Pathways to Prosperity 2017 National Conference – Poster Presentations

Listing of Poster Presentations



1. Zahia Agsous, University of Sherbrooke, UQAM, Jade Fauteux, University of Sherbrooke, Stéfanie Fournier, Bishop’s University, Shannon Lemay, University of Sherbrooke, & Javorka Sarenac, University of Sherbrooke, UQAM

Welcoming and Integrating Refugees in Quebec whose First Official Language Spoken is English: Montreal to Sherbrooke

Refugees whose first official language spoken is English are in a unique situation when they arrive in Quebec, which varies from individual to individual and from one region to another. The key issues are access to a quality job and the difficulties linked to learning French. In Montreal, the bilingual services offered by several organizations foster refugee integration. The collaboration between organizations and sponsoring groups also plays an important role, noticeably in the Syrian refugee settlement. In Sherbrooke, the personal contacts between organizations and sponsors are efficient, contrary to the distribution of written documentation.



2. Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies; HABITUS Consulting Collective & Julie Drolet, University of Calgary; Stephanie Kot, Alberta Syrian Refugee Resettlement Experience Study

Alberta Syrian Refugee Resettlement Experience Study

The Albertan Syrian Refugee Resettlement Experience Study was a six-month study exploring the unique experiences and perspectives of Syrian refugees who resettled in Alberta in 2015 and 2016. Using a mixed methods approach, the study explored three areas: employment, language, and social connections. Overall, refugees were found to be successfully establishing ties in their communities and social networks. Securing gainful employment was a key challenge. LINC and informal supports were critical to developing language skills among refugees. The study provided insight into factors such as gender and geographical location in settlement and provided systems- and service-level recommendations.



3. Vassanthanathan Aruljothi, Pembina Valley Local Immigration Partnership

Dine Locally; Eat Globally

Newcomers from diverse cultural backgrounds were given the opportunity to have one menu item from their home country authentically prepared and served at participating local restaurants. Locals were given anopportunity to sample culturally-authentic food while newcomers had the opportunity to gather and share familiar meals, creating a platform for the two groups to meet and integrate. Participating restaurants had a monetary incentive to participate in this program, which gave a boost to local commerce and entrepreneurs and generated positive media attention.



4. Awish Aslam & Robert Nonomura, University of Western Ontario

Name-Based Discrimination in the Labour Market: The Perspectives and Experiences of Young Second Generation Immigrants

Second-generation immigrants report high levels of educational attainment, yet those who are racialized struggle in their transitions from school to work. Discriminatory hiring practices on the basis of ethno-racial characteristics can help to explain this labour market disadvantage. In particular, research has drawn attention to the phenomenon of name-based discrimination, showing that those with “non-White” sounding names face a penalty in the job market. Using interviews, surveys, and focus groups, this study examines the phenomenon of name-based discrimination in the labour market with a particular focus on the perspectives and experiences of young second-generation immigrants.



5. Stéphanie Atkin, Katherine Labrecque, & Nicole Gallant, Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Eddy Supeno, University of Sherbrooke, & Johanna Cardona, Institut national de la recherche scientifique

Who Gets Information on Employment and Where? Informal Practices in Employment Search – The Case of Young People and Recent Immigrants in Quebec

This project was designed to document and understand the informal practices of young Quebeckers and recent immigrants trying to find employment in Quebec. More precisely, the research examines the location andimpact of information sources in accessing the job market. Our analyses helped to identify three types of informational configurations which tend to emerge around three participant profiles: (1) those looking for and finding unskilled jobs; (2) those looking for and finding skilled jobs: (3) those looking for a skilled job, but finding a non-skilled job.



6. Bahara Ayubi, Morgane Defalque, Jaime McKenzie-Mohr, & Alesia Ricci, University of Western Ontario, & Suzanne Huot, University of British Columbia

Exploring How Those Working in the Canadian Employment Services Sector Perceive the Labour Market Integration of Immigrants

Eighteen participants were recruited from employment service agencies throughout London, Ontario for qualitative interviews. Secondary analysis revealed structural and systematic factors that influence employment service provision, the implications of these factors for those experiencing long-term unemployment, and strategies used to assist clients in spite of constraints within the context of the current labour market. We discuss the need for change in policy and eligibility constraints, as well as in employer attitudes, to better support immigrants’ efforts toward obtaining employment.



