What would you say if someone told you that Canada is the world’s greatest diversity hotel and that foreigners from any part of the globe can fetch their own cultural baggage to its biggest cities and the federal government offers free room service, heat, water, and television? Suppose you were in the company of some young Canadians, one of whom declares that his/her country was much nicer when only immigrants from Europe came here. How would you react to that person? Have you ever wondered why some Canadians are not in favour of welfare and employment insurance? Do you think the province of Ontario should fund immersion schools where persons in particular cultures receive most of their high school education in those cultures?
These are just some of the major questions we shall be exploring in our course. We shall do so in order to fulfil one main goal. Our purpose is best expressed through a focus on the sociological meanings of changing identities within Canada. We want to know how liberal and neo-liberal ideas have been shaping the political and economic direction of Canada, why Canada embraced ethnic and cultural diversity and placed high values on human rights, whether clashes among and within cultures have divided the country, and consider if economic change around the world is linked to inequality among Canadians. All of these and other matters shall be examined in settings of Canadian immigration history: arguments about immigration policies, opposing positions on multiculturalism, federalism, globalization, employment equity, racial and language profiling.