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Uneasy Partners

Multiculturalism and Rights in Canada

by Janice Stein; David Robertson Cameron; John Ibbitson; Will Kymlicka; John Meisel; Haroon Siddiqui & Michael Valpy
introduction by Frank Iacobucci

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list price: $32.95
also available: Paperback
published: 2009

After decades of extraordinary successes as a multicultural society, new debates are bubbling to the surface in Canada. The contributors to this volume examine the conflict between equality rights, as embedded in the Charter, and multiculturalism as policy and practice, and ask which charter value should trump which and under what circumstances? The opening essay deliberately sharpens the conflict among religion, culture, and equality rights and proposes to shift some of the existing boundaries. Other contributors disagree strongly, arguing that this position might seek to limit freedoms in the name of justice, that the problem is badly framed, or that silence is a virtue in rebalancing norms. The contributors not only debate the analytic arguments but infuse their discussion with their personal experiences, which have shaped their perspectives on multiculturalism in Canada. This volume is a highly personal as well as strongly analytic discussion of multiculturalism in Canada today.

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Editorial Reviews

''Canada has benefited from favourable circumstances in putting in place a peaceful and prosperous multicultural society. But we have let good fortune take the place of hard thinking, and we have not sufficiently engaged in democratic discussion to do with the kind of multicultural society that we want. It is past time that we take up Janice Gross Stein's invitation to face upt to this difficult but unavoidable societal challenge.''

— Literary Review of Canada, January/February 2008

''The seven essays that fill this book pack more punch than you might expect. By turns the pieces are provocative, witty or frustrating -- but rarely dull''

— Montreal Gazette, June 30, 2007

''In the midst of the debate on Canadian multiculturalism and whither it's bound comes a timely book from Wilfrid Laurier University Press.... If you have a genuine interest in the future of Canada this book is essential reading.... If you believe the Canadian concept of multiculturalism is worth preserving...This book offers eight viewpoints that pave the way.''

— Canscene, August 2007
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About the Authors

Janice Stein

Janice Gross Stein is the Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management in the Department of Political Science and the Director of the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto. Her most recent publications include The Cult of Efficiency (2001), Canada by Mondrian (2006), and The Unexpected War: Canada in Kandahar which won the 2007 Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing./p>

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David Robertson Cameron

David Robertson Cameron is the chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has divided his time between public service (in Ottawa and at Queen’s Park) and academic life.

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John Ibbitson

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Will Kymlicka

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John Meisel

John Meisel is the Sir Edward Peacock Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Queen’s University and past president of the Royal Society of Canada. He has been a frequent media commentator and lectures widely in Canada, the United States, and Europe.

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Haroon Siddiqui

Haroon Siddiqui is one of Canada's most highly regarded editors and past president of PEN Canada. He lives in Toronto.
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Michael Valpy

Michael Valpy is a senior writer for The Globe and Mail and writes frequently on public policy, religion, spirituality, and ethics. He has won three National Newspaper Awards, and in 1997 Trent University awarded him an honorary doctorate for his journalism. He is currently a senior resident at the University of Toronto’s Massey College.

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Frank Iacobucci

The Honourable Frank Iacobucci is Interim President of the University of Toronto and a former Supreme Court of Canada justice.

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