Canada, the country that actually welcomes refugees

Jillian Stirk and Bessma Momani look at how Canada’s multicultural past is letting it buck the angry populist trend

The World Today
3 minute READ

Jillian Stirk

Former Canadian Ambassador to Norway

Bessma Momani

Professor, University of Waterloo and a fellow at Brookings Doha Centre

As the United States and Europe wrestle with divisive and angry populist movements, Canada seems launched on a different path. A young, charismatic prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is championing the value of diversity at home and abroad, calling it ‘the engine of invention and a force that can vanquish intolerance, radicalism and hate’. Is Canada somehow isolated or insulated from the economic and social turbulence that fuels populism? Is Canada immune to populist politics and the anxieties that feed them? Or is there something about the Canadian model of pluralism that makes this kind of divisive politics less appealing?

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