The vast majority (96%) of Canadians belonging to a visible minority group will likely live in one of the 33 census metropolitan areas, and visible minority groups could comprise 63% of the population of Toronto, 59% of Vancouver and 31% of Montréal. Canada's increasing visible minority population is not the only aspect of diversity projected to change.
Other aspects of diversity include foreign-born, generation status, mother tongue and religious denomination. According to demographic projections, the proportion of foreign-born people in the population could increase from 20% in 2006 to between 25% and 28% by 2031.
The number of foreign-born Canadians could total between 9.8 and 12.5 million, depending on immigration levels. By 2031, if current demographic trends continue, 47% of the second generation (the Canadian-born children of immigrants) will belong to a visible minority group, nearly double the proportion of 24% in 2006.
Also, people born in China are more likely than South Asians to emigrate from Canada. Canada's Black and Filipino populations, which were the third- and fourth-largest visible minority groups in 2006, could double in size by 2031.
Allophones (people whose mother tongue is neither English nor French) accounted for less than 10% of Canada's population in 1981. In other words, the number of allophones could rise 7 to 11 times faster than the rest of the population, to total between 11.4 and 14.3 million people.
A growing percentage of new Canadians, like these seen reaffirming their vows of citizenship before a Toronto Blue Jays game in 2003, will be visible minorities, according to a new report by Statistics Canada. South Asians, including Indians, Pakistanis and Sri Lankan, are expected to make up the largest visible minority group, at 28 per cent, thanks in part to high fertility rates, the study projected.
Country # of immigrants % of total China 29,336 11.9% India 24,549 9.9% Philippines 23,724 9.6% U.S. 11,216 4.5% United Kingdom 9,243 3.7% Pakistan 8,052 3.2% South Korea 7,245 2.9% (Source: Immigration and Citizenship Canada) Newcomers settle in urban areas because the sheer size of the cities means more job opportunities, which then leads to the creation of ethnic communities, said University of Toronto professor Jeffrey Rate. “(They) become kind of magnets in themselves for people of similar backgrounds,” the ethnic and immigration studies professor said.
French is mostly spoken in Quebec, but there are substantial francophone populations in parts of New Brunswick, Ontario and southern Manitoba. While Canada has attracted considerable international attention for its liberal stance on issues such as diversity, asylum and inclusion, with current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised by many for his progressive attitudes towards minority and indigenous concerns in particular, the country’s long history of discrimination continues to be felt to this day.
Indeed, Trudeau’s administration has also been criticized for perpetrating many of the same abuses that these marginalized communities have suffered for generations, such as the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, supported by the government but condemned by indigenous representatives as a violation of their communal land rights. A significant portion of Canada ’s indigenous population and many members of its varied ethnic and religious minorities, such as Black Canadians and Muslims, still face higher levels of poverty, hate speech and other challenges.
The commitments made by the federal and provincial governments to address indigenous peoples’ rights since the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Affairs published its recommendations in 1996 represent an important break from past assimilationist strategies. Despite the diversity of these indigenous communities, each with distinct ethnic, linguistic and cultural backgrounds and traditions, they also share similarities, including a troubled history of land rights and jurisdictional violations by corporations and the Canadian government, as well as impediments to realizing self-determination and political representation.
In 2015, after seven years taking statements from thousands of former residential school survivors, the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its initial report exploring the impact of the residential school system on its Indigenous peoples, which it declared amounted to ‘cultural genocide,’ whereby ‘families are disrupted to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next.’ Children were removed from their homes and communities, often forcibly, and forbidden from speaking indigenous languages, severing a crucial link with their cultural identities and thus their ability to speak their mother tongue. The findings were accompanied by 94 Calls to Action to improve the lives of indigenous Canadians and address the long history of discrimination, exploitation and abuse they have suffered.
One issue highlighted by the Commission was the disproportionate impact of violent crime on some urban indigenous communities, particularly in relation to gang membership in cities. For the First Nations, Inuit and Métis of Winnipeg and other urban centers, discrimination, poverty, cultural alienation, spatial segregation, sub-standard housing and decreased access to labor markets have helped push many indigenous youths towards gang affiliation.
Nevertheless, the urban exclusion that drives many into violent gangs has also contributed to increased rates of violence inflicted against indigenous women, which is also strongly associated with their secondary status based on gender and their belonging to a marginalized community. Rights groups have also questioned the accuracy of available police statistics and believe the true figures may be much higher.
