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Canada 'Mosaic' Doesn't Give Canadians Identity: Officials Say

Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
September 7, 2011

'Mosaic' doesn't give Canadians identity: officials
Cable says that could leave us susceptible to attack

By Jordan Press, Postmedia News - September 7, 2011

Canadian officials believe the federal government may have gone too far in encouraging diversity through the Canadian "mosaic" rather than integration like the American "melting pot," according to a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

"[Canadian] government representatives have commented that they felt people around the world understood what it meant to be 'American,' but that Canada lacked a similar sense of identity, making it more difficult to create a feeling of one unified society in Canada - and hence creating greater susceptibility to radicalization," reads the cable, signed by the deputy chief of the U.S. mission in Canada, Terry Breese.

The diplomatic cable, sent to the State Department, the CIA and the Homeland Security Department, also cast doubt on the success of Canada's efforts to counter radicalization.

The cable said children of non-European immigrants may be more prone to radicalize than their parents if they don't "buy into a Canadian identity."

"The jury is still out on whether Canada's escape so far from any terrorist attacks or a serious problem with radicalization of Muslim communities is due to proactive and concerted efforts by Canadian agencies and NGOs, or despite them," the cable said.

"One way or another, Canada will never have the luxury of relaxing its counter-radicalization efforts abroad or at home, at least for the foreseeable future."

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's office declined to comment, but said in an email: "Canada is internationally recognized as having an open and generous immigration and refugee system while, at the same time, being one of the most diverse and peaceful nations in the world."

However, it added that for this to continue "it is important that immigrants and refugees continue to integrate and participate in Canadian society."

Canada's strategy focused on avoiding an "us versus them approach," the leaked cable said, and instead focused on engaging the Muslim community at a local level at home and abroad. Programs were generally not targeted directly at Muslims, the cable said, but more generally at "communities of concern."

"Many Canadian programs do not even mention 'Islam' or 'Muslim' specifically, but rather rely on the language of 'diversity' and 'inclusion,' "the confidential cable said.

Responsibility for the programs was spread across a number of federal departments.

The cable quoted a Privy Council Office analyst as saying that Public Safety had limited success in developing a "whole-of-government" strategy.

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

source: http://www.{censored}/life/Mosaic+doesn+give+Canadians+identity+officials/5362561/story.html



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