A Conservative victory, however, probably wont bring any reductions in immigration levels. Determined to win at least some of the immigrant vote from the Liberals, the Conservatives have embraced multiculturalism and are working overtime to present themselves as immigrant-friendly. They have also dropped any opposition to bilingualism.
On one level, the new Conservative attitude is understandable. The Canadian media is even more politically correct than its American counterpart. Any party that wanted to reduce immigration while rejecting multiculturalism and bilingualism would face endless accusations of racism and intolerance.
In my opinion, multiculturalism is about ensuring minorities are not marginalized by the majority. Assimilation is a concept where the majority want to maintain their dominant position. Its two very different approaches.
Canadas early history has been less than honorable with respect to its treatment of minorities, as highlighted by recent newspaper headlines of different ethnic groups raising past grievances and demands for redress. When immigration to Canada from traditional countries declined, it became evident that the policy of assimilation could no longer be sustainable. Hence, it was not long before the concept of multiculturalism became an alternative.