Indigenous peoples and women’s rights groups, including the NAC, have advocated for years with little success for improved prevention initiatives. On a broader level, Leah Gaza, the president of the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, started the ‘We Care’ movement to raise awareness of violence against indigenous women among all Winnipeggers.
Most of the homicide cases against indigenous girls and women remain unsolved, despite normally high clearance rates for homicide in Canada : indigenous women consistently report a distrust in police, due to bias and misconduct, and a reluctance to report violence. Historically, lands rights for Canada ’s indigenous communities have frequently been violated, with land seizures and forced resettlement a recurrent feature of life for many decades, with echoes today as ancestral territory continues to be exploited for mining, oil and other extractive industries.
In June that year, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled on the case, recognizing the title of the Tsilhqot’in Nation over approximately 1,700 square km of land south-west of Williams Lake, British Columbia. The ruling therefore has wide implications for future development projects planned by the Canadian government over the next decade, amounting to hundreds of billions Canadian dollars of investment in mining, forestry, gas and oil projects, many of them to be undertaken on traditional indigenous lands.
The creation or extensions of pipelines from the oil sands of Alberta to other areas within Canada or onwards into the United States have been strongly opposed by indigenous communities. Following the election of Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister in 2015, a ban on tanker traffic was put in place in the northern coast of British Colombia and in 2016 the rejection of the proposal was formally announced.
Amidst ongoing demonstrations, the Canadian government announced in May 2018 that it would acquire the pipeline and then seek outside investors to complete the work. Despite the Federal Court of Appeal reversing in August 2018 the government’s approval of the Trans Mountain Expansion project on the basis that indigenous communities were not meaningfully consulted, nor the threats posed to fragile marine life adequately resolved, the government nevertheless purchased the pipeline for C$4.5 billion the day after the ruling.
The beginning of the year saw a French Canadian student launch a deadly attack against worshipers at one of the city’s mosques, killing six people, and anti-Muslim sentiment has also intensified in the wake of violent incidents such as the July 2018 shooting carried out by a Canadian of Pakistani descent in the Greek town district of Toronto that killed two people. The proposed Quebec Charter of Secular Values, bill 60, first introduced by the conservative Parti Québécois (PQ) in November 2013 but later dropped by the Liberals following the August 2014 elections, had proposed banning government employees from wearing religious symbols at work: while it had implications for individuals of all religions, concerns were raised that it was specifically discriminatory against Muslim women who wear various forms of hijab.
When European settlement began in the 1600s, the entirety of the territory that was to become Canada had already been settled by millions of indigenous people and divided into hundreds of nations, each with a distinct language, culture, social structure and political tradition. European settlement was pioneered by the French, who established Quebec City in 1608 and Montreal in 1642, and declared New France a colony in 1663.
Initial relations between Europeans and indigenous peoples ranged from cordial trade exchanges and military alliances, to mutual indifference, to outright hostility and armed conflict. Many of the indigenous peoples were decimated through deliberate campaigns of extermination; including the devastating impacts of residential schools.
The impacts continue to be felt to this day, with ongoing issues such as suicide, alcoholism and abuses linked to the legacy of the residential school system. Further migration in the late 1800s, particularly from Eastern Europe, saw the development of new minority communities in Canada who also struggled with discrimination.
This included, notoriously, thousands of Ukrainians who having fled the Austro-Hungarian Empire found themselves ostracized following the outbreak of the First World War. In recent decades Canada has made significant strides in the recognition and protection of its indigenous and minority communities, including a series of landmark rulings acknowledging historic abuses and the granting of a number of land agreements reaffirming the territorial rights of indigenous peoples over some, though by no means all, of their historic territories.
Nevertheless, many issues persist: indigenous Canadians continue to experience targeted violence, for example, in particular representing a disproportionate number of the country’s murdered and missing women and girls. Despite a strong desire among ordinary Canadians to accommodate Québécois demands and aspirations within a united Canada, communal divisions remain, although less marked than in previous periods.
A solid legal framework exists in Canada to promote the principles of diversity and the rights of all individuals, protecting them from discrimination. Overall, the legal position and rights of indigenous peoples are determined by the Indian Act, the Constitution, and such treaties as were concluded between them and the colonial powers (with Canada as successor).
