Racial Inequality in Canada Essay Example
Racial Inequality in Canada Essay Example

Racial Inequality in Canada Essay Example

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  • Pages: 8 (1979 words)
  • Published: December 25, 2021
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The Canadian legal structure and framework provides for equal treatments of all citizens whether immigrants or natives across the country (Grace Edward Galabuzi, 2016). Additionally, the law provides protection for all citizens and victims of discrimination and guarantees constitutional equality to all. Moreover, there is an increasing influx of immigrants in Canada today implying that the Canadian society is based on a multi-racial ethnicity and culture. However, issues of racial diversity have expressed concerns about the subsequent racial tensions that arise from the incorporation of the multi-racial ethnicity in the Canadian society .It has elicited political standpoints from commentators and critiques as well as the minority groups in Canada and other advocates for minority rights ( Omidvar and Richmond, 2003).Moreover, there is also push for reduction in immigrations in the country ( Stoffman 2002;


Collacott 2002; Francis 2002).The intensification of racial inequality in Canada has been triggered by the concentration of minorities in particular immigrant-intensive cities such as Toronto and Vancouver. Additionally, according to an article feature in Toronto Star, it was reported that there has been increased racial discrimination among the minority people of color in the city where Black males living in the city are three times more likely to be hurdled by the policemen (Grace Edward Galabuzi, 2012). Additionally, police make frequent visits to the neighborhoods where the majority people of color reside where they are harassed in most cases. The racialism is hugely felt through income gaps and employment opportunities where the racialized groups whether literate or illiterate thrive in poverty leading to a huge social gap between the racialized groups and the natives (Statistics Canada, 2005). Therefore, there exist racia

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inequality in Canada and there is a need to redress this problem by adopting a social policy that advocate for racial equality among all the citizens in Canada. The policy that can be applied in this case will borrow largely on the affirmative action policy adopted in Brazil in 2001(Telles & Paixão, 2013).

Affirmative action-Brazil Case Study

The announcement of the affirmative action in 2001 changed the country’s view of racial democracy to a more reality-based approach to realizing that indeed racial discrimination existed in the country (Da Silva Martins, Medeiros & Nascimento, 2004). The idea primarily was meant to increase the number of non-white students at Brazilian universities since most of the blacks and minority groups were disadvantaged in accessing higher education and also addressed the long-established notion that the country had been existing in a racial democracy that provided equal opportunities to all. Upon back up from the United Nations conventions against Racism in 2001, the implementation of the affirmation action was heightened and instead of the top-down implementation strategy used before; it spread to the federal law requirements that all public universities adopt it (Mutakabbir, 2009). Moreover, the quota systems have been used as the default for which the affirmative action is based on the admission of students to the public universities. The quota system guarantees some entry to students from a particular race/class ensuring fair distribution of the available slots to all the students. Additionally, a 2016 legislative Act requires that all universities practice quota system on the basis of (among other factors) high school attendance, the income of the family and the racial orientation (indigenous black or brown)( Mutakabbir, 2009).Thus, the act

also known as the Quota Law is meant to remove racialized barriers in accessing higher education in Brazil and also ensure social equality is maintained since the family income is also considered in the quota’s admission to public universities(Telles& Paixão, 2013). Moreover , proponents of this system argue that the policy should be based on class(since blacks and brown are the most affected) instead of race criteria which imply the existence of distinctive races as the countries considers itself race-blind(although this is controversial)(Lima,2016).

The affirmative action was also crucial in the labor market and addressing income equality gap as well as the unemployment among the minority blacks (Telles & Paixão, 2013). This is because by giving the marginalized communities a chance to higher education it implies that they will have a higher chance of obtaining formal employment in the job market and will, therefore, reduce the social inequality brought about by employment opportunities and incomes as a result of access to education. Although the affirmative action might not have eradicated racism in education, it has provided a strong basis for which other initiatives and policies in eradicating racial inequality in Brazil can be based. Additionally, the system has at least mitigated the lack of education opportunities for the small ethnic minority of the Blacks thus ensuring social equality is maintained. The system has also worked in the United States of America.

Affirmative Action-Is it Possible in Canada?

Studies have shown a discrepancy based on racial disparities among Canadian citizens regarding their income, health status and services, participation in governance as well as the labor market. Moreover, in Toronto, studies have reported huge unemployment cases and low incomes among

the racialized groups regardless of their education status. The racialized individuals are more likely to be underemployed or even unemployed even though they have a strong urge and will to work. For instance, racialized Canadians earn about $30,385 annually compared to $37,332 for the majority groups in the Canadian Society (Grace Edward Galabuzi, 2016). Additionally, the Canadian labor market policies are based on the country’s skill-selective immigration policy where no matter the education level the immigrants they experience lower chances of getting employment especially in the urban settlement(Reitz, 2004). Additionally, the immigrants skills tend to be disregarded in the market as compared to those of the native-born citizens as the minority immigrants are racially discriminated. Affirmative action, therefore, ensures that proactive measures are taken to end the cases of racism among the minority immigrants by giving them an equal opportunity to exercise their legislative rights as provided in the Canadian constitution.

