Summary of the Evaluation of the Multiculturalism Program 2011-12 to 2016-17

The Multiculturalism Program is relevant

In this section, there is an image of a group of people. Each person is presented as a different color (orange, black, purple, yellow, red, light blue, gray, dark blue, green, etc.).

According to the Canadian Multiculturalism Act (1988), the vision of Canada is based on the values of equality, and mutual respect with regards to race, national or ethnic origin, color and religion.

Diversity and Inclusion is a Government of Canada priority: « Diversity is our strength ».

The data from the 2016 Census shows that Canada is becoming increasingly diverse as Canada was home to more than 250 ethnic groups, 21.9% were foreign born and 22.3% of the population identified as belonging to a visible minority.

Overall Canadians support multiculturalism but…

  • According to the 2017 Association for Canadian Studies public opinion research, 75% of Canadians are positive toward multiculturalism; however, the 2016 Angus Reid public opinion research noted that 68% of Canadians said minorities should do more to fit into mainstream society.

There is a continued need for funding since the Inter-Action project activity received 5 times the number of applications in 2017 (256) compared to 2015 (52).

The 2016 Statistics Canada data indicates that hate crime persists. According to this data, 48% of hate crime was directed to a race or ethnic group and 33% to a religions group. From the hate crimes directed to a race or ethnic group, 32% was towards Blacks and from the ones directed to a religious group, 48% was towards Jewish.

Recommendation 1: The Program should lead a policy development exercise which, within the context of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, will articulate the Multiculturalism Program's vision, goals and objectives, priority actions, roles and responsibilities and expected results going forward.

Recommendation 2: The Program should examine and implement ways to measure the impact of Program interventions, projects and activities.

Program description

In this section, a table presents the objectives, the area of activity, the activities and some outcomes of the Multiculturalism Program. As per the table, the Program has a total of three objectives, 4 areas of activities and 10 activities.

For the first objective: "build an integrated socially cohesive society", the table presents the two areas of activity, the five activities and some of their outcomes.

  • The first area of activity is Inter-Action.

Inter-Action has an annual budget of $8.5 million in Grants and Contributions to deliver the following two activities: projects (with an annual budget of: $5.5 M) and events (with an annual budget of: $3 M).

The results of the evaluation have shown that the number of funded projects have increased from 13 (in the 2015 call) to 55 (in the 2017 call). The total numbers of events funded from 2011-12 to 2016-17 was 1118.

  • The second area of activity is Public Outreach and Promotion.

The Multiculturalism Program undertakes public outreach and promotional activities, which includes the following activities:

  • Asian Heritage Month (AHM): received in 2017 a total of 4,459 visitors to its website during AHM,
  • Black History Month (BHM): received a total of 52,762 visitors to its website during BHM 2017
  • Paul Yuzyk Award had a decreased number of nominations dropping from 88 in 2010 to 41 in 2015.

For the second objective: "improve responsiveness of institutions to the needs of a diverse population", the table presents the area of activity of the Program, its three activities and some of its outcomes.

  • The third area of activity of the Program is to support federal and other public institutions.

To support federal and public institutions, the Program undertakes the following activities:

  • Coordinates the Multiculturalism Champions Network (MCN). For the 2017 meeting, approximately 140 champions were invited and 35 attended the meeting.
  • Collaborates with provinces and territories on mutual priorities through the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Officials Responsible for Multiculturalism (FPTORMI) network. Between 2011-12 and 2014-15, a total of 10 teleconferences meetings were held.
  • Is responsible for the Annual Report on the Operation of the Multiculturalism Act. In 2016-17, 76% of federal departments and agencies provided their input template.

For the third objective: "actively engage in discussions on multiculturalism and diversity at the international level", the table presents the area of activity of the Program, its two activities and some of its outcomes.

  • The fourth area of activity of the Program is International engagement.

The Program participates in international agreements and institutions to advance multiculturalism, diversity and anti-racism in Canada and internationally through the following actives:

  • International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA): 2013 was the Canadian Chair Year
  • International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD): Canada submitted in May 2016 its twenty-first to twenty-third periodic reports.


This section presents some results between 2011-12 and 2016-17 and gaps.

The results include: predominant output information, promotion activities reached Canadians and final activity report narratives on contribution to outcomes.

However, some gaps remains such as: limited performance data to show achievement of outcomes and lack of evidence on what works.

Recommendation 3: The Program should strengthen performance measurement:

  • Include indicators measuring immediate, intermediate and long term Program outcomes.
  • Revise the data collection instruments and mechanisms to ensure that outcome data is collected and analyzed for all elements of the Program.

Design and delivery

In this section, two images present the three Branches responsible for the Program delivery.

On the left side, representing the actual situation, the image illustrates the Policy Unit, Communications, Inter-Action (events/ regions) and Inter-Action (projects/national office) working in silos. On the right side, representing what it should be, is the same image illustrating the Policy Unit, Communications, Inter-Action (events/ regions) and Inter-Action (projects/national office) but working this time in collaboration, coordination and sharing decision-making.

Recommendation 4: The Program should review the Multiculturalism Program's structure as well as roles and responsibilities.

Recommendation 5: The Program should revise the Inter-Action eligibility criteria for projects to address systemic regional and local issues.


Service standards for notification of the funding decision were not met for the majority of files.

The total Program expenditures for 2016-17 was $10,066,553.

The Inter-Action lapsed grants and contributions funds between 2011-12 and 2014-15.

The figure in this section presents Inter-Action total budget and actual expenditures per year from 2011-12 to 2016-17. As indicated in a note, the budget amount was not available for 2015-16 and 2016-17.

  • In 2011-12, the budgeted amount was $10,800,000. Actual expenditures were $8,500,000.
  • In 2012-13, the budgeted amount was $10,800,000. Actual expenditures were $7,923,474.
  • In 2013-14, the budgeted amount was $8,600,000. Actual expenditures were $6,581,821.
  • In 2014-15, the budgeted amount was $8,521,316. Actual expenditures were $4,044,193.
  • In 2015-16, the budgeted amount was not available. Actual expenditures were $2,615,348.
  • In 2016-17, the budgeted amount was not available. Actual expenditures were $7,766,129.

Recommendation 6: The Program should implement measures to ensure that the Program service standards are met.

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