Minority and indigenous activists complain that while the commission process may solve individual cases of abuse, little has been done to dismantle systemic patterns of discrimination or promote full and effective equality. Canadian employers are required to conduct a workforce analysis and are expected to close gaps in representation based on labor market availability in their recruitment area, as determined by census data.
Indians in Vancouver, 1908In recent decades, many people have come to Canada from India and other South Asian countries. As of 2016, South Asians make up nearly 17 percent of the Greater Toronto Area's population, and are projected to make up 24 percent of the region's population by 2031.
Today, Asian Canadians form a significant minority within the population, and over 6 million ethnic Asians call Canada their home. Often referred by the Canadian media as “model minorities”, Asian Canadians are among the educated and socioeconomically affluent groups in Canada.
The Canadian population who reported full or partial Asian ethnic origin, including West Central Asian and Middle Eastern, according to the 2016 census: ^ Walton-Roberts and Hilbert, Immigration, Entrepreneurship, and the Family Archived 2014-10-18 at the Payback Machine, p. 124.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Asian diaspora in Canada. Over the past five days, The Vancouver Sun’s ethnic mapping series has profiled the city’s strong Chinese, South Asian, Filipino and English neighborhoods.
Many think this definition has outlived its usefulness, since whites of various ethnicities are becoming the “visible minority in many Metro Vancouver regions, such as in the predominantly Chinese enclaves in Richmond and South Asian ones in north Surrey. Census Canada in 2006 dictated that a person can profess to be a member of only one visible- minority group, say Vietnamese or Latin American.
As a result, the number of whites in Metro Vancouver, when counted based on all their different ethnic groups, adds up to more than 100 per cent. Despite these mathematical complications, the 2006 Census Canada data paints a vivid picture of ethnic Metro Vancouver.
The Sun’s online maps show that five per cent of the neighborhood north of 12 Street and Royal Avenue is black. Even though Danes have tended to integrate themselves into mainstream Canadian culture since first emigrating here in the 1890s, there are still a few Metro neighborhoods with a hint of a Danish character.
The Sun’s ethnic maps show that people with Dutch roots do not generally appear drawn to the city of Vancouver, Richmond or north Surrey. One of Metro Vancouver’s most famous denizens with a Dutch name is former Canucks star Trevor Linden.
Despite their relatively low numbers, French people were a big part of 19th-century British Columbia history, first arriving as explorers, trappers, farmers and Catholic priests. Curiously, The Sun’s ethnic maps show one thick urban French neighborhood next to the gates of the University of B.C.
People of German background make up the largest white ethnic group in Metro Vancouver after those who claim a connection to England, Scotland or Ireland. Ten per cent of Metro residents profess German roots, but most of their ancestors do not hail from what is now Germany.
Most have German ancestors who, in the early 20th century, left Russia or Eastern Europe, including those of Mennonite background. In Metro Vancouver, people with German backgrounds are highly concentrated around the rural community of Alder grove, where they make up 22 per cent of the population.
Even though they’re a relatively small ethnic group, people with ties to Iran have concentrated to an extreme degree in affluent West and North Vancouver. In Amble side and Nor gate, two seaside communities just north of the Lions Gate Bridge, more than 16 per cent of the population has Iranian origins.
Even though the shah was credited with modernizing oil-rich Iran, many citizens opposed his regime’s use of torture and its dependence on the U.S. and Britain. Those who claim full or partial descent from Ireland make up 12 per cent of Metro Vancouver residents.
A strong proportion of Metro residents who claim an Irish ethnicity are descendants of immigrants who came to Eastern Canada from famine-struck Ireland around the 1840s. In Metro Vancouver, people claiming some degree of Irish heritage tend to be focused on the outer peripheries of the city.
Historically, Italians have been associated with the ethnic coffee bars and restaurants centered around bustling northern Commercial Drive in east Vancouver, termed “Little Italy.” Many working-class Italians left their war-ravaged country and immigrated to what is now the left-wing enclave in the 1940s and ‘50s, building Roman Catholic churches and schools and growing expansive vegetable gardens in their backyards.
Indeed, only seven per cent of the residents immediately surrounding north Commercial Drive claim an Italian origin. Metro Vancouver’s roughly 75,000 Italian-Canadians, representing 3.6 per cent of the city’s population, are now spread throughout the metropolis.