Pathways to Prosperity 2018 National Conference – Workshops

Thursday, November 22 | Time: 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM

1. Refuges Claimants: Analysis, Crisis Management and Perspectives for the Future 

(In French)

Chair: Johanne Dumont, Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion, Quebec

Since 2016, Quebec has received a large number of refuge claimants. The different waves of arrivals, particularly from the United States, have raised some logistical questions, including questions about their reception, services, coordination between the different levels (community, municipal, provincial, federal), as well as the daily follow-up of these persons, who are difficult to reach because of their precarious status. For these reasons, the arrival of refugee claimants was a turning point for Quebec. This workshop aims at presenting some observations, issues, and advances that emerged, for instance the management of a massive arrival of people through irregular channels; refugee claimants’ health and wellbeing; the difficulties to get data and make previsions for the spontaneous arrival of refugee claimants in Quebec; and the participation of these people in Quebec society while their claims are being processed.

  • Statistical Portrait of Recent Refugee Claimants (Download Presentation)
    Michel Guibert and Christine Beausoleil, Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion, Quebec
  • Reception and Treatment of Refugee Claimants: Quebec Government’s Actions and Challenges 
    Johanne Dumont, Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion, Quebec
  • Access to Healthcare and Decent Work for Refugee Claimants: Social Barriers and Eligibility Issues (Download Presentation)
    Jill Hanley, McGill University, and Janet Cleveland, Sherpa Research Centre
  • ALPA – A Montreal Experience of Supporting Refugee Claimants (Download Presentation)
    René Fréchette, ALPA


2. Precarious Realities for Temporary Residents (Refugee Claimants and Migrant Workers) in B.C. 

(In English)

Chair: Khim Tan, Options Community Services Society

In 2017, B.C. saw the number of refugee claimant arrivals almost double from 1,360 to 2,300. As well, B.C. ranked second provincially with 22,196 TFWs employed. This workshop will focus on major challenges faced by refugee claimants and migrant workers, the role that partnerships/collaborations play in the delivery of essential services to temporary residents in B.C., how migrant workers are supported to obtain Open Work Permits, and the introduction of the MWSN (Migrant Worker Support Network) Pilot to shine a spotlight on the protection of migrant workers.

(Download All Presentations)

  • Housing Challenges for Claimants, Referencing Multi-Agency Partnership (MAP) Housing Forum Report 
    Saleem Spindari, MOSAIC
  • BCSIS Stream A & Stream B Service Delivery Model and the Role of Partnerships and Collaborations 
    Khim Tan, Options Community Services Society, and Saleem Spindari, MOSAIC
  • Integrating Employment and Language Skills Training With Other Essential Support for Claimants 
    Dennis Juarez, Options Community Services Society
  • Role of BC Migrant Workers Support Network (MWSN) Pilot 
    Shanisse Kleuskens, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
  • Supporting Migrant Workers to Obtain Open Work Permits 
    Iris Soloranzo, Options Community Services Society


3. Immigrant Entrepreneurship 

(In English)

Chair: Ayaa Mohamad, Scadding Court Community Centre

Entrepreneurship is a powerful tool to drive economic stability through innovation and job creation. There remain barriers to entrepreneurship particular to immigrants. Government efforts have focused on promoting entrepreneurship to youth and the general population, but there are no resources necessarily appropriate and accessible to immigrants. Requirements like a Canadian credit history for loans can preclude newcomers from starting businesses. This workshop brings new data and critical analyses of experiences of skilled immigrant workers in three Ontario municipalities and two innovative models of newcomer business support, including ‘Business Out of the Box’, which uses shipping containers as low-cost vending spaces.

  • ‘Business Out of the Box’: Creating Economic Opportunities Through Microenterprise (Download Presentation)
    Ayaa Mohamad, Scadding Court Community Centre
  • Immigrant Entrepreneurship in Canada (Download Presentation)
    Mohamed Elmi, Ryerson University
  • The Newcomer Entrepreneurship Hub: A Wraparound Model for Supporting Newcomer Businesses in Canada (Download Presentation)
    Erin Roach, Ryerson University


4. Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project – How Is It Working?

