Demonstrators protest against Quebec's proposed Charter of Values in Montreal, September 14, 2013. REUTERS/ Christinne Muschi

How can we promote more welcoming communities and better integration of newcomers? 

As the world faces the challenges of mass migration, inequality and xenophobia, an important conversation emerges around the models of pluralism that are working, and those that are in desperate need of innovation. 

With a new initiative launching in Canada called 6 Degrees — a three day event promoting debate on these very issues — OpenCanada has brought together a diverse group of voices to further the discussion. 

First, a cross section of speakers from 6 Degrees — from Naheed Nenshi to Ratna Omidvar —lists the policies they think should be supported and possibly replicated around the world. 

Former Canadian High Commissioner to the UK Jeremy Kinsman asks whether Canadian and European models are a fair comparison. 

Mexican journalist Luis Horacio Najera reflects on the many layers of Canadian society he encountered first as a refugee and now a new Canadian citizen. 

Jennifer Welsh, former UN special adviser on the Responsibility to Protect and 2016 Massey lecturer, talks global and local responses. 

Geoffrey Cameron explores religion and post-secularism. 

Finally, Paul Heinbecker, Jacqueline Lopour, Andrew Thompson and James Milner call for an overhaul of the refugee system. 

In the series

migrants greece

From Europe to Canada, how to promote a truly welcoming culture for migrants

Aspects of Canada’s pluralism model may serve Europe well, but is it a fair comparison? In advance of 6 Degrees, the upcoming three-day event on inclusion, diplomat Jeremy Kinsman looks at the challenge of identity and integration in both regions.


Bravery, Resilience and Loyalty: The story of a new Canadian

As the descendant of a determined Apache woman from Mexico, Luis Horacio Najera’s identity has been shaped by his heritage. Only recently did he realize how important that history was in carving out his place as a new Canadian. His story is part of a new series on inclusion.


Five questions with Jennifer Welsh, Canada’s 2016 Massey lecturer

Former UN Special Adviser Jennifer Welsh on the importance of refugee burden-sharing, how pluralism and equality go hand in hand, and how Francis Fukuyama’s ‘end of history’ may not have been the end, after all. 


Where does religion fit into Canada’s pluralism model?

The recent wave of Syrian refugees — and acknowledgement of Europe’s flawed multiculturalism — has prompted new ways to think about religion’s place in an inclusive society. Geoffrey Cameron explores whether Canada is post-secular, and what this might mean. 

Ban Ki-moon refugees

Why the world needs a new, more equitable refugee system

How do we create a system that treats refugees with dignity and better distributes the responsibility? As world leaders meet to discuss the global refugee crisis, these five factors should guide their thinking.