Pathways to Prosperity 2015 National Conference: Responding to a Changing Immigration Environment

November 30 – December 1, 2015
Delta Hotel – Downtown Toronto


Monday, November 30, 2015

8:30 AM to 9:30 AM
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Conference Chairs: Victoria Esses and Jean McRae, Pathways to Prosperity Co-Chairs

  • Syrian Refugee Resettlement: The Great Canadian National Project (Video)
    Chris Friesen, CISSA-ACSEI


9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Employer Engagement: Closing the Gap
Chairs: Hélène Cardu, Laval University, and Alex Goss, Guelph-Wellington Local Immigration Partnership

A variety of strategies have been implemented in recent years to improve immigrant employment outcomes, including regulated foreign credential assessment and Express Entry. While useful, these strategies do not directly address the on-the-ground engagement of employers to promote business practices that encourage the hiring and retention of immigrant employees. This session will focus on what can be done at the local level to engage employers and close the gap between employers looking for skilled workers and immigrants who can fill such needs. It will include discussion of different approaches that can be used to engage employers, and how these approaches can be implemented by interested parties whether individually or through partnership approaches.

  • Guiding Principles for Employer Engagement and Potential Collaborative Efforts (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Fariborz Birjandian, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society
  • Innovative Employment Solutions for Newcomers and International Students — Greater Moncton’s Newcomer Sector-Specific Employment Fairs (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Angelique Reddy-Kalala, City of Moncton
  • TRIEC: Fostering Immigrant Inclusive Workplaces (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Beth Clarke, Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council


11:15 AM to 12:45 PM
The Social and Cultural Integration of Immigrants
Chairs: Heather Holroyd, University of British Columbia, and Stephan Reichold, TCRI

This session focuses on how social and cultural integration of immigrants is defined in Canada, and how this plays out in various contexts, including the workplace, neighbourhoods, and formal and informal settings. What are the skills that immigrants need to adjust to life in Canada, and how do they develop these skills in order to feel integrated into Canada’s social and cultural fabric? The session will include discussion of new practices that can be used to support newcomer social and cultural integration in the many contexts in which they may play an important role.

  • Neighbourhood Houses as Settlement and Integration Hubs: Why the ‘Pathways to Leadership’ Model Works for Women (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Diane Wilmann and Rosa Palacios, Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House
  • Building Cultural Connections Through the Arts (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Paulina Grainger, Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria
  • Being Faithful: The Place of Faith Communities in Supporting Newcomer Social and Cultural Integration (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Rich Janzen, Centre for Community Based Research


2:00 PM to 3:30 PM

1. Key Learnings from the P2P Multi-Stakeholder Workshop of October 2015
Chairs: Meyer Burstein, Pathways to Prosperity, and Milton Ortega, Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies

The session will build on the learnings from a recent P2P workshop held in Edmonton on the subject of Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships to Support Newcomer Engagement: Structure, Engagement, and Collaboration. The original one day workshop examined promising practices for creating effective and sustainable multi-stakeholder partnerships to improve newcomer outcomes and establish more welcoming communities. Key topics included: Strategic Planning; Implementation and Alignment of Activities; and the Role of Researchers. This session will feature key presentations from the original workshop followed by an extended exchange of ideas among workshop attendees and presenters. Attendees will be given an opportunity to define the focus of the open discussion.

  • Implementation, Coordination, and Alignment of Activities by Multi-stakeholder Partnerships (Download Presentation)
    Cathy Woodbeck, Thunder Bay Multicultural Association (TBMA)
  • Strategic Planning by Multi-stakeholder Partnerships (Download Presentation)
    Victoria Esses, University of Western Ontario
  • The Role of Researchers in Multi-stakeholder Partnerships
    Chedly Belkhodja, Concordia University


2. The Challenges of Integrating Health Care Professionals Trained Abroad 
Chairs: Bilkis Vissandjée, University of Montreal, and Christine Covell, University of Ottawa

The purpose of this workshop is to discuss the challenges of integrating internationally educated health professionals (IEHPs) into the Canadian health workforce. We will begin the workshop by providing a summary of recently conducted research projects about IEHP integration in Canada. We will then explore the role of communication competency and community organizations and their influence on IEHP integration. We will conclude with an interactive group discussion.

