What Would You Say?
par Robin Higham
Many Canadians worry about the implications for social cohesion and economic growth as the number of immigrants to Canada continues to grow. What would you say? is a discussion about the integration of newcomers into the Canadian social, economic and political landscape.
Set in a coffee shop, eight friends test-drive remarks that they would make if they were asked to be the guest speaker at a Canadian Citizenship ceremony. They themselves represent both newcomers and long-established Canadians. Rather than obsess over host community obligations, each speaker unapologetically outlines what he or she thinks newcomers themselves need to understand about settling here.
Spoiler alert: to conclude, the reader is asked “What would you say?” as the next guest speaker.
Robin Higham has spent many years abroad as a Canadian diplomat in Africa, Asia, Europe and the US. Viewing Canada through the eyes of others, he has always been fascinated by the contrast between how we appear from abroad and how we feel about ourselves. He has convened several Canada-EU conferences which explore the many implications of the arrival among us of culturally and ethnically diverse immigrant newcomers. Since retiring from the Foreign Service, Robin has been attached to the University of Ottawa as Senior Fellow. He is a Partner-Director of Invenire.