Representative bureaucracy in Canada: multiculturalism in the public service

Ng, Eddy S., and Lam, Andrew (2020) Representative bureaucracy in Canada: multiculturalism in the public service. In: Sullivan, Helen, Dickinson, Helen, and Henderson, Hayley, (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of the Public Servant. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 1-22.

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Abstract

As the population in many western democracies becomes increasingly diverse as a result of global migration, national governments are challenged with settling and integrating minority groups into mainstream society. Yet accomplishing sustainable integration is difficult and issue-laden, as anti-immigrant sentiments, discrimination and barriers to employment, tokenism, and a lack of opportunities continue to affect minority participation in the host society. In that respect, Canada has adopted Multiculturalism as a public policy instrument to nation-building. In order to meet the needs of its diverse population, Canada has also implemented Employment Equity in its civil service as a measure to achieve representative bureaucracy among its cadre of civil servants. To date, the Canadian Multiculturalism policy has been met with a relative degree of success in comparison to other countries with strong immigrant receiving traditions. This comparative level of success is due in part to Canada’s emphasis on immigrant integration (vis-a-vis assimilation) where both host group members and minority group members adopt and adapt to each other’s cultures. This chapter details how Canada’s unique English and French roots, immigration history, and pluralist view of citizenship have allowed Multiculturalism to be deployed as a public policy tool to successfully integrate minorities and citizens with immigrant backgrounds in comparison to other countries. We also discuss how Multiculturalism has been used to mitigate some of the issues which arise from diverse workforces. We close with a review on how Canada has engaged its civil service to help achieve its ideals as a multicultural nation.

Item ID: 65815
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-3-030-03008-7
Keywords: Canada, diversity, employment equity, immigration, multiculturalism, public policy, public service, representative bureaucracy
Copyright Information: © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020.
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2021 02:03
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150305 Human Resources Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910499 Management and Productivity not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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