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Multiculturalism in Alberta
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Pierre Elliott TrudeauThe Official Languages Act of 1969 sparked a great deal of controversy in Canada. In the West, many ethnic groups were outraged that French was made an official language despite the fact that French-speakers in the region were greatly outnumbered by other linguistic groups. The situation was further agitated in 1970 by the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. Although one quarter of Canadians could now trace their origins to some place other than Britain or France, the commission upheld the concept of continued cultural development based on the British and French "charter" cultures.

In Alberta, the Ukrainian and German communities were particularly vocal regarding their objection to biculturalism and pushed strongly for a multicultural policy. In 1971, with considerable opposition to biculturalism, the Trudeau government retained the policy of bilingualism but also adopted a policy of multiculturalism. Under multiculturalism every ethnic group was provided with the means to fully participate in Canadian society and maintain their own culture and values. 

Chinese SchoolWith multiculturalism achieved at the national level, several members of the Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Federation worked with other ethnic groups to expand bilingual instruction in Alberta schools. As a result, in addition to French, Alberta students were offered and retain the option of taking classes and immersion programs in languages such as Ukrainian, German, Cree, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Spanish and Arabic. The provincial government also developed further multicultural legislation and activities including an annual Heritage Day holiday in August.

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