7. Julie Drolet, University of Calgary

Fostering Research Partnerships for Improved Labour Market Integration and Employment of Skilled Immigrants and Refugees in Edmonton, Calgary, and Fort McMurray

The poster presentation will share the results of an exploratory project that engaged service providers in immigrant sector agencies to better understand how labour market integration and employment outcomes can be improved for skilled immigrants and refugees in Edmonton, Calgary, and Fort McMurray in Alberta. The Albertan context is considered given recent economic and environmental challenges (e.g., 2016 wildfires). The study contributes to P2P research priorities in the social and economic integration of immigrants.



8. Dania El Chaar, University of Calgary, Jan Stewart, University of Winnipeg, Thomas Ricento & Brianna Hillman, University of Calgary

Refugee Student Integration: Building Welcoming Communities and Schools for a Sustainable Future

Canada plays a large role in welcoming newcomers and refugees. Statistics Canada (2010) predicts that by 2031, roughly 30% of the population will be a visible minority and 36% will be under 15 years of age, which means schools and classrooms are becoming increasingly diverse. Research has identified significant gaps in both teacher preparation and school readiness to receive and provide successful integration for newcomers, particularly children who have come from conflict-affected countries (Stewart, 2011). Our goal is to investigate programs and services that celebrate diversity, encourage intercultural understanding, and support the integration of newcomer and refugee youth.



9. Brieanna Elliot, Trent University, Reem Ali, New Canadians Centre, Heather Nicol, Trent University, & David Tough, Trent Community Research Centre

Supporting Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Immigrants have established businesses in many cities within Canada, thereby contributing to Canada’s economy, society, and increasingly diverse culture. The City of Peterborough, Ontario currently has the highest percentage of immigrant entrepreneurs in Canada; it is therefore especially important to focus on implementing programs that are able to assist new and potential immigrant entrepreneurs in Peterborough to help them realize their full potential in the community. This research focuses on improving immigrant entrepreneurship in Peterborough, drawing on identified best practices from programs and supports available for immigrant entrepreneurs in other similar-sized communities.



10. Setareh Ghahari, Ramann Gill, & Stephanie Ting, Queen’s University

Development and Evaluation of a Health Literacy Program for Immigrants: From Development to Testing

Immigrants face informational, language, and cultural barriers to access health care services in Canada. These barriers limit immigrants’ ability to stay healthy. The aim of this project was the development and evaluation of the Accessing Canadian Healthcare for Immigrants: Empowerment, Voice & Enablement (ACHIEVE) program, a four-day program for immigrants to improve their skills in accessing and navigating the Ontario healthcare system. The program was developed based on pre-existing literature, results of interviews with immigrants and healthcare professionals, and input from immigrant stakeholders. The preliminary evaluation results of the ongoing study (current n=24) are promising.



11. Setareh Ghahari, Shawna Burnett, & Mahytab Elmaghraby, Queen’s University

Evaluation of a Mental Health Literacy Program for Refugees

As immigration to Canada increases, many new immigrants are exposed to stress-related experiences during migration which can affect their mental wellbeing and lead to mental illness if not properly treated. The lack of knowledge and stigma surrounding mental illness leads to poor healthcare literacy and decreased confidence in accessing healthcare. We have designed a program ‘Not OK?’ focusing solely on mental health education. By delivering the program to a sample of refugees, we aim to test its effectiveness in improving their self-management skills in recognizing mental illness and accessing mental healthcare services.



