Stewart Goodings will lead a discussion on multiculturalism at the next Philosopher’s Cafe session.

Philosopher’s Cafe returns

The Philosopher’s Cafe series is back for another season

The Philosopher’s Cafe series is back for another season.

The series kicks off next Wednesday, Sept. 9 in the community room at Berwick by the Sea from 7 to 8 p.m.

The discussion will centre around multiculturalism and whether it has failed our country.

In 1971 Pierre Trudeau adopted multiculturalism as official policy.

From that point on, Canada would recognize and respect that its society included diversity in languages, customs, religions, and more. In 1982, multiculturalism was recognized in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Immigrants could become Canadians by integrating into our culture without abandoning their own. This stood in contrast to American assimilation (the melting pot).

The vision of cultures from around the world living in harmony is a wonderful vision. But has the policy worked? Is there harmony or is there increased isolation between Canadians?

Stewart Goodings’ early work led to the multiculturalism policy, and then as director general for the secretary of state department, he guided the implementation of the policy.

More recently, he spent five years on the Board of MOSAIC, the immigrant settlement organization in Vancouver, so has followed the evolution of multiculturalism over 40 years.

Goodings will speak at next week’s Philosopher’s Cafe and lead a discussion on the past and future of multiculturalism.

Moderator Peter Schwarzhoff will then open the floor for what looks to be a very engaging topic for a lively discussion at Philosophers’ Cafe.

Once a month a speaker will introduce a theme to the Café, and then all who attend can join in respectful, non-partisan conversation, or just sit back and listen.

Participants are welcome to propose topics and introduce them at future Cafés. Themes should be of broad interest and national significance, and have an element of controversy to them.

As with each Café, Goodings will have just 10 minutes to introduce the topic, and then the floor is open for 50 minutes of moderated discussion.