(In English)

Chair: Jennifer Watts, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project was launched by IRCC in spring 2017. This new and unique project is employer-driven, with some support from service providers. In this workshop, partners from IRCC, provincial governments, and ISANS will review the project to date. We will present the overall goals and design of the project, as well as the roles of the various partners. We will focus our discussion on how the AIPP is working, outlining challenges and opportunities that we have encountered.

(Download All Presentations)

  • The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program: An Overview 
    Elizabeth Kaminsky, Immigration Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
  • The Service Provider Role and What We Are Learning 
    Cliff MacDonald, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
  • The Provincial Perspective on the AIPP 
    Jennifer L’Esperance, Nova Scotia Office of Immigration, and Stephen Chase, Government of New Brunswick
  • The Employer Experience of AIPP 
    Marcia Snow, CITCO Group


5. Bridges to Employment – Addressing Language and Employability Skills 

(In English)

Chair: Carol Derby, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)

ISANS offers a variety of programs addressing the pre-employment, employment, and language needs of immigrants. These programs directly address the economic integration of immigrants and influence social and cultural integration. They range from bridging programs for refugees, a vulnerable population, to English in the workplace for the employed. In between, programs vary from ‘on the job’ competency assessment to workplace communications to sector-specific programming for regulated professionals, working with employers and regulatory bodies alike. This presentation will highlight the work we have done with private and public partners, as well as looking at successes, lessons learned, and future possibilities.

(Download All Presentations)

  • Bridges to Employment: Addressing Employability Skills
    Mohja Alia, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
  • Bridges to Employment – Addressing Language Skills 
    Carol Derby, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
  • An Employer’s Experience With Bridging Programs 
    Ryan Kidney, The Municipal Group of Companies/Dexter Construction
  • Trades Practical Assessment and Apprenticeship for Newcomers 
    Ebenezer Annan, Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency


6. Multicultural Health Workers – A Workforce for Promoting Newcomer Wellness

(In English and French)

Chairs: Sara Torres, Laurentian University and Community Health Workers Network of Canada

Migration circumstances and differences in language and cultural practices means that newcomers often experience reduced access to health services, psychosocial stress, and health inequities (Torres et al, 2014). Multicultural Health Workers (MHWs) improve health outcomes for newcomers. However, their role is largely unrecognized and under-resourced. In June 2018, a peer-learning national gathering of MHWs was convened to strengthen the network of MHWs across the country and encourage the sharing of knowledge, experiences, and resources. Findings from this first of its kind gathering in Canada indicate a readiness for action and defined next steps for MHW collective action to gain recognition for their work.

  • Women Immigrants’ Challenges in Perinatal Care: Solutions and Practices in Saint-Michel (Download Presentation)
    Manal Bouzhar, Mon Resto Saint-Michel
  • Challenges for Cultural Brokers Working to Empower Newcomers and Refugees Living with Disabilities (Download Presentation)
    Muhiadin Sheikh Omar, Society for Manitobans with Disabilities
  • National Gathering of Multicultural Health Workers: Lessons Learned (Download Presentation)
    Raquel Velasquez, Umbrella Multicultural Health Co-op
  • Community Health Workers and Social Change in Canada: A Growing Workforce (Download Presentation)
    Sara Torres, Laurentian University and Community Health Workers Network of Canada


7. Regionally Inclusive Approaches to Newcomer Settlement and Integration

(In English)

Chair: Frank Bessai, Catholic Social Services

This workshop will offer innovative ideas to engage individuals and families in their journey of integration through an intercultural lens. Speakers from around the country will share successful programs and best practices with a holistic approach.

