On the occasion of 103rd anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident, in which 376 passengers were denied entry into Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emphasizes multiculturalism as a core and defining value for Canada.
In an official statement on May 23, 2017 Trudeau said among other things the following:
By offering compassion and a fair chance at success, we not only help provide more opportunities for them and their loved ones, we also build a better Canada – one that is stronger, more inclusive, and more prosperous… Canadians are proud to be part of a country that respects and protects multiculturalism as a core and defining value, and we thank all those from the South Asian community who make such invaluable contributions to our society. We benefit greatly from the vibrant diversity of our country.
In an interview with Bloomberg News in Toronto on April 20, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defined the Canadian values as “openness, compassion, willingness to work hard, quality, opportunity, desire to be there for each other.”
He also said that pluralism defines Canadians more than “shared history, language or superficial identity.”
The following are excerpts from the interview (click HERE):
What’s different about Canada? You look at America, you look at Britain, they were both at least statistically fantastic examples of immigrant success stories and yet they’ve both elected or supported people who have been less pro immigrants to put it that way.
I think it comes down to identity and values, Canada is a country that has always accepted you know from the very beginning English versus French, that someone different from you was just as much and just as legitimately a Canadian as you were. So we’ve managed to make of this pluralism the core of our national identity in that we share values of openness, compassion, willingness to work hard, quality, opportunity, desire to be there for each other. That actually defines us rather than a shared history or language or superficial identity that we all have to ascribe to, and that combined with a sense that success also includes your neighbour, that when your neighbour is doing well you’re likely to do well and this not a zero sum game, is part of I think the Canadian psyche.
Trudeau maintains that there is no such thing as core identity in Canada. In a December 8, 2015 interview with the New York Times, Trudeau portrayed Canada as the “first postnational state” defined not by its European history “but by the multiplicity of identities from all over the world”, an idea which even the liberal New York Times deemed “radical”.
During the interview Trudeau said the following:
There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada. There are shared values — openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice. Those qualities are what make us the first postnational state.
In a videotaped message, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invites Canadians to watch CBC’s series “Canada: The Story of Us” which “packs more than 400 years of Canadian history” and “presents “Canada’s history as you’ve never seen it before.”
The following is Trudeau’s message as posted by CBC on March 27, 2017:
Welcome. Tonight, and throughout the series, we meet some of the extraordinary women and men who’ve shaped our country’s unique character. Perhaps no country has been as successful in finding its strength through cooperation and its identity through acceptance and respect. For generations, we’ve come together, bridging cultures and communities to seek a more hopeful future for all. And that’s not to say Canada’s history is perfect. It’s not. There are dark chapters in our past that we’ve only begun to confront. But today we recognize the responsibilities inherited from past generations and entrusted to us by future ones. We know our success is built upon decades of hard work and rooted in Canada’s diversity. And we know that a strong, prosperous nation can be as united as it is diverse. I hope that, like me, you’ll be inspired by these heroic Canadians so that together we can write the next chapter in the Great Canadian Story.