Human Resources, Labour and Employment
June 3, 2008

Government Announces Provincial Policy on Multiculturalism

Today, the Provincial Government launched a Policy on Multiculturalism designed to celebrate all cultures in recognition that diversity leads to creativity, innovation and economic growth. This new policy is part of the commitments outlined in the three-year $6 million provincial immigration strategy, Diversity ~ Opportunity and Growth. The strategy aims to significantly increase the attraction and retention of immigrants to the province. The announcement was made at The Rooms by the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment.

"I appreciate the thoughtful advice and recommendations provided to our government by members of our community organizations in the development of our province�s Policy on Multiculturalism," said Minister Skinner. "This is truly a provincial policy and its ongoing success is dependent on government and its community partners working together to achieve our mutual goals."

The primary objective of the Policy on Multiculturalism is to foster cross-cultural collaboration while working to build a vibrant and dynamic province. The policy is designed to promote respect, equality, collaboration, and inclusive citizenship for all people living in Newfoundland and Labrador. This policy is based on a review of existing policies on multiculturalism implemented across Canada. It is the result of community collaboration, including input from members of the Association for New Canadians, Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Association, the Newfoundland and Labrador Multicultural Council, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

"Newfoundland and Labrador is part of a growing inter-dependent world and is witnessing many advances in its economy, its social structure and its participation in global trade," said Jerry Vink, Executive Director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Association. "This policy reflects the government�s awareness of the new demographic realities and the need to be part of a new society based on respect and human rights for all of its people."

The Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism will conduct focus groups in communities throughout the province to support the implementation of the policy.

"I encourage everyone to support multicultural initiatives in their community, to share cross-cultural experiences and to foster partnerships that increase our understanding and knowledge of one another," said Minister Skinner. "By celebrating diversity, we increase respect for all cultures and enrich Newfoundland and Labrador society and the quality of life enjoyed by all citizens."

The Policy on Multiculturalism can be found at For a hard copy call 709-729-6607or e-mail

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Media contact:
Ed Moriarity
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-4062, 728-9623



Newfoundland and Labrador is a dynamic and vibrant Province, with welcoming communities where the cultural diversity of all its residents is valued and enhanced in the spirit of inclusiveness and harmony, to collectively build a self-reliant, prosperous Province.


The Policy on Multiculturalism for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador is based on the following international, national and provincial commitments:

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
  • The International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights;
  • International conventions to promote racial and cultural equality such as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;
  • The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
  • The Canadian Multiculturalism Act;
  • The Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Code; and
  • The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Multicultural Education Policy.
  • Policy Statement

    The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to the promotion of multiculturalism and cross-cultural understanding where the cultural diversity of all people is valued, supported and enhanced to collectively build a self-reliant, prosperous Province.

    As a result, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to a holistic approach to:

  • Ensure that relevant policies and procedures of provincial programs and practices reflect, and consider the changing needs of all cultural groups;
  • Lead in developing, sustaining and enhancing programs and services based on equality for all, notwithstanding racial, religious, ethnic, national and social origin;
  • Provide government workplaces that are free of discrimination and that promote equality of opportunity for all persons accessing employment positions within the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • Support multicultural initiatives by enhancing partnerships with culturally-diverse communities and provincial departments and agencies;
  • Encourage community based programs to foster two-way cross-cultural sharing, mutual respect, and citizenship values, as well as promote attitudes and perceptions that lead to cultural inclusiveness and harmony;
  • Highlight through public awareness and education, the importance of diverse cultures in our province, and facilitate life long learning that prepares individuals, especially youths to live and work in a multicultural society.
  • These commitments govern interaction among all cultural communities, including the Aboriginal peoples of Newfoundland and Labrador, through promotion of the following policy principles.

    Policy Principles

    Culture, as a way of life, is dynamic, learned, and ever changing. The Newfoundland and Labrador Policy on Multiculturalism is based on the following principles:

  • Respect: There must be mutual understanding and respect for all cultures and appreciation of the way in which these cultural values are reflected in institutions and in everyday interactions both within and among all cultural groups.
  • Equality: Equality of opportunity for all, notwithstanding racial, religious, ethnic, or cultural origin is a fundamental precondition to full participation in society. It embodies rights and responsibilities of all, including people of diverse cultures. This means a commitment to a society where racial, religious, ethnic, and cultural minorities may live without fear of exploitation or discrimination and where all, irrespective of their racial, religious, ethnic, and cultural background, are encouraged and supported to participate in Newfoundland and Labrador�s society.
  • Collaboration: Cross-cultural understanding, sharing and learning from each other assists to honour all cultural heritages while recognizing individual and group identity. Awareness and respect for all cultures helps to establish a base for a collaborative society with full and equal participation by all.
  • Inclusive Citizenship: Culturally diverse people possess a wealth and variety of human talents and experience with great potential to contribute to the economic and social development of the Province. The Province in partnerships with community groups will facilitate access to services, to employment and to social and government institutions, so that everyone, irrespective of their cultural and ethnic background, can experience equal opportunity to contribute and actively participate in building a self-reliant, prosperous Province.
  • Policy Implementation Guidelines

    To be developed in collaboration with various provincial departments and agencies, and in keeping with the general tenets of this policy and principles. Projects supported by the policy could include:

  • Community development projects to foster cross-cultural understanding.
  • Civic participation and ethno-cultural/ educational programs for youths to combat racism and discrimination and promote respect, collaboration and integration.
  • Nurturing Welcoming Communities to make newcomers feel at �home� and promote integration by actively participating in culturally inclusive community /social activities.
  • Cultural sensitivity professional development workshops for community workers (e.g. educators, law enforcement officers, health care/community service workers) to effectively serve youths, adults, women and senior members of diverse cultures.
  • Acquisitions/Development and dissemination of multicultural resources (e.g., print, electronic, website) to support urban and rural communities.
  • Development of targeted provincial government programs to serve diverse cultural groups in areas such as, entrepreneurship, employment, housing, health, education, women�s and youth issues and legal services.
  • 2008 06 03                                                         12:40 p.m.

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