Containing Diversity: Canada and the Politics of Immigration in the 21st Century

Abu-Laben, Y., Gabriel, C. and Tungohan, E. (Under Contract)
University of Toronto Press

The book is divided into six chapters. The first chapter discusses background and the framework for the analysis. Chapters Two and Three provide an assessment of the changing contours and the development of Canadian immigration policy that shifted the construction of the “ideal” or “model” citizens – “white settler society” (p. 30) – to a policy which favoured those who could contribute to Canada’s labour market regardless of their country of origin. These chapters also address the broad implications of change. Chapter Four traces multiculturalism policy from its roots in the 1970s to current incarnations of multiculturalism that increasingly emphasize the commodification of “minorities” and “minority culture.” Special attention is paid to the consequences of changing policy directions for women and people of colour. Chapter Five provides a detailed look at the development of employment equity at the federal level and in Ontario, which adopted even more comprehensive employment equity measures than the federal government. However, this chapter also shows that there has been a retreat by the state from labour market regulation and equity, whereas business is embracing diversity as a business strategy to capitalize on market share. Chapter Six revisits each of the case studies in earlier chapters by expanding some of the findings for broader debates around globalization, public policy, and diversity.