  • Internationally Educated Nurses in Canada: A Pan-Canadian, Cross-Sectional Survey (Download Presentation)
    Christine Covell, Canadian Health Human Resource Network at the University of Ottawa
  • Decomposing the Earnings Gap Between Canadian/US- and Foreign-Trained Dentists: Evidence From the 2006 Canadian Census (Download Presentation)
    Yaw Owusu, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario
  • Economic, Social, and Cultural Capital as Facilitators for Integration of Internationally Educated Health Professionals (Download Presentation)
    Elena Neiterman, University of Waterloo
  • Communication Competency and its Impact on the Journey of IEHPs (Download Presentation)
    Stephanie Hooker, Touchstone Institute
  • Mentorship by Community Organizations: Constraints and Opportunities for Nurses Trained Abroad 
    Bilkis Vissandjée, University of Montreal


3. Increasing the Visibility of the Immigrant Service Sector
Chair: Priya Ramanujam, New Canadian Media

This presentation will give a hands-on overview of exactly how to grow targeted audiences on social media and how to leverage social media to accomplish organizational goals. The presentation will also provide suggestions for social media strategies and policies, as well as how organizations can use social media to connect with new donors, the media and, ultimately, reach more of the people they are working to serve.


4. Early Experiences with Express Entry
Chairs: Rupa Banerjee, Ryerson University, and Allison Corbett, Citizenship and Immigration Canada

The recent introduction of the Federal Express Entry system of skilled immigrant selection and the expansion of Provincial Nominee Programs have increased the role that employers play in Canada’s immigrant selection process. This workshop will explore early experiences with these changes in policy from the point of view of a number of stakeholders: employers, policy makers, service providers, and immigrant applicants themselves. The aim of the workshop session is to generate constructive discussion among participants.

  • Update on Express Entry
    Allison Corbett, Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • Ontario Provincial Nominee Program
    Jennifer Gray, Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade


5. Immigration to Northern, Rural, and Remote Communities
Chairs: Jamie Baker, Association for New Canadians, and Scott Fisher, Laurentian University

This session will provide an overview of research conducted on the settlement experiences of newcomers in Northern, Rural, and Remote Communities (NRRCs), as well as an overview of practical and successful ways to attract and retain newcomers living in these communities. Specific focus will be on: Migration and integration of refugees — Thunder Bay’s success story; Using tax filing data to illustrate secondary migration tendencies; and Settlement and housing experiences of recent immigrants in small- and mid-sized cities. The goal of the session is to highlight key research and its practical application to NRRCs.

  • Using Tax Filing Data to Illustrate Secondary Migration Tendencies (Download Presentation)
    Michael Haan, University of Western Ontario
  • Settlement and Housing Experiences of Recent Immigrants in Small- and Mid-sized Cities (Download Presentation)
    Carlos Teixeira, University of British Columbia-Okanagan
  • Migration and Integration of Refugees: Thunder Bay’s Success Story (Download Presentation)
    Cathy Woodbeck, Thunder Bay Multicultural Association (TBMA)


6. Research on Immigration in Official Language Minority Communities in Canada: Various Perspectives
Chairs: Cédric de Chardon, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Christophe Traisnel, University of Moncton, and Lorraine O’Donnell, Concordia University

During this workshop, we will take stock of the important files on official languages – immigration in general, and, specifically, research projects on immigration in official language minority communities. What are the “important questions” on which researchers focus, or should focus? After each presenter speaks for about 10 minutes, we will open the floor for a discussion between the audience and the presenters.

  • Immigration in Acadian and Francophone Minority Communities: Some Considerations for Governance and Research (Download Presentation)
    Marjie Brown, Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada
  • Anglophones of Quebec and Immigration: Research Results (Download Presentation)
    Lorraine O’Donnell, Canadian Institute for Research on Linguistic Minorities
  • CIC’s Research Program on Immigration in Official Language Minority Communities: Research Results and Perspectives (Download Presentation)
    Anne-Marie Robert and Cédric de Chardon, Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • Research of the P2P Partnership on Linguistic Minorities and Immigration: Research Results and Perspectives (Download Presentation)
    Victoria Esses, Pathways to Prosperity



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

8:30 AM to 9:00 AM
Introduction to the Day
Conference Chairs: Jean McRae and Victoria Esses, Pathways to Prosperity Co-Chairs


9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Use of Technology by the Settlement Sector
Chairs: Sabine Lehr, Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, and Samantha Burdett, Regional Municipality of Durham

Technology has been described as having unlimited potential, and this may include within the settlement sector. In this session, we address how the settlement sector can use technology to improve access to services, improve the services themselves, reach a larger number of immigrants both pre- and post-arrival, reach immigrants at a distance, and present a mode of delivery that many immigrants are seeking. This session will include a discussion of the opportunities that technology presents and the limitations that may be inherent in its use. The session will also include examples of the use of technology in new ways in a variety of contexts.

