March 2015 Archives

The first years: settling in Montreal


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Walking around Montreal, people-watching, one would find it hard to tell by their faces, dress or demeanour whether these passersby were born here, and - if not - when they arrived, how much at home they feel, how easy it is for them to melt into this sea of diversity. Some never even wonder about it: multiculturality is a face of Canada that's natural to them, expected. I always wonder about it - because I'm still a new immigrant.

Canada is a country built on immigration, with 95% of its current population non-aboriginal, a strong testament to how people can make a new start in this place, no matter the circumstances of their arrival. Over time, and notably toward the end of last century, it has started regulating its immigration practices, with a view to supporting and promoting multiculturalism. It is no wonder that around 250 000 people arrive every year, ready to make this place their new home.