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A new book honors migrant workers

A new book honors migrant workers
Professor Ethel Tungohan (second from left) presented her new book at MRCC with Leni Simbre (Migrante Ontario), MRCC Managing Director Jesson Reyes, and Assistant Professor Conely de Leon of Sociology & Equity Studies, Women & Gender Studies.

A new book called “Containing Diversity: Canada and the Politics of Immigration in the Twenty-First Century” was just published by Toronto University Press and is now available to read. Professor Ethel Tungohan, the current Canada Research Chair in Canadian Migration Policy, Impacts, and Activism and Associate Professor of Politics and Social Science at York University, wrote the new book. Yasmeen Abu-Laban and Christina Gabriel are the other authors.

The book’s six chapters cover a wide range of topics, including the changing contours and development of Canadian immigration policy, incarnations of multiculturalism policy that emphasizes the commodification of minorities and minority culture, Canada’s labor market analysis, and comprehensive employment equity measures at the federal level in Ontario, among others. Women and people of color are receiving special attention as policy directions shift. Case studies on broader debates about globalization, public policy, and diversity round out the book.

This book examines how diversity is “contained” through practices intended to insulate the settler-colonial state of Canada. The authors demonstrate the various contradictory practices in effect when assessing the Canadian government’s policies toward refugees and asylum seekers, economic migrants, family-class migrants, temporary foreign workers, and multiculturalism. Containing Diversity examines policy shifts in the context of the revival of right-wing political ideology and the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, Containing Diversity emphasizes the need for new forms of solidarity that prioritize migrant and Indigenous justice.

The book is an important narrative because it examines how various policy changes have impacted the role of migrant workers from various perspectives on public policy and diversity.

Despite Canada’s international reputation as a forerunner among industrialized countries in terms of welcoming immigrants and refugees, the twenty-first century has seen an increase in the number of refugees and temporary migrant workers who are frequently denied citizenship and may face detention and deportation. Containing Diversity investigates the extent to which Canada’s long-standing support for immigration, multiculturalism, and citizenship has shifted in favor of “containment” discourses, policies, and practices.