Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney is quite busy these days. When he’s not barring British anti-war MPs from entering Canada, axing funding to Canadian-Arab groups, deporting war-resisters or even tweeting on Twitter, he’s busy shaping our multiculturalism in a very diverse way: English or French speaking only! Our minister’s latest fight is to deny citizenship to immigrants who can’t speak English or French well enough. He believes new Canadians " have a duty to integrate." and adds "We don’t need the state to promote diversity. It is a natural part of our civil society." With that his government has ceased funding programs such as heritage language classes, and Kenney commented:
"I think it’s really neat that a fifth-generation Ukrainian Canadian can speak Ukrainian– but pay for it yourself," – Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney
Do the Conservatives believe Canada should be more of a U.S.-style melting pot rather than a multicultural society or should it just be a private affair? Perhaps immigrants and their cultures are being the scapegoat during our recession? Does this strategy even work? Add this to the list of crazy Conservatives moves this week.
From the Toronto Sun:
Leaders of an “insulted” Ukrainian community last night blasted the Toronto District School Board for approving a genocide class that doesn’t include the 1932-33 Holodomor in its list of three atrocities to be studied in-depth.
The TDSB last night unanimously approved the course design for the Grade 11 genocide class, which will focus mainly on three mass murders — the 1915 Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, and the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
But a board superintendent, Nadine Segal, said other genocides, including the current Darfur crisis as well as the Soviet-engineered Ukrainian Holodomor famine, will be touched upon in a broader, survey context. Students will have the opportunity to choose other genocides for independent study, Segal said.
From the Globe and Mail:
A group of Ukrainian-Canadians sat in the board meeting’s audience in support of an effort to have the Holodomor, the 1932-33 Ukrainian genocide, included as a core case study.
The board passed some minor amendments aimed at bolstering the profile of the Holodomor in the curriculum, including a mandatory statement that crimes against humanity not used as one of the three core case studies were not of lesser importance than those that were, and that other atrocities could be included as case studies.
While most of the media focused on the Armenian-Turkish battle over the course, it was refreshing to see some bring up the issue and keep the topic fresh in the media. The course unfortunately will not be reviewed for another three years.
Meanwhile in 2009 Alberta will start teaching the Holodomor and the internment of Ukrainians during WWI in its schools, the League of Ukrainian Canadians have had their Holodomor education plan posted for quite some time, and there are plenty more resources in the US.