Encouraging Evidence of Diversity in Canada – Key facts

Is Canada truly one of world’s most diverse country? A look at how Canada promote racial and ethnic diversity.

Facts and statistics from work places, residential relationships and inclusive policies show that there is diversity in Canada. In this article, a Writer at Work Study Visa takes a look at the facts and figures that present Canada as a one of world’s most inclusive countries for immigrants.

Diversity is certainly one of the many elements to be expected in a country like Canada, where all nationalities of the world are welcomed. Canada’s immigration more than providing the needed foreign skills to boost its economy also enables the inclusiveness of diverse groups of people into its communities.

What is diversity?

Diversity may be defined as the practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, etc.

While diversity in Canada holds so many promises, it also comes with certain amount of draw backs which impacts on its socio and communal relationships.

From the look of things, advantages of diversity in Canada by far surpasses it’s disadvantages, if at all there is a demerit.

We’ll take a deep-dive to understand how inclusive co-existence have contributed to the growth and development of the country and thereafter provide answers to questions about limitations, bottlenecks, and difficulties pose by the element of diversity in the overall living experience of Canadians.

We also hope to, in addition, explore how diversity in Canada promoted economic, political and social peace in the country in general.

Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Canada

The right honorable Justine Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada in an address on November 26, 2015 expounded on the importance of diversity and inclusiveness in Canada at the Canadian House in London, United Kingdom

In his address, he stated that Canada has grown to be strong not in spite of its diversity, rather because of it and onward from hence, that capacity will be at the very core of both its success and of what the country presents to the world.

Canada’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is not only limited to Canadians being nice and polite, even if that’s the case. This commitment he revealed is a powerful and ambitious approach to making Canada and the world at large a better and safer place.

Why Diversity is Good

People all over the world are becoming aware of the diversity of Canada, even down to its cabinet and parliaments, however, in Canada, diversity is no news.

About one-fifth of all Canadians are given birth to outside of Canada and therefore made the choice to immigrate to Canada, notwithstanding the fact that this diversity can most times be taken for granted, there’s nevertheless, no doubt that Canada as a country is stronger and more successful because of it.

Newcomers programs are one of the many areas in which Canada opens its doors to welcome foreign immigrants, thereby increasing its diversity and strengthening its economy.

Paying attention to the words that people use to describe Canada, as; open, receptive and accepting, progressive and prosperous, one will realize that there is a straight linkage between each of these attributes and Canada’s success in building a more diverse and inclusive society.

Canada’s diversity is a monumental source of strength, therefore, we know that Canada has succeeded both culturally, politically, and economically because of this, and not in spite of it.

Statistical evidence of diversity in Canada

  • 23.6% of Canada’s population as of 2018 are reported to be foreign born. This represents the highest proportion in the G8 countries. In addition, the vast majority of this population live in the Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta provinces.
  • In 2017, a survey by the Ontario Human Rights Commission reveals that 40% of the racialized people living in Ontario reported to have experienced discrimination due to their race or color in the last 5 years.
  • About 6,264,800 people identified themselves as a member of a visible minority group
  • Canada’s largest source of immigration from 2006 to 2020 is Asia.
  • 61.8% of new immigrants were born in Asia in 2016, including the Middle East, Africa ranks second at 13.4% as a source of immigrants to Canada in recent times.
  • With regards to ethnocultural diversity, the number of ethnic origins and ancestries that was reported in Canadian population in 2016 was 250.
  • Canada is an increasingly diverse country—data from the 2016 Census indicated that 22.3% of the population were designated as belonging to one or more visible minority groups. Through population projections from 2017, Statistics Canada projects that this percentage would rise to between 31.2% and 35.9% by 2036.

Employment gaps among races and ethnicities in Canada

Employment gaps certainly exists between racially diverse groups in Canada, like there is in any other country with great diversity.

The crux of the matter however, is how this gap is managed and how it is covered so that the effect is not so profound as to impact greatly on such groups and consequently on the economy.

According to reports names which sound foreign, 20-40 percent of the time are less liable to get a call back for job interview.

This is one of so many other challenges faced by immigrants, racialized people, and particularly women within these two groups, notwithstanding the candidate’s skills and qualification.

Evidences of Non-Inclusiveness in Canada

In corporate leadership, one study reveals that white women outnumbered racialized women 17:1. In addition, racialized women barely constitute 6.4% of management workforce.

