to avoid losing voters to the right-wing reform party. Your program wants to completely abolish state-sponsored multiculturalism and orient immigration above all towards its economic benefits.

However, representative surveys (Angus Reid, 1991) show that the vast majority of Canadians now support multicultural ideas. 95% argue that "pride of being Canadian is compatible with pride of origin", 90% support equality of opportunity regardless of race or group, 79% believe that multiculturalism is necessary to unify Canada. 73% of respondents say they have friends from other backgrounds, 64% work with people from other groups, and 66% believe that racial discrimination is a problem in Canada. 15% oppose mixed marriages, while 68% believe that racial prejudice will not resolve itself without government intervention. Although 25% of respondents express ignorance about multicultural politics, the responses show how strongly official advertising campaigns influence attitudes and promote a climate of diffuse tolerance. This does not seem to be endangered by the severe economic recession as long as, as the Economic Council (1991, p. 29) warns, the usual ratio of numbers between natives and immigrants does not change drastically. Obviously, however, high unemployment rates encourage fear of foreign infiltration and a willingness to find scapegoats.

In view of the historically specific situation of an immigration country with two (or, including the heterogeneous Indians, several) founding cultures, it is doubtful whether the concept of multiculturalism can be transferred uncritically to German conditions. After de facto immigration, there can certainly be no doubt about the objectively long-term multicultural character of Germany. Canada and

Germany differ in the cultural homogeneity of the native majority and the resulting pressure to assimilate. However, this fundamental difference should not rule out a clearly formulated German immigration policy. Instead of denying de facto immigration and insisting against all evidence that Germany is not a country of immigration, one could try, as in Canada, with a rational immigration policy to regulate, classify and optimally use the influx of migrants. Immigration criteria and capacities must, as in Canada, arise from a broad democratic discussion. Such a "foreigner policy" with the possibility of legal immigration could then be offered to asylum refugees as an alternative and would probably narrow this access channel, which is difficult to control anyway. It would also strip the bottom of the radical right. Those on the left spectrum who advocate a completely open border without barriers to entry would be obliged to make their ideas fit for the majority.

The Canadian example recommends a number of legislative changes and administrative measures, such as extended naturalization rights and dual citizenship, even if one accepts that foreigner policy in a relatively overpopulated area in Central Europe must be different from a classic immigration country like Canada. Above all, however, if foreigners were to be naturalized, the FRG could learn some lessons from the forced equality treatment of underprivileged groups in Canada.

5. Enforced equal opportunities

Because of the discrimination and stigmatization inherent in the system, state-enforced equality programs should ensure that racial minorities lose their marginal group status. Historical disadvantage is to be compensated through planned preferential treatment until the proportion of underprivileged groups in crucial areas corresponds to their proportion of the population. In this sense, next to "visible minorities", the disabled, Indians

("First Nation People") and women are particularly encouraged. Based on the American "Affirmative Action" programs, but without setting quotas, nationwide equality guidelines ("equity programs") try to induce private and public companies to give preference to members of the four groups with equal qualifications from competitors, as long as they are underrepresented. Private companies cannot be legally compelled to follow the guidelines, but they are threatened with being excluded from government contracts if they do not cooperate ("contract compliance"). The main aim of equal treatment policy is to check traditional recruitment criteria for their discriminatory function, in order to enable members of disadvantaged groups to be shortlisted in the first place. For example, regulations were abolished that set certain minimum sizes as a requirement for the employment of police officers and firefighters, thereby excluding almost all traditionally smaller Asian applicants. After the Canadian police had been criticized for years as "purebred" and repeatedly provoked ethnic disputes through their behavior, they recently advertised police candidates in Chinese newspapers. Such a sensible equal treatment policy does not threaten quality requirements and the performance principle, as critics swear. On the contrary, the guidelines have the effect of increasing the pool of potential applicants and thereby increasing the chances of finding the best applicant.

However, the allocation of scarce resources according to the principle of descent has the effect that under certain circumstances ethnic and racial group identity are perpetrated, because advantages in competitive performance are associated with it. Instead of promoting color blindness and social integration, society is fragmented into ethnically competing segments. The policy of forced equal treatment would have undermined the liberal principle of equal opportunities regardless of origin or race.

The "visible minority" category for preferred setting contains several contradictions. In the name of historical discrimination, for example, an Indian or Chinese immigrant

Granted better job opportunities than a long-time resident white local. Employment equity is based on the correct assumption that members of certain races and ethnic groups have been discriminated against and therefore have a right to compensation.

But how can one measure historical oppression? The right to compensation can only ever relate to those individually affected.Often people benefit from the compensation due to ethnic group membership who are not entitled to it at all, either because they were not in the country at the time of the discrimination or, as otherwise privileged, did not suffer from the past discrimination at all. "Affirmative Action" falsely assumes that all group members are discriminated against equally, but this hardly corresponds to reality. On the one hand, this policy ignores the internal class structure of an ethnic group and generally favors the already favored upper class, which it co-opts with preferential offers in the established system. On the other hand, ethnic groups with different histories and different indications of success are subsumed under the category "visible minority".

