Toronto, Nov. 9, 2009 – Multiculturalism is “basic building block in the Canadian identity” and our getting it right “helps the world towards survival,” Member of Parliament Justin Trudeau told members at a specially convened Speaker Series of CEMA.
He told a packed boardroom that unfortunately the current Conservative government “is mistaken in lumping the multicultural portfolio in with immigration.”
Mr. Trudeau, a Liberal Party MP from Quebec, is the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the father of Canadian Multiculturalism and a champion of spurring Canada to broaden its trade and cultural vision from simply south of the border to the rest of the world.
Justin Trudeau told CEMA members that Multiculturalism should be regarded as a collectived set of values and hence becomes a tremendouis strength in building a better life for us all. “There is truth in the phrase ‘the kindness of strangers’”, he said.
“Look at the way our literature has broadened with many new Canadians and Aboriginals as important award winners in the fields of literature and the performing arts,” he said.
“Aboriginals must be seriously taken into account in the entire picture because they were somewhat left out in 1867 at Confederation… The role of the federal government should not be ‘transactional,’ the buyng off of respect for ethnocultual communities. The federal government policy should be bringing everybody together to build for the future.”
According to the younger Trudeau, Canadian identity is already there; it is our new mainstream and gaining us a splendid reputation abroad.
He was elected to the current Parliament last year from Papineau, Quebec. He looks after the Multiculturalism and Youth portfolio in the Liberal caucus. Prior to being elected, he was a social studies and French teacher in Vancouver. Even as he represents Papineau, he is completing a Masters in Geography at McGill University, where he obtained his first undergraduate degree in English Literature.
He can be reached via e-mail at: [email protected]
Written by Zuhair (Kash) Kashmeri, with notes from Ben Viccari