Re-branding Canada: The Origins of Canadian Multiculturalism Policy, 1945-1974




Blanding, Lee

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Canadian multiculturalism policy is often said to have come about in 1971 because of factors such as the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, the multicultural movement of the 1960s, or the more liberal political and social climate of the postwar period. While all of these played roles in the emergence of “multiculturalism within a bilingual framework,” this dissertation takes the approach that the federal civil service was the most important factor behind the adoption of a federal multiculturalism policy in Canada. The author makes the case that the Canadian state had adopted multiculturalism policy and programs as early as the 1950s. A small branch of Government, known as the Canadian Citizenship Branch sought to integrate members of ethnic minority communities into the mainstream of Canadian life, but also sought to reassure native-born Canadians that these “New Canadians” had vital contributions to make to Canadian culture. This dissertation shows how this state discourse intersected with the more familiar elements associated with the rise of multiculturalism, such as the multicultural movement, and ultimately coalesced in 1971 with the announcement by Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau of a “new” state multiculturalism policy.



ethnic, ethnicity, Canada, Canadian, Canadian multiculturalism policy, bilingualism and biculturalism, bureaucracy, history, multicultural movement, multiculturalism, multiculturalism movement, multiculturalism policy, Paul Yuzyk, Pierre Trudeau, policy, politics, Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, Ukrainians, ethnic groups