There is also the issue of underutilization of skills from highly educated immigrants by employers who prefer to hire less skilled workers.

Data from the 2016 census and the Legislative Employment Equity Program (LEEP) reveals that racialized immigrants and minorities experience far greater unemployment and underemployment altogether, also, it shows that immigrant women experience far poorer outcomes than immigrant men.

On a whole, racialized immigrants and workers are employed in lesser paying occupations and sectors.

Foreigners from Asia, Latin America, Africa, and middle East are worse off than Canadian born workers, on the other hand, immigrants from Europe are better off than non-Europe immigrants.

Furthermore, foreign credential devaluation, language proficiency and perceived fit with Canadian workplace persistently continue to stand as barriers to immigrant labour market integration.

Racism in Canada

Fundamental to the discourse of diversity in Canada is the element of racism, in this discussion is the views of Canadians who fundamentally agree or disagree that the country has an inherent problem with race.

34%, that is one-third of Canadians agree that yes, there is a fundamental race issue in the country. This point of view is however held by women below 55 years old and men 18-34 years old.

Two-thirds, that is 66% on the other hand, disagree, stating the statement is overreaching, therefore, they do not concede to the opinion that Canada is a racist country.

Statistics nevertheless, reveals that Saskatchewan and Manitoba citizens are most likely to feel that Canada is a racist country, and in addition to British Columbia. These are the provinces where at least 2 in 5, agree that the statement is true.

Is Canada a racist country?

Many human rights activists and scholars of critical race continue to supply evidences that inequality is woven into the fabrics of Canadian institutions and normalized in every day life.

Scholar Eduardo Bonilla-Silva in his book “Racism Without Racist” states that “The absence of racism is one of Canada’s fable-like stories” and we keep telling and retelling ourselves the same moral stories.

A vast majority of racism is hidden within a façade of normality, this is experienced in the acts of domination which pervades Canadian universities, schools, religious institutions and communities, expressed in various dimensions as; race, gender, class, sexuality, religion and disability, all of which can be particularly powerful in Canadian institutions.

A six years study released in July call the “Black Experience Project” found that Blacks compared to non-Blacks, earn much more lesser income, have greater rates of incarceration’s and experience way more greater rates of unemployment, undergoes more housing hardships, prone to become victims of violence, and suffer poorer health conditions than other races.

Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion

The Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion is a charitable national organization with the responsibility and goal of assisting individuals and organizations to be inclusive, be free of prejudice and discrimination and to bring awareness, kick start dialogue and action so that people will realize that diversity is an asset and not a liability or an obstacle.

The biggest clients of the CCDI are employers. Furthermore, the organization hosts its Community of Practice events in 18 cities across Canada, alongside its webinars and the yearly D and I: The Un-Conference held in 9 cities.

This is created to foster research, thought leadership and provide toolkits that can drive change, it conducts in-person workshops and also make available E-learning solutions to educate and assist people on the broad issues of diversity and inclusion, the CCDI also hosts Canada’s largest digital library of resources related to diversity and inclusion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there favoritism/preference for a particular race for Canada immigration?

A recent poll by Macleans reveals that about 40% of Canadians hold an unfavorable stand to both the pace of immigration and the number of visible minority people among immigrants. In the poll respondents stated that there were too many nonwhites amongst Canada’s newly arrived immigrants.

Does Diversity in Canada breed racism?

According to Statistics Canada Ethnic Diversity Survey, one out of five people who is a member of a visible minority group reported having been discriminated against or treated unfairly sometimes or most of the times.

Race and skin color has been attributed to be the reason for this discrimination and unfair treatment. These acts are most likely to occur in the workplace.

Is there a community of inclusiveness for foreigners in Canada?

Canada recently ranked 1st amongst 25 countries on overall inclusiveness, just slightly ahead of the United States which ranked second place.

Japan, Turkey, Serbia, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia ranked lowest on inclusiveness spectrum. Canada’s first place ranking is due to a result of the combination of the following six indices:

  • 1st on Religious Inclusiveness
  • 3rd on Naturalized-Citizen Inclusiveness
  • The1st on Second Generation Inclusiveness Score
  • 2nd on LGBTQ Inclusiveness
  • First on Criminal Offence Inclusiveness Score
  • Fourth on Extreme Political Views Inclusiveness Score