As the American example shows even more clearly, there are considerable differences in economic integration and education between the slavery black minority, black immigrants from Jamaica or Asian minorities who were once equally discriminated against. Similar data can be found for the various components of the "visible minorities" category in Canada. Without going into the complex causes of these differences here, a few examples can illustrate the paradoxical situation.

In many major cities in Canada, the majority of students can only speak English as a second language. Even so, these Asian students do better on average than white and black natives; Asian-Canadians are overrepresented at Canadian universities and even the visible min-

"Visible minorities" earn no less and are more often employed than those born in the country. In the last census (1986), 6.3% of the population was classified as a "visible minority", with a share of 7.5% of the workforce in 1993. Other statistics show that those born outside Canada with a Canadian education earn higher incomes than those born inside the country with the same education. "Affirmative Action" programs must therefore differentiate between the successful, self-confident "visible minorities" who do not need any state funding, and those, especially black Canadians and Indians, who are pushed to the sidelines as a stigmatized lower class without starting help.

Table 4:
Success of Asian immigrants in economic andeducational aspect by origin - 1986 -



West asia

South asia


East asia

All in-

Unemployed, %







graduation, %







Executives + higher professions, %







Workers, %







Mean Income from non-
($ 000)







Median total income
($ 000)







Mean Income from transfer payments, %







Active as an employer, %







Self employed, %







Homeowner, %







Home value over $ 99,000, %







Source: Thomas Derrick, "The Social Integration of Immigrants," in The Immigration Dilemma (ed.) 1992. Vancouver, B.C. ": The Fraser Institute.

Immigrants trained abroad, whose qualifications are not recognized by local monopoly associations, even with excellent performance records, also experience massive discrimination. For example, doctors' associations strictly refuse any right of establishment for colleagues who have been trained outside of Germany, because otherwise they would have to share the limited medical budget with a larger group of doctors at their own expense.

Similarly, Canadian universities discriminate against foreign applicants by not recognizing their degrees out of ignorance or bureaucratic stubbornness. There are such examples that the proclaimed equal opportunities for all applicants in the so-called land of unlimited possibilities prove to be very limited.

6. Multiculturalism or Assimilation?

Where, apart from the Indians, all residents are immigrants themselves or are descended from parents who have immigrated, the German call for "asylum-free" places becomes a boomerang. Modern Canada grew out of an experience of foreignness, while in Germany the foreign always remained excluded. Here ancestry determines the boundaries between insider and outsider; The Canada of immigrant outsiders leaves the definition of the insider largely to the individual attitude. In everyday terms you cannot become a German if you were not born a German. You can become a Canadian, even if you were born German or Chinese.

While politicians in Germany express understanding for the xenophobic behavior of the population, racist statements by right-wing extremists in Canada are publicly condemned by all parties. Racial baiting will be prosecuted. History teachers who deny the Nazis' persecution of the Jews lose their position, not only because they obviously lack professional competence, but above all because they deliberately offend a section of the population. Psychological violence is equated with the use of physical violence. What in Germany is called "the surrender of the state to right-wing extremists

sten "[6] laments, some civil rights activists in Canada present themselves as a potential danger of state interference with the fundamental right to freedom of expression. Hate propaganda is a criminal offense under sections 318-320 of the Canadian Criminal Code. However, it is controversial whether the state has to bring charges automatically or only in the case of a private complaint. In addition, the constitutionality of the hate paragraphs was only upheld by a narrow majority of the highest court after an appeal.[7]

Basically, it can be stated that the right-wing extremist voter potential is probably the same in both countries (± 15%), but that public opinion in Canada distances itself more from the racists. Such public condemnation of Ku Klux Klan gatherings or right-wing extremist statements is not limited to the political left or the liberals, but also includes the majority in the conservative parties. All Canadian parties compete for the fluctuating middle of the political spectrum. The next federal election in Germany may be decided "right of the center". In the Canadian self-image, which is always ready to compromise, extremists of any color are considered absurd. More than anywhere else, the parties are alike and shy away from ideological disputes. Therefore, even the right-wing new reform party cannot afford to be disavowed by spokesmen for the extreme wing. Such a state consensus prevents the xenophobic predispositions from expressing themselves publicly or turning into active behavior. Authoritarian characters are always conformists. Laws have little influence on individual xenophobic attitudes; however, they can prevent latent racism from expressing itself in discriminatory behavior.

