Last weekend, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made comments at a party youth convention saying, “This multicultural approach, saying that we simply live side by side and are happy about each other, this approach has failed, utterly failed,” she said in response to a lack of jobs in Germany.
In Germany, the Chancellor is the head of government, which is similar to Canada’s Prime Minister.
Canada’s Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney responded, saying, “I think we have been much more successful generally than the western European countries. It is a work in progress though,” he said.
Paul Dewar, the new Democrat Party foreign affairs critic, said that other countries would benefit from examining how Canada’s multiculturalism and diversity has been good for the country. “I’d say to Madam Merkel, come to Canada, see how it works and maybe you might re-evaluate whether it can work in Germany,” he said. “Diversity shouldn’t be a threat. You can gain strength from diversity.”
It’s Citizenship Week in Canada, where Canadians are celebrating the meaning of citizenship and hundreds will become Canadian citizens. A social media campaign has also been launched on Twitter and Facebook where Canadian citizens and newcomers can discuss what citizenship means to them.
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