Diversity in Canada
From the 1800s onwards, most Canadians were born in Canada, but the country has a reputation as a “land of immigrants”, as many immigrants have been welcomed into the country in the last two centuries and have made significant contributions to Canadian life. While every Canadian citizen is a Canadian, many also identify with their religious or ethnic heritage. There are numerous different groups within Canada, who celebrate their European, Asian, Aboriginal and other heritage with pride. From the 1970s onwards, the majority of immigrants to Canada have come from Asia. While English and French are the official languages of Canada, many other languages are spoken. In two of the larger cities in Canada, Vancouver and Toronto, Chinese is spoken in more homes than any other language apart from English (13% and 7%, respectively).
Christianity is the largest religion in Canada; within Christianity Catholicism is the largest grouping, with numerous Protestant denominations also present. Canada is becoming more religiously diverse, with growing numbers of Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and those of other religions and those with no religion.
Canada has a tradition of working with religious communities in education, healthcare, settling refugees and promoting harmony. Freedom of religion and religious expression, and freedom of conscience, are very important in Canada.
Canada celebrates diversity and this includes the country’s gay and lesbian citizens, who have the right to be treated and protected with complete equality by the law; this includes being allowed to marry in civil ceremonies.