12. Sandra Guerra, WoodGreen Community Services, Toronto South Local Immigration Partnership

Use of IRCC Settlement Services in Toronto

A series of five infographics were developed to support Toronto area settlement agencies in their program planning. The infographics use IRCC custom data for the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area for the fiscal year 2016. Service use is displayed both by Immigration Category and by Program to give program planners an overview of who is (and who is not) using services. This information can inform both outreach strategies and program design.



13. Fadi Hamdan, InHae Park & Kathryn Bates-Khan, YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth

Initiatives to Support Newcomer Children and Youth Across Nova Scotia

YMCA Immigrant Services of the YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth has partnered with schools and the community to support the settlement of children, youth, and families new to Canada. The program encompasses more than 60 schools across Nova Scotia. Hearing the experiences of children and youth gave insight into the expectations and challenges of being a newcomer in the Canadian school system and have led to the development of effective initiatives to help youth overcome obstacles. This presentation will outline the successes and challenges over the 25 years the YMCA has worked with school systems and communities across the province.



14. Leah Hamilton & Bailey McCafferty, Mount Royal University, Victoria Esses, Western University, & Bruce Randall, Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council

Connecting International Talent with Local Champions: An Examination of the Outcomes of CRIEC’s Mentorship Program

What outcomes do mentees and mentors experience as a result of participating in the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC)’s Mentorship Program? The current study used a mixed-methods design incorporating quantitative and qualitative data from both mentors and mentees. Preliminary results indicate that mentees and mentors experienced a wealth of benefits in three broad categories: 1) psychosocial benefits, 2) professional benefits, and 3) increased intercultural understanding. Ultimately, mentorship programs that pair newcomers with local champions may facilitate the social and economic integration of newcomers and increase the intercultural competence of both mentors and mentees. Strategies for fostering successful mentoring relationships are discussed.



15. Anahita Khazaei, University of Guelph & Fanshawe College

First Generation Immigrants’ Engagement in Public Consultation and Planning Processes

This research provides a deeper understanding of the traditional approach to immigrants’ engagement in public decision-making activities and suggests underlying principles for designing more inclusive community engagement processes. An inductive and interpretivist approach was adopted for this research, conducted in the context of Canada’s first National Urban Park. Data were collected from planners, partner/community organizations, and community leaders. The study emphasizes the heterogeneous nature of communities and focuses on immigrants as important yet under-represented and under-studied tourism stakeholders. It provides a foundation for future studies aiming to improve the scope and quality of community engagement by addressing the challenges of dynamic and diverse communities.



16. Katherine MacCormac, Western University

Negotiating Multilingual Immigrant Identities and Linguistic Repertoires Within Canada’s Bilingual Framework: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Market for Official Bilingualism in Canada

This poster presentation documents the findings of a critical discourse analysis study examining the language used to attract Canadian students to invest in official bilingualism and French as a second language education. Through critical analysis of stakeholder promotion efforts, it was discovered that the identities and linguistic repertoires of multilingual Canadian immigrant students remain underrepresented within the national dialogue on official bilingualism. The findings of this study highlight the need for a renewed perspective on Canada’s bilingual framework to ensure that all Canadian students can equally invest in the market for official bilingualism while negotiating multiple forms of belonging.



17. Megan MacCormac, Western University

Adult Canadian and Immigrant Attitudes Towards Official Bilingualism: The Impact of Education on Bilingual Policy in Canada

With immigration levels at an all time high, Canada has transformed from a bicultural to a multicultural society. However, Canada’s language policies remain in a bilingual state. By examining public education as the largest government vessel for sociolinguistic promotion and reproduction, this study explored whether Canadian and immigrant attitudes towards official bilingualism change based on increased levels of education. Using data collected by the Centre for Research and Information on Canada, the findings of this study demonstrate that education impacts attitudes towards official bilingualism concerning employment opportunities for both native Canadians and immigrants to Canada.



