Also, since multiculturalism has killed the Canadian (because the Canadian is an enemy to multiculturalism since it would mean that there is something to assimilate into and distinguish who is and who isn't a Canadian) Canada has lost a means to unite disparate people into a singular national identity that will hopefully do away with past ethnic grievances since one is born anew, if you will, by becoming Canadian.
Being Canadian has now been reduced to citizenship claims, entitlements, and acts of civic responsibility. It is no longer a national character. This way one can call himself or herself a Canadian without actually being one. Calling oneself a Canadian is telling someone what part of the world you live in and not necessarily who you are. If you call yourself a Chinese-Canadian you are saying that you are Chinese who lives in Canada. If you call yourself an Italian-Canadian you are saying you are Italian and live in Canada.
The multicultural model does not ameliorate ethnic, racial, or national relations. It can make things worse by nurturing grievances even to future generations. With a weakened or destroyed national identity Canada is raising a generation of citizens who identify with a particular ethnic tribe and their ancestral homeland creating solidarity with the members of the tribe at the expense of fostering unity with fellow nationals.
Sri Lankan Tamils and Sri Lankan Sinhalese call themselves Canadian yet are at odds over a conflict in a country they left. If they truly were Canadians then there should be no animosity because their adopted Canadian identity should unite them. Yet that is not the case and that's because they are not Canadians just citizens of Canada. They are Sri Lankan Tamils and Sri Lankan Sinhalese living in Canada and both groups identify with a culture and people in another country. They live in the established Sri Lankan Tamil and Sri Lankan Sinhalese colonies of Canada, de facto territorial extensions of Sri Lanka, and what happens in Sri Lanka inevitable makes its way here.
The multicultural harmony of Toronto is superficial. Just because people are not at each other's throats doesn't mean they get along. There are no bridges between the Jamaican community and the Chinese community, the Indian community and the Ukrainian community, the Italian community and the Somali community, the Muslim community and the Gay community. These communities do not care to live with each other. So long as "the other" stays on their side of the fence then every thing is all right and it seems that's how it is preferred since there is no Canadian identity to unite them nor is one wanted.
Civil wars never end, they just move to Canada
How the conflicts of the 21st century are being waged by other means right here in the mosaic
May 23, 2009 04:30 AM
Foreign Affairs reporter
Toronto's recent Tamil demonstrations, protesting the killing of civilians in a Sri Lankan military operation against the Tamil Tigers, ignited new controversy over the limit to which diasporas can continue their struggles in Canada. The burning of a mainly Sinhalese Buddhist temple sparked fearful and furious reactions from those who declared that "foreign conflicts" had no place here.
The media, too, have been caught up, as cyberspace sizzles with angry diatribes from both sides.
The Sri Lankan conflict is not unique. As electronic communication burgeons, so have journalists' email baskets and Twitter lists, overflowing with complaints or entreaties from pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian groups, Serbian and Kosovar exiles, Iranian dissidents and advocates for Armenia, Tibet, Burma, Afghanistan, Somalia, Darfur and Haiti – to name a few.
While some diasporas have been actively engaged in reconstruction, development and peace-making in their original countries, others are more hardline than the people they left behind, and the polarized debates they arouse make it more difficult to find accommodation or peace.
"Politics these days is often acted out by populations who are geographically removed from the sites of conflict," notes a paper by Camilla Orjuela of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. "But although politics is to a large extent `deterritorialized' – it can be carried out (no matter) where you are – it has not ceased to be about territory."