  • Safe Harbour – Diversity and Inclusion Training 
    Farah Kotadia, Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies (AMSSA)
  • Welcoming Workplaces through Workplace Language and Diversity Training (Download Presentation)
    Steve Reynolds, Regional Connections Immigrant Services
  • Nature, Refugee Integration, and the Spirit of Adventure (Download Presentation)
    Frank Bessai and Janna Mulholland, Catholic Social Services
  • Leveraging Expertise Across Sectors – Culturally Responsive Service Delivery for Newcomer Families (Download Presentation)
    Amanda Koyama, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS)


Thursday, November 22 | Time: 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM

1. Building Welcoming Francophone Communities for a Successful Francophone Immigration Project

(In English and French)

Chair: Michel Labelle, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

This workshop will shine light on the improvements and challenges of the Francophone community partners in supporting the development of a plural, diverse and inclusive Francophonie at the local level. During this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to hear governmental, academic and community perspectives.

  • Review of the Study on the Characteristics of a Welcoming Community (Download Presentation)
    Victoria M. Esses, University of Western Ontario
  • The New Initiative on Welcoming Francophone Communities Funded by IRCC and Led by the Réseaux en immigration francophone 
    Denise Légaré, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
  • Examples of Promising Practices for Community Leveraging to Meet the Specific Needs of French-Speaking Immigrants and Migrants at the Local Level
    Brigitte Duguay, Réseau de soutien à l’immigration francophone de l’Est de l’Ontario
  • Efforts Developed by Francophone and Bilingual Municipalities to Become Attractive and Welcoming Communities with the Examples of Edmundston and Haut-Madawaska in New Brunswick 
    Cyrille Simard, Mayor of Edmundston, and Jean-Pierre Ouellet, Mayor of Haut-Madawaska
  • Going Beyond the Welcoming Community 
    Chedly Belkhodja, Concordia University


2. How Outcome Measurement Leads to Impactful Program Design: Lessons From the Sector, Researchers, and Program Evaluators

(In English)

Chair: Leah Hamilton, Mount Royal University

Recently, IRCC has placed an increased focus on measuring the outcomes of settlement programs across the country. In this workshop, Vocisano will discuss why outcome measurement is good for your organization and how its benefits extend beyond accountability to funders. Next, CRIEC will describe its experience with creating an outcome measurement framework. Hamilton will explain how researchers can partner with settlement organizations to systematically investigate their program outcomes. Hire Immigrants Ottawa will discuss how outcome measurement is shaping its work in employer engagement around workplace culture change for immigrants’ employment. Finally, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. will explore various measurement approaches that look at outcomes and indicators, based on vulnerable newcomers’ quality of life, instead of traditional indicators. Workshop attendees will share promising practices in outcome measurement.

  • Measuring Outcomes: It’s Not Just About Accountability (Download Presentation)
    Dana Vocisano, Evaluation and Organizational Development Consultant
  • How Our Quest for a Human-Centred Approach Led to an Outcomes Framework Design (Download Presentation)
    Bruce Randall and Zulfira Pulotova, Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council
  • Measuring the Outcomes of CRIEC’s Mentorship Strategy (Download Presentation)
    Leah Hamilton, Mount Royal University
  • Using Outcome Measurement for Employer Engagement (Download Presentation)
    Henry Akanko, Hire Immigrants Ottawa
  • Is the Current Outcome Measurement Framework an Effective Tool for Understanding the Success of Vulnerable Newcomers? (Download Presentation)
    Mary Kam and Sandra Almeida, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.


3. International Qualifications Recognition (IQR) – Are We Making Any Progress?

(In English)

Chair: Jan Sheppard Kutcher, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)

Many reports have identified the barriers to IQR and proposed recommendations for addressing this complex challenge. This workshop will invite discussion on how to assess the impact of complex social change initiatives, and will confront the question of whether we’re making progress in improving processes and facilitating licensure and workforce integration of immigrants in regulated occupations. A presentation on the integrated multi-stakeholder approach to IQR, in place in Nova Scotia, will explore impact by examining quantitative & qualitative indicators of progress. A presentation on the recent comprehensive NCA program review will outline the resulting recommendations and assess progress towards implementation.

