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This article was published 6/11/2011 (3474 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
IMMIGRANTS to Canada shouldn't have to wait until the second generation to feel like they belong -- former governor general of Canada Adrienne Clarkson believes newcomers belong as soon as they arrive.
"'We're Canadians now. We're not waiting one generation. We're Canadians now,'" Clarkson said her father often reminded their family, who arrived in Canada from Hong Kong as refugees in 1941.
Clarkson was in Winnipeg Sunday to promote her book, Room For All of Us, which explores the immigrant experience in Canada. The book is about "what it is to come from somewhere else...to be taken out of the context of what you knew," she said. "You have all that context taken away and you have to start again."
Her book is also a defence of immigration, Clarkson indicated in her speech, and tries to demonstrate how immigration benefits Canada. At times, Clarkson's defense of immigration sounded like a response to major urban centres where there has been more angst over the number of immigrants arriving. In Manitoba, immigration has largely saved the province from depopulation and possibly economic stagnation, although it is not without opposition here either.
She called Winnipeg the "par excellence" of multiculturalism.
From 250,000 to 300,000 immigrants land in Canada every year. Clarkson's book profiles eight immigrants to Canada and how their lives have enriched the country. It's her fifth book.