Multiculturalism and Immigration in Canada: An Introductory Reader offers a solid introduction to the history and development of the ideology of multiculturalism in Canada. This ideology, which has become the primary designator of Canadian society today, began in the early 1970s when vocal elements in the population who were neither English nor French responded strongly to the investigations of the Committee on Bilingualism and Biculturalism.
Given Canada's early racist tendencies, the establishment of multiculturalism was a remarkable shift in public thinking. Many issues associated with immigration have arisen in the public debates around multiculturalism. Some people are convinced that it is a pernicious ideology that enforces the ghettoization of those different from the mainstream.
Others see dangers in the way some aspects of multiculturalism are merely tokens of an all-inclusive society. Still others contend that the voices of ethnicities aside from those of the two charter groups — English and French — are scarcely heard, and that worse, those marginalized voices are appropriated by mainstream writers.
Elspeth Cameron is the author of three award-winning biographies: Hugh MacLennan: An Author's Life (1981); Irving Layton: A Portrait (1985); and Earle Birney: A Life (1994).