The “two-way-street” metaphor paints a simplistic picture of integration. It’s a much more complex and dynamic process.
By Andrew Griffith, Policy Options
When immigration officials and advocates talk about the integration process for new Canadians, often they reach for the metaphor of a “two-way street.” Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada notes that “the focus of the integration programs at CIC is on operationalizing the ‘two-way street approach’…through assisting individuals to become active, connected and productive citizens.” The Canadian Index on Immigration Integration talks about the “metaphorical meeting of the immigrant and the receiving population somewhere in the middle of the street.” Former Immigration minister Jason Kenney used the phrase in speeches, where he emphasized the duty of newcomers to adapt to their new home and the responsibility of Canadians to accommodate them.
But does a metaphor matter? It does, given Canada’s increasingly diverse population and the challenges of ensuring successful integration of immigrants and their children. Getting the metaphor right will convey expectations to newcomers and the host society alike regarding their respective roles in the integration process.
Source: Policy Options