Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

June 26, 2009 13:00 ET

Minister Kenney Celebrates Canadian Multiculturalism Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 26, 2009) - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement celebrating Canadian Multiculturalism Day:

"Tomorrow marks Canadian Multiculturalism Day and I am proud to take this opportunity to reflect on how Canada's cultural communities have contributed to our rich and diverse heritage, and to outline some of our accomplishments.

"This past year saw the 20th anniversary of the Multiculturalism Act. Since 1988, Canada has strived to make multiculturalism a success and recognize it as 'a fundamental characteristic of Canadian heritage and identity.' Since Confederation, more than 15 million immigrants have arrived in Canada and our multicultural model of unity-in-diversity, which gives our country such strength, has taken shape.

"Through the Multiculturalism Program, the Government of Canada invests in initiatives that promote the building of bridges between communities and an inclusive Canada that promotes equality of opportunity and hope for individuals of all origins. We support programs that help cultural youth at-risk; we support communities that reach out to other communities and build bridges of mutual understanding; and we support projects that help newcomers and other Canadians better understand their rights and responsibilities and our shared Canadian values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

"Also this year, the Government of Canada launched the Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism, which commemorates the late Senator's pioneering legacy in the areas of multiculturalism, diversity and pluralism. Earlier this month, during a special ceremony, I was delighted to recognize John Yaremko as the first recipient of the award. Mr. Yaremko was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his strong advocacy for education, human rights and multiculturalism, as well as his philanthropic activities, which include the 2002 creation of the John and Mary A. Yaremko Program in Multiculturalism and Human Rights at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law.

"In addition, the Government of Canada's two-year effort to become a full member in the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (ITF) came to fruition just days ago, as Canada's application was accepted during the ITF's plenary session earlier this week in Oslo, Norway. Our Government is proud to join with 26 other countries as full members of this organization. We are committed to supporting the Task Force's efforts to increase public awareness of genocide and develop learning opportunities about the Holocaust.

"As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I hope that all of us in Canada can open our minds to new ways of building a strong, inclusive country characterized by intercultural understanding, social cohesion and a strong sense of shared citizenship."

Contact Information