Unlike in Brazil where affirmative action was based on higher education, in Canada, the same framework can be used in the employment and treatment of the minority immigrants who are racially discriminated against. For instance, taking the case of Toronto and Vancouver where the immigrants are mostly found it is important for the government to develop an affirmative action framework that gives the immigrants equal opportunities to access education, health services, and employment among others. Although, the quota system may not be effective in employment opportunities similar criteria could be used to integrate the unemployed qualified immigrants into the job market. There have also been cases of increasing obstacles in the new immigrants as compared to the past generation that has resulted in reducing employment,

and high standards of leaving as well as discrimination despite the immigrants have a strong background in education at all times((Frenette and Morrisette, 2003). Therefore, the understanding of racial perception in Canada is vital in coming up with a strong affirmative action that will deal with the problems faced by the racialized immigrants in the Canadian society.

Additionally, there exists a wide view that racism and discrimination are not a problem in Canada and that the existing government policies such as multiculturalism are sufficient enough to solve these problems if they arise. Additionally, officials on human rights are seen as effective in ensuring a favorable environment for the immigrants and other minority groups while maintaining international standards. Additionally, a small portion of the White would tend to think that there exists racial prejudice in Canada( the Whites are less affected).

However, there is concrete evidence that indeed racial inequality exists in Canada especially among the immigrants and the existing lugsail frameworks and human rights observers have not been sufficient enough to solve the problem. For instance, there is overwhelming evidence that there exists prejudiced attitudes, discrimination and violation of human right cases, and discrimination in the labor market (Simon and Lynch 1999; Reitz 2004; Esses, Dovidio &Hodson, 2002). With these facts on the table, therefore, there is a need to change the perception of the racial discrimination among the immigrants and instead focus on the facts as reported out in various studies.

Although the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination acknowledges Canada’s effort in promoting a race-free society, it observes that there are an ever growing number of various social discrepancies in the Canadian society.

These include the growing social-economic gap among the ethnic groups, racial discrimination, and profiling especially for the people of color by the Canadian police as well as the discriminative criminal justice system for the immigrants (Grace Edward Galabuzi, 2016). Therefore, the adoption of the affirmative action strategy will ensure that for each problem identified as prevalent among the immigrants effective measures are put in place to address those problems. For instance, equal employment opportunities can be achieved by designing a criterion that grant the minority and qualified immigrants an opportunity to public sector employment and be treated the same way as the native Canadians. The government and other stakeholders will come together in coming up with the Affirmative Action policy that will first eliminate racism and racialism aspect in the daily activities of the immigrants especially in the towns of Toronto and Vancouver where most immigrants are settled.


There exists racial inequality in the Canadian society. The legislative measure taken by the government and human rights watchdogs have not been sufficient enough to create a race-free society in Canada. The increased influx of immigrants, especially in the towns of Toronto and Vancouver, means that racialized discriminations will be still on the rise if effective measures are not taken to solve the menace. The affirmative action policy saw the restructuring of the Brazilian education system that ensures that the minority were given fair access to higher education. In the same way. Affirmative action ought to be taken in the Canadian case to ensure that racial discrimination is eliminated, and the minority immigrants are given an equal chance to live their life normally just as the born natives

thereby creating a race-free Canadian society.


  1. Collacott, Martin. 2002. Canada’s Immigration Policy: The Need for Major Reform. Vancouver: Fraser Institute
  2. Da Silva Martins, S., Medeiros, C. A., & Nascimento, E. L. (2004). Paving Paradise The Road From “Racial Democracy” to Affirmative Action in Brazil.Journal of Black Studies, 34(6), 787-816.
  3. Economic Council of Canada. 1991. Economic and Social Impacts of Immigration. Ottawa: Supply and Services Canada
  4. Francis, Diane. 2002. Immigration: The Economic Case. Toronto: Key Porter Books.
  5. Frenette, Marc, and René Morissette. 2003. Will They Ever Converge? Earnings of Immigrant and Canadian-Born Workers over the Last Two Decades. Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series. Cat. no. 11F0019MIE B no. 215. Ottawa: Statistics Canada
  6. Grace Edward Galabuzi, A. (2016). The persistence of racial inequality in Canada | Toronto Star. thestar.com. Retrieved 9 June 2016, from https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/2012/03/20/the_persistence_of_racial_inequality_in_canada.html
  7. Lima, M. (2016). Affirmative Action in Brazil. Revista.drclas.harvard.edu. Retrieved 9 June 2016, from http://revista.drclas.harvard.edu/book/affirmative-action-brazil
  8. Mutakabbir, Y. T. (2009). Affirmative Action in Brazil.
  9. Omidvar, Ratna, and Ted Richmond. 2003. Immigrant Settlement and Social Inclusion in Canada. Laidlaw Foundation Working Paper Series, Perspectives on Social Inclusion. Toronto: Laidlaw Foundation.
  10. Ornstein, Michael. 2000. Ethnoracial Inequality in Metropolitan Toronto: Analysis of the 1996 Census. Toronto: Institute for Social Research, York University
  11. Reitz, Jeffrey G., and Kara Somerville. 2004. “Institutional Change and Emerging Cohorts of the ‘New’ Immigrant Second Generation:
  12. Implications for the Integration of Racial Minorities in Canada.” Journal of International Migration and Integration 5 (4): 385-415.
  13. Simon, R.J., and J.P. Lynch. 1999. “A Comparative Assessment of Public Opinion toward Immigrants and Immigration Policy.” International Migration Review 33 (2): 455-67
  14. Statistics Canada. 2005. Ethnic Diversity Survey B User Guide. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
  15. Stoffman, Daniel. 2002. Who Gets In: What’s Wrong

with Canada’s Immigration Program — and How to Fix It. Toronto: Macfarlane Walter and Ross

  • Telles, E., & Paixão, M. (2013). Affirmative action in Brazil. In Lasa Forum(Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 10-12).
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