The policy on foreigners and the ideas of integration therefore differ fundamentally in the two countries. Official Multiculturalism

Mus in Canada contrasts with assimilation pressure and growing xenophobia in Europe, the more traditional nationalism gives way to economic unity. A different historical self-image of Germany as Cultural nation corresponds to the Anglo-Saxon concept of State nation across from. The cultural nation is based on the well-known distinction of Meinecke[8] based on the principle of descent, which objectively predestines people of the same cultural origin to form a nation. In the self-image of the state nation, on the other hand, the solidarity of the members is justified subjectively. Everyone who is committed to the state association has the right to equal citizenship, regardless of their origin. The self-image of the state nation is therefore inclusive, that of the cultural nation exclusively. Cultural minorities that do not belong to the state majority or dominant groups are excluded from the cultural nation by definition. The "constitutional patriotism", the Sternberger and Habermas[9] conjuring up can therefore only be realized in the state nation. The restrictive cultural nation, on the other hand, is suitable for the mobilization of nationalism, which always excludes others because they do not belong to the nation or to the national association, even if they have the same citizenship. Nationalism opposes the legal equality of all citizens or residents with the fictitious ethnic identity of the objective group community.[10]

It is obvious that a multi-ethnic immigration country like Canada, and increasingly also Germany, can only have nominal equality rights for all residents if it sees itself as a state nation

can realize. This contrasts with the nationalism of subgroups like the Quebecois or Indians. Quebecian or Indian nationalism resembles the cultural nation of European characteristics. He discriminates against outsiders. Montreal and Quebec City are historical breeding grounds of anti-Semitism and paranoid resistance to the supposed danger of English foreign infiltration, as Montreal's most famous novelist Mordecai Richeler has convincingly illustrated[11] . The prohibition of English in public advertisements and the laws against free school choice in Quebec have effectively branded the 20% of English-speaking Quebecers and immigrants as second-class citizens. The logic of such nationalism is in fact its own state sovereignty and not just regional cultural autonomy. Quebec's separatists are the staunchest opponents of multiculturalism, which they equate with other ethnic groups. Militant Indians do not consider themselves Canadian nationals.

If, on the other hand, a state with a culturally heterogeneous population is to continue to exist and the segments are to coexist relatively harmoniously, the connecting ideology cannot insist on the prerogative of a homogeneous state identity. The multi-ethnic state structure must also define itself plural and multicultural. As Canada proves, multiculturalism can certainly be reconciled with overarching loyalty to the state, in fact, harmonizing it more than the European pressure to assimilate.

Selected bibliography on multiculturalism and immigration policy in Canada

Abella, J. and H. Troper: None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe 1933-1945, Toronto, Lester and Orphen Dennys, 1983.

Abella, Rosali: Equality and Human Rights in Canada: Coping with the New Isms. "University Affairs, June / July: 21-22, 1991.

Adam, Heribert: "Contemporary State Policies to Subordinate Ethnics" in: Multiculturalism and Intergroup Relations, James Frideres (ed.), 19-34, Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press, 1989.

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[Footnote references]

Footnote 1: Thanks are due to Grant Wildi for help with the data collection, Kogila Moodley and T. John Samuel for various suggestions.

Footnote 2: Canadian officials explain this by stating that most asylum seekers arrive directly from countries where political persecution is evident (Somalia, Yugoslavia, Sri Lanka, El Salvador).

Footnote 3: For a good overview of the Canadian discussion up to date, see Augie Fleras, Jean Leonard Elliott 1992. Kogila A. Moodley 1992 contains the international discussion, especially about multiculturalism in education.

Footnote 4: For the latest empirical overview of the Canadian cultural hierarchy and attitudes towards ethnic minorities, see J.W. Berry 1992. See also the writings of Jean Bumet, L. Driedger, Anthony Richmond, R. Breton, and especially the best Canadian sociologist, John Porter, on ethnicity in the Canadian mosaic.

Footnote 5: Trudeau's plural multiculturalism for Quebec differs from the nationalists in that it is supposed to enable Franco-Canadians to speak French everywhere, while the nationalists impose the French identity on all Quebecers and little for French-Canadians outside Quebec interested.

Footnote 6: Robert Leicht, "Attack on the Republic", Die Zeit, September 4, 1992.

Footnote 7: After a women's commission found subtle gender and racial discrimination in Canada's legal circles, there is now a dispute over whether all judges should be forced to take sensitivity courses on the role of gender and ethnic relationships, or whether this sociological training should be left to the judges themselves The Globe & Mail, August 26, 1993, A4.

Footnote 8: Meinecke, Friedrich, Munich / Berlin 1901.

Footnote 9: Habermas, Jürgen, Frankfurt / Main 1990.

Footnote 10: See Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism, 2nd edition, London 1991. The extensive and theoretical diverse English-language literature on ethnicity and nationalism has not had any since the classics Karl Deutsch and Hans Kohn Parallels in Germany, where the discussion mainly focuses on right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism in view of the fascist past.
For outstanding analyzes from a Marxist perspective, see E.J. Hobsbawn, Nations and Nationalism Since 1780, Cambridge 1990; from a socio-biological point of view, Pierre L. van den Berghe, The Ethnic Phaenomenon, New York 1981; James G. Kellas, The Politics of Nationalism and Ethnicity, London 1991. The writings of Emest Gellner, Charles Tilly, J. Breuilly, J. Armstrong and Michael Banton are also part of the inevitable repertoire on the subject.

Footnote 11: Mordecai Richeler, "A Reporter at Large", The New Yorker, 23 September 1991, pp. 40-92.

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