  • Reviewing and Improving the Process to Certify Internationally Educated Lawyers (Download Presentation)
    Deborah Wolfe, National Committee on Accreditation and Law School Program (NCA) / Federation of Law Societies of Canada
  • Assessing the Impact of an Integrated Approach to Addressing IQR (Download Presentation)
    Jan Sheppard Kutcher, Immigrant Settlement Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)


4. Supporting Vulnerable Newcomer Health and Wellness in Surrey

(In English)

Chairs: Khim Tan, Options Community Services Society, Gina Kim, Options Community Services Society, Peggy Lau, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., Laura Mannix, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, Fiona Stevenson, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, and Nancy Clark, University of Victoria

Surrey is home to the largest newcomer population in British Columbia, including over 52% of all refugees who arrive to the Province. The need for specialized and enhanced support services for vulnerable newcomers in Surrey has enabled the establishment of innovative approaches to providing health care accessibility, navigation, and education for newcomers facing complex health issues, and capacity building for health care professionals on how to provide culturally safe care for refugees that acknowledges the refugee experience. Through innovative partnerships that are driving system changes, settlement service providing organizations in Surrey are enabling the health and wellness of its newest community members.

  • Vulnerable Immigrant Population Program: Foundation of Holistic Support and Health Care Brokerage in B.C. 
    Gina Kim, Options Community Services Society, and Laura Mannix, DIVERSEcity
  • Refugee Family Health and Wellness Services 
    Peggy Lau, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
  • Supporting Mental Health of Syrian Mothers: A Collaboration Among Community Stakeholders and
    Nancy Clark, University of Victoria
  • Capacity Building in the Healthcare System: A Partnership With Fraser Health Authority and DIVERSEcity 
    Laura Mannix, DIVERSECity
  • Youth and Sport: Building Wellness and Inclusion 
    Khim Tan, Options Community Services Society, and Fiona Stevenson, DIVERSEcity


5. Pre-arrival Services for Economic Immigrants: An Occupation-Specific Approach to Enhance Employment

(In English and French)

Chair: Sylvie Moreau, Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP), Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan)

Since 2007, CIIP has offered pre-arrival orientation and needs assessment services to over 46,000 economic immigrants and their dependants to support their social and economic integration in Canada. CIIP services include specific and targeted referrals to organizations across Canada, based on client needs, intended occupations, and city of destination. In 2018, in collaboration with long time partner, ICTC, CIIP began offering a streamlined occupation pathway for immigrants in the IT sector. The results of this pilot project which include a case management approach, sector specific job readiness assessment, Labour Market Information (LMI) counselling, and employers needs, will be presented and discussed.

  • Pre-arrival Services to Economic Immigrants: The Benefit of Streamlining Occupation Pathways (Download Presentation)
    Holly Skelton, Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP), Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan)
  • Navigating the Digital Shift – From Immigration to Employment in the Canadian Economy (Download Presentation)
    Stephanie Wilson, Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), Julia Hurrelmann, Shopify, and David Habak, Abacus Talent


6. Innovating for Newcomers’ Employment Success in the Canadian Labour Market

(In English)

Chair: Susanna Gurr, Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC)

Join us for a conversation about innovative approaches to support highly skilled newcomers in the labour market. Learn about two pan-Canadian evidence-based initiatives—the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Pilot, tested in nine sites, and First Canadian Work Experience Pilot, implemented in six sites. Hear about the cross-sector partnerships with government, service providers, employers, and researchers involved in these initiatives. Together we will explore selected “big questions” that will help elevate the conversation about innovative and multi-stakeholder strategies for connecting newcomers to employment. Come to this session ready to connect, deepen your knowledge, and share your experiences and insights in these areas.

