Canada Culture Rija Rasul Society Society, Culture, and Security

The Myth of Multiculturalism in Canada


On December 1, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published the 2014 International Migration Outlook. The report looks at both recent migration trends as well as policies in OECD member countries. A notably interesting section of the report examines research on discrimination in these countries in regards to employment.

When selecting a candidate for a job, the report established that in some first world countries, certain ethnicities were found to be at a disadvantage. For example, in Toronto, Chinese, Indian, or Pakistani individuals are less likely to get called back for an interview compared to those who posses a more “Canadian” sounding name.

While Toronto is known as one of the world’s most multicultural cities, home to a large foreign-born population, the findings of the report highlight a surprising inconsistency. This divergence is further exemplified when considering the country as a whole. According to the report, 42% of Canadian residents, between the ages of 25 and 64, are described as being well qualified (having completed post-secondary education). In 2012, based on data from the OECD, TIME Magazine declared Canada the world’s most educated country. Since a large portion of Canadians are immigrants, and since many enter the country already having completed their educations, they account for a fair portion of that coveted spot.

These findings suggest that Canada is not living up to its reputation as a multicultural nation. Rather, instead of embracing and celebrating different cultures, Canadians simply tolerate them.

Rija Rasul
Rija Rasul graduated from the University of Toronto with a Specialist degree in Political Science. During that time, Rija worked as a Compliance Analyst for the G8 Research Group at the Munk School of Global Affairs, where she conducted published research on G8 member states and assessed their compliance to commitments from the previous year's Summit. Rija's research interests include international security and terrorism, political and sectarian violence, religious extremism in politics, and human rights.