  • Internet and Social Media Use Among Newcomers to Canada. Are You Ready? Your Clients Are (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Marco Campana
  • In Search of a Sustainable Model for Communities of Practice in the Settlement Sector (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Dave Montague, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
  • Our Journey in Technology — Lessons and Learnings (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Shelley Zuckerman, North York Community House
  • Working Smarter, Not Harder: Using Technology at Work (Video)
    Kathy Sherrell, ISSofBC


10:45 AM to 12:15 PM
New Approaches to Specialized Services
Chairs: Stacey Wilson-Forsberg, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Marc Larrivée, MOSAIC

With an ever increasing focus on economic immigrants, it is important to consider immigrants who may arrive in Canada with fewer opportunities and assets, and the need for specialized services for particularly vulnerable populations, including refugees, seniors, and youth. This session focuses on the needs of these groups, and specialized services that can be put into place to address these needs. There are a number of new approaches to providing specialized services to these groups, and this session will highlight several of these approaches.

  • New Approaches to Engaging Youth Pre- and Post-Arrival (Video)
    Chris Friesen, ISSofBC
  • New Approaches to Specialized Services – The Alberta Perspective (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Alice Wong, Alberta Ministry of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour
  • The Ethno-Cultural Program at the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities: “Navigating the Spaces Between.” – Cultural Brokering in the Disability, Health and Social Service Sectors (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Traicy Robertson, Society for Manitobans with Disabilities


1:30 PM to 3:00
Future Immigration Research in Canada: Strategic Directions and Research Needs
Chairs: Fariborz Birjandian, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, and Victoria Esses, Pathways to Prosperity

What type of research is needed to optimize Canada’s immigration system? What particular studies are needed to help service providers, Local Immigration Partnerships and Réseaux en immigration francophone, different levels of government, and others working in the area of immigration to achieve their goals? What are the most important research directions that need to be tackled? To address these questions, this session will focus on the strategic directions and research needs of stakeholders working in the immigration area. A discussion will also be held on the challenges of matching the research that academics do with the research needs of stakeholders, and recommendations for overcoming these challenges.

  • Atlantic Immigration Research Priorities (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Barbara Miller Nix, Atlantic Region Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies
  • Measuring What Counts: Priorities and Research‎ Needs in Ontario’s Immigrant and Refugee Serving Sector (Download Presentation)
    Debbie Douglas, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
  • The Importance of Local Research Initiatives and Lack of Resources and Interest by Funders (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Fariborz Birjandian, Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies
  • Settlement Research Needs – A Manitoba Perspective (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Laurie Sawatzky, Manitoba Immigrant & Refugee Settlement Sector Association
  • CIC Policy Relevant Research: Priority Knowledge Gaps (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Xiaoyi Yan, Citizenship and Immigration Canada


3:15 PM to 4:45 PM
Creating Welcoming Communities: Strategies and Practices for Effective Change
Chairs: Michèle Vatz-Laaroussi, University of Sherbrooke, and Jean McRae, Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria

In recent years there has been much talk about welcoming communities – what they are and how they can be achieved. There has been less focus, however, on whether systemic changes are really happening and what can be done to support these changes. In this context, this session focuses on how the concept of a welcoming community can be translated into concrete practices that promote welcoming communities at the level of individual members of a community and the attitudes they may hold, and at the level of the community as a whole and how it is experienced by newcomers.

  • Community Connections: From Policy to Practice (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Kathleen Burr, Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • Intercultural Meetings for a Welcoming Community (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Magninin Koné, Rencontre Interculturelle des Familles de l’Estrie (Québec)
  • Inclusion = Diversity + Engagement: Creating an Inclusive College and Community (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Todd Odgers, Norquest College
  • City of Surrey: Municipal Leadership in Immigration and Settlement (Download Presentation) (Video)
    Olga Shcherbyna, City of Surrey


4:45 PM to 5:00 PM
Summing Up and Closing Remarks
Conference Chairs: Jean McRae and Victoria Esses, Pathways to Prosperity Co-Chairs