(Download All Presentations)

  • Foreign Credential Loans Pilot and Canadian Work Experience Pilot 
    Julie Rodier, Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC), Erin Donais, ECO Canada, and Tania Amaral, Centre for Education and Training (TCET)
  • Using Evidence From the Foreign Credential Loans (FCR) Pilot to Shape the National FCR Loans Program 
    Julie Tousignant, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
  • Answering ‘Big’ Questions to Facilitate a Dialogue on Helping Skilled Immigrants Gain Their First Canadian Work Experience in Their Occupation
    Susanna Gurr, Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC), and Julie Tousignant, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)


7. Stories of Belonging and Canadian Identity

(In English)

Chair: Paulina Grainger, Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) – (Download Presentation)

This art-based workshop will showcase an ICA Photo-Story Project that was part of Canada’s 150 year celebrations. As a way to capture a fuller expression of Canadian identity, ICA created space for newcomers to articulate what it means to belong and to be Canadian. ICA heard 100+ stories about the struggles and joys of settling and integrating into a new country, of which 26 were translated into a touring Photo-Story Exhibit and Book. These stories will be the jumping off point for world café discussions about what influences our sense of belonging, and deeper conversation about our ever evolving Canadian identity.


Friday, November 23 | Time: 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM

1. Issues Related to Immigration Outside of Larger Centres

(In French)

Chair: Karine Bourdeau, Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion, Quebec

Labour needs, population decline and aging in some regions have pushed the Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion, Quebec (MIDI) to reflect on the importance of regional strategies. This topic relates to al least three sets of issues: The immigration plan of people arriving in Quebec (choice, motivations, qualifications, needs, trajectories, life projects); the potential of secondary migration (from the metropolitan region of Montreal to regions with labour shortages); and the needs of Quebec society (reception and integration capacity, labour needs, demographics, skills in demand, attractiveness of the regions). This workshop will focus on the implementation by the MIDI of a pilot project on welcoming communities, in partnership with the City of Victoriaville, as well as on various initiatives implemented in recent years to promote sustainable settlement in the regions.

  • Immigration Regionalization in the Quebec Context: A Macro-Sociological Perspective for Shared Solutions (Download Presentation)
    Sébastien Arcand, HEC Montréal
  • Victoriaville: A Welcoming and Inclusive Community (Download Presentation)
    Alice Mihaela Livadaru, Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion, Quebec
  • Immigration Regionalization: Perspectives and Issues (Download Presentation)
    Ronaldo Lauriano Cândido, Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion, Quebec
  • Current Issues and Challenges Related to Immigration Regionalization in Quebec
    Delfino Campanile, PROMIS


2. Issues of Diversity and Immigration: Quebec and the Rest of Canada Compared

(In English)

Chair: Annick Germain, Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS)

This workshop, organized by the Centre for Immigration Policy Evaluation at Concordia University, includes four presentations that compare how issues of diversity and immigration affect social and political dynamics in Quebec and in the rest of Canada. The first presentation compares the motivations of Quebecers and other Canadians for restricting the display of religious symbols. The second presentation compares how Quebecers and other Canadians define the boundaries of who belongs to the nation. The third presentation compares how the strength of national identity among Quebecers and other Canadians relates to views about immigration. The fourth presentation examines Quebec’s new immigration policy and compares it with other approaches in Canada.

  • A Tale of Two Liberalisms? Attitudes Toward Minority Religious Symbols in Quebec and Canada 
    Luc Turgeon, University of Ottawa
  • Boundaries of the Nation and Their Implications. Quebec and the Rest of Canada Compared 
    Antoine Bilodeau, Concordia University
  • National Identity and Views About Immigration in Quebec and Canada 
    Audrey Gagnon, Concordia University
  • Change and Convergence? Quebec’s New Immigration Policy in Comparative Perspective 
    Mireille Paquet, Concordia University


3. Silent Partners in Migrant Employment and Integration

(In English and French)

Chairs: Jill Hanley, McGill University, and Sonia Ben Soltane, Ottawa University

The purpose of this bilingual panel is to discuss the role of some “silent” private actors, such as placement agencies and settlement community organizations, in the immigration and integration processes in Quebec and Canada. Placement and recruitment agencies and private market employers have a growing role in shaping immigrants’ trajectories in the labor market. In the same way, community organizations have been delegated a bigger role in accompanying recent immigrants during the first steps of their settlement. In both cases, private actors seem to gain more power in shaping immigrants’ experiences and trajectories in Quebec and Canada than governmental instances.

