Canada is more successful at helping expats settle into their new life than other western countries and is still working to make integration smoother, the government claims.
In response to a shock speech from German Chancellor Angel Merkel that integration has failed in Germany, Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said that Canada Has a proud history of welcoming people from overseas.
‘This multi-cultural approach, saying that we simply live side by side and are happy about each other, this approach has failed, utterly failed,’ Merkel told a convention of her party’s youth wing.
In response, Kenney said Canada is always working to make integration easier and will continue to do so. ‘I think we have been much more successful generally than the western European countries. It is a work in progress though,’ he explained.
He pointed out that the Canadian government funds and promotes programmes and provides special assistance for newcomers.
Canada has just celebrated Canadian Citizenship week with hundreds of people across the country becoming Canadian citizens and many more reaffirming their commitment to Canada through ceremonies across the country.
Kenney said it was an opportunity for everyone to learn more about Canadian political institutions and history. It included the launch of a social media campaign with Canadians invited to Join the Conversation on Facebook and Twitter and talk about the meaning and importance of citizenship to them.
He said that understanding the importance of Canadian citizenship has been demonstrated through the popularity of the citizenship study guide, Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship.
The guide is popular not just among immigrants applying for Canadian citizenship but also among established Canadian citizens. Since its release last year, more than 300,000 printed copies of Discover Canada have been distributed and many more thousand electronic and audio copies have been downloaded.
In 2009, more than 156,000 migrants became citizens and embraced Canadian values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.