I am so delighted to find this article recently posted in the National Post, Tuesday, March 15th, 2011. The article, written by Carmen Chai, discusses Who We Are (as Canadians) and talks about how the government has unveiled an updated citizenship guide.

I am thrilled to see that we are clearly defining ourselves. This is important for Canadians, our corporations and most importantly to the immigrant population that decides it wants to move here and live permanently, open up business and become involved citizens.

Immigration is at its highest in 50 years. About 280,600 permanent residents came to Canada in 2010, which is about 6% more than the expected 240,000-265,000 new permanent residents that was expected. Immigration is changing our landscape and our businesses. We are truly diverse and multicultural. While I believe in acceptance of differences there are some basic and fundamental values and core beliefs that drew people to this country and MUST be observed both within our corporations/businesses as well as at the individual level.

I will like to share with you some of the changes that you will find in the citizenship guide:

1. A new pullout box called “Becoming Canadian,” which emphasizes that a newcomer has a responsibility to embrace Canadian democratic principles and that past experiences in warfare or conflict do not justify bringing violent, extreme or hateful prejudices to Canada;

2. Recognition that gay and lesbian Canadians enjoy the full protection of and equal treatment under law, including access to civil marriage;

3. The addition of forced marriage among the practices that are not tolerated in Canada (yeah!)

4. Additions to the section on the War of 1812, which celebrates its bicentennial next year. The section has been expanded to include more context on the conflict and its importance in shaping Canada;

5. Revamped “Modern Canada” section including new headings, more content about trade and economic growth and more examples of Canada’s outstanding cultural figures.

The guide is being read by a wide variety of people from citizenship applicants to students and families. And it has sparked a national conversation about who we are as Canadians.

This is great news for Canada. This will help shape our landscape personally and professionally.

I am a big supporter of this! When considering your own corporations and corporate culture take this into consideration.

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