18. Emma Patricia Manalo, Adi Rittenberg, Sara Morassaei, & Setareh Ghahari, Queen’s University

Exploring the Multidirectional Relationships of Immigration, Health, and Employment: A Scoping Review of Quantitative and Qualitative Evidence

In this scoping review, we explored the multidirectional relationships of immigration, health, and employment. A systematic search narrowed from 418 publications to 26 articles after applying an inclusion/exclusion criteria. Five general themes emerged: 1) with longer stay in the new host country, immigrant workers exhibited poor health compared to their native counterparts; 2) those who entered the country as skilled workers experience worse health than recipients of family sponsorship; 3) detrimental psychosocial working conditions; 4) poor work characteristics, and 5) macro-level forces negatively impacted the health of immigrants. Our findings inform implications important for immigration policies and future research.



19. Zenaida Ravanera & Victoria Esses, Western University

Integration and Cultural Identity of Refugees in Canada: An Analysis of the 2013 General Social Survey on Social Identity

With data from the 2013 General Social Survey on Social Identity, we develop a summary measure of integration (including economic, social, and civic/political dimensions), examine the relation between cultural identity and integration, and identify factors associated with the integration of refugees in Canada. We find that refugees with a strong sense of belonging to Canada and those who are strongly culturally identified are equally highly integrated, while refugees weakly attached to Canada and to their cultural groups are the least integrated. We also find that compared to men, women are less integrated; African-born refugees are less integrated than those born in other world regions; highly educated refugees are more integrated than those with lower levels of education; and Muslim refugees are less integrated than refugees of other religious backgrounds.



20. Neal Santamaria, Maisonneuve College

Towards New Innovative Practices for Immigration Regionalization

Despite Quebec regionalization policy, the majority of immigrants in Quebec still choose to settle in the metropolitan area of Montreal. Yet, several researchers propose that regionalization is a solution for the socio-professional integration of Montreal immigrants. This research-action focuses on the development of innovative practices for regionalization advisers, particularly with new instruments. The poster will present these tools and discuss their use in other Canadian provinces.



21. Vanessa C. Wachuku, Ryerson University

Punctuations in the Policy Window: Tracing the Evolution of Immigration Detention Policy in Canada

The public policy design surrounding irregular migrants and permanent residents with criminal convictions legitimize the adoption of immigration detention centres in Canada. This practice is considered harsh and arbitrary by domestic and international actors such as the United Nations. Meanwhile, policy changes that reinforce immigration detention of non-citizens are enacted without an empirical investigation tracing the evolution, embedment, and systematic nature of immigration detention in Canada’s immigration policy. This interdisciplinary qualitative study aims to fill the knowledge gap by exploring when the policy changes occurred, why they occurred, and if the practice has become systematic in Canada. Accordingly, this conference poster traces the evolution of immigration detention policy, using the concept of “focusing events” as the lens of analysis to expand the literature on Canada’s immigration detention policy.



22. Meghan Wankel, Michelle Gordon, & Maria Krumov, PASS Program

Engaging Internationally Educated Nurses for Successful Integration

Since 2001 the CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs), a non-governmental organization, has supported over 3,500 IENs in achieving registration, employment and integration into the nursing workforce through profession-focused case management, communication courses, exam preparation, professional development workshops, mentorship and networking opportunities. This poster shares our model and experience in ensuring a smooth transition and continuum of services for newcomer IENs migrating to anywhere in Canada, while still overseas through our Pre-Arrival Supports and Services; those arriving in Ontario continue to receive support from CARE. For IENs destined to other provinces, upon arrival referrals are made to partner agencies and appropriate services.



23. Ping Zou, Nipissing University

Examination of Older Immigrants’ Health Status and Contributions to Canadian Society: A Pilot Mixed Method Study

Previous studies on older immigrants focused on health problems and ignored their many contributions. This study described older immigrants’ contributions in Canada and explored innovative services which meet older immigrants’ health care needs and promote their continuous contributions to society. A sequential explanatory mixed methods design was used. Using convenient sampling, 200 older immigrants were recruited in community to complete a survey. The qualitative phase comprised one focus group interview and eight one-on-one interviews. Findings indicated that older immigrants contributed to families, communities, and society. Services in translation in health care, public transportation and physical activity facilities are needed.