  • Placement and Recruitment Agencies: Silent Partners in Migrant Employment (Download Presentation)
    Jill Hanley, McGill University, Manuel Salamanca Cardona, McGill University, Lindsay Larios, Concordia University, Mustapha Henaway, Immigrant Workers Centre (IWC), Nuha Shaer, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Sonia Ben Soltane, Ottawa University
  • Racialized Immigrant Workers of the Montreal Placement Agency. Managing the Vulnerabilities Produced by Systemic and Institutional Racism 
    Manuel Salamanca Cardona, McGill University
  • Reflection on the Privatization Process of Immigrant Supports in Quebec (Download Presentation)
    Sonia Ben Soltane and Thamara Labossière, Ottawa University


4. Private Refugee Sponsorship Models

(In English)

Chair: Tamara Sabarini, Scadding Court Community Centre

The Private Refugee Sponsorship Program is a Canadian initiative established in 1978. Since its establishment, over 200,000 refugees have been supported. In this workshop, the Canadian model of private refugee sponsorship will be discussed as well as one innovative case study, the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge (RULSC) that was launched in July 2015. RULSC breaks new ground in private refugee resettlement by developing a new university-driven approach to refugee integration.

  • Case Study: The Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge (RULSC) (Download Presentation)
    Wendy Cukier, Ryerson University
  • University and Volunteer-led Models of Refugee Sponsorship 
    Samantha Jackson, McMaster University


5. Recognizing International Qualifications – New Approaches for Changing Times

(In English)

Chair: Beth Clarke, World Education Services

Assessment and recognition of international qualifications and skills is critical to addressing labour shortages and will soon be an international obligation. In 2018, UN member states are expected to implement a Global Compact on Migration which, among other objectives, commits governments to facilitate recognition of skills, qualifications, and competencies, and to ensure migrants are employed in decent work. This requires collaboration and innovation from all manner of partners in Canada and abroad. Panelists will present approaches to assess and encourage wider recognition of international qualifications and skills of immigrants and refugees; creating opportunities for local economies to harness immigrant talent.

(Download All Presentations)

  • WES Gateway Program: Increasing Access to Credential Evaluation (Download Presentation)
    Beth Clarke, World Education Services
  • Putting Employer Needs at the Centre of Immigrant Employment: Making It Easier to Understand the
    Talents Immigrants Bring to the Table (Download Presentation)
    Sangeeta Subramanian, Immigrant Employment Council of B.C.
  • From National Occupation Codes to Agglomerated Skills in the Digital Era: Recognizing Skills and
    Competencies with the Information Technology Professional Designation (Download Presentation)
    Sandra Saric, Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)


6. Municipalities Partner to Roll Out the Welcome Mat

(In English)

Chair: Stephen Chase, Government of New Brunswick

This workshop showcases how municipalities are working with various community partners and internally across departments to build welcoming communities. Municipalities and not for profit organizations are working proactively to create the magnets and glue required to grow our immigrant populations. This workshop will profile various municipal efforts to work with community partners, postsecondary institutions, and internationally-trained professionals (New Horizons Media) to attract and retain immigrants.

  • Municipalities Partner to Roll Out the Welcome Mat (Download Presentation)
    Mohamed Yessaad, Greater Moncton Local Immigration Partnership
  • “All Aboard” the Need to Partner and Grow Our Communities (Download Presentation)
    Cathy Woodbeck, Thunder Bay Multicultural Association
  • Tell Stories, Attract Immigrants (Download Presentation)
    Gerard Keledjian, New Horizons Media / New Canadians TV


7. Alternative Pathways to Employment for Unemployed and Underemployed Newcomers: Innovations in Service Delivery

(In English)

Chair: Tim Foran, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

The session explores three innovative program models designed to meet the needs of newcomers facing barriers attaching to the Canadian labour market. Developed and evaluated at diverse sites across Canada (B.C., Ontario, and Manitoba), the programs feature innovative components such as a Pay for Success incentive structure, intensive employer engagement, and Essential Skills training aligned with job requirements that lead to success for diverse groups of newcomers, including those who are jobless and less-skilled, as well as university educated immigrants seeking skills-commensurate employment. Questions and considerations for future implementation of these models will be the focus of the discussion.

