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Multiculturalism - threat to a strong, unified society or word for what's always existed : a changing mix of ethnicity, race and culture that ultimately enriches the country ? What do you wish to make of Canada's increasing diversity ?

What Will It Mean To Be Canadian in 2010 ? What do "we" look like and sound like ? Do we subscribe to a set of shared values ?  Should we ? Did we ever ?
Those sensitive and complex questions are coming increasingly into focus as the ethnic and cultural makeup of Canada changes.
Canada currently maintains the highest rate of immigration in the developed world. Statistics Canada projects that by 2031, one in three Canadians will belong to a visible minority - and that, of course, includes many whose families have been here for generations. One in four will have been born outside the country.  
Will these new Canadians adapt to established cultural norms, or will cultural norms adapt to them ?  Will the changing mix of ethnicity, race and culture  enrich Canada? Or does the current understanding of multiculturalism discourage adaptation and erect "cultural walls" among Canadians?
Phil Ryan teaches at the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University. His new book, Multicultiphobia (to be released in May), examines the emergence and influence of people who view multiculturalism as a threat to a strong, unified society.
Despite - or perhaps because of - the sensitive issues involved,  Professor Ryan says Canadians need to talk about points raised by both multiculturalism's critics and supporters, without the discussion degenerating into name-calling and charges of racism or political correctness.  
Our question : What do you wish to make of Canada's increasing diversity


A Great Loss
: It was a shock to hear that our colleague & friend Gary Mittelholtz died on Saturday, March 13th. Gary was familiar to CBC Radio listeners in the Maritimes both as a host and news reporter. When he moved to Saint John in the mid-80s, he felt he'd come home and he, Theresa, and their family put down solid roots.
In his work as a journalist, Gary became a reliable bridge between individuals and the broader community. No matter what the story was, people found it easy to open their hearts to Gary, because of his genuine interest and respect for them, and his belief that it was important for all of us to appreciate how many different life experiences there were around us.
Gary retired from CBC Radio less than two years ago, and continued reflecting the community he loved by becoming publisher-editor of the River Valley News in Grand Bay-Westfield, near Saint John.
If you wish to read more about Gary or leave a comment or reminiscence, click here.
We miss him.


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