(Download All Presentations)

  • Using Pay for Success to Build a Sector-Based Pathway to Employment for Recent Immigrants 
    Boris Palameta, Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC)
  • The Employment Impacts of Foundations, a Career Pathfinding and Essential Skills Intervention, on Jobless Newcomers
    Boris Palameta, Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC), and Valerie Lockyer, The Training Group at Douglas College
  • Building Alternative Pathways to Re-Credentialing for Internationally Educated Nurses
    Valerie Lockyer, The Training Group at Douglas College


Friday, November 23 | Time: 1:45 PM to 3:15 PM

1. Exploring “Hospitality” Through Intersectoral Initiatives in the Making of Welcoming Communities for
Refugees and Immigrants

(In French and English)

Chairs: Gabrielle Désilets and Chedly Belkhodja, Concordia University

With unprecedented numbers of displaced people since the Second World War, and urban centres becoming “minority majority cities,” media coverage and right-wing anti-immigration political parties are emerging in many parts of the Western world. To counteract and prevent the negative consequences this may have on local social fabric, many communities have started implementing strategies to foster welcoming attitudes and behaviours towards newcomers. The focus has shifted to looking at “hospitality” and elements that may make newcomers’ efforts to find a place in their new environment more successful. This panel will explore different community, academic, and citizen initiatives that tackle what a hospitable city might look like.

  • Collaboration and Implementation of an Intersectorial Committee for Refugee Claimants 
    Geneviève Binette, Comité d’aide aux réfugiés, Volet protection, Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes (TCRI)
  • Refugee Resettlement and Integration in Montreal: Examples of Some Projects Conducted by CSAI 
    Hicham Khanafer, CSAI
  • Documenting the Initiative ‘Live Well and Celebrate Our Neighbourhoods’. Capturing the Dynamics of Different Places at the Montreal City and Neighbourhood Levels 
    Gabrielle Désilets, Concordia University, Anna Goudet, Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), and Florence Bourdeau, Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes (TCRI)
  • Hospitality in Action at the Border in Hemmingford: What it Looks Like and the Impact It Has
    Frances Ravensbergen, Citizen group Bridges not Borders
  • Discussion: On the Notion of Hospitality 
    Chedly Belkhodja, Concordia University


2. Muslims in Canada – Discourses and Employment Experiences

(In English)

Chair: Ruby Latif, Royal Roads University

Organizations do not exist in a vacuum; they are influenced by societal discourses. Muslims in Canada have generally been represented in some sections of the media as well as in rhetoric by some politicians as the “terrorist Other.” Their culture has often been dismissed as “barbaric” and “anti-Canadian.” These frames have unwittingly resulted in individual Muslims in organizations facing discrimination and hostility. This workshop discusses the findings of research examining societal discourses on Muslims, and their implications for organizations and individual Muslim Canadians.

  • Muslim Women, Workplace Diversity and Reflexive Human Resource Management
    Ruby Latif, Royal Roads University
  • Competing Discourses on Muslims and Syrian Refugees in Select Media in Canada: Implications for
    Muslim Canadians and Refugees in the Context of Organizations (Download Presentation)
    Wendy Cukier, Ryerson University
  • “Masters in Our Own House”: Governing Identities, Memory, and the Politics of Difference in Contemporary Quebec 
    Simon Blanchette, HEC Montréal


3. Empowering Immigrants

(In English)

Chair: Wenche Gausdal, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)

In striving to build a community where all can belong and grow, and helping immigrants settle in Nova Scotia, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) is building an organizational empowerment framework. This framework shapes our approach to organizational leadership, engagement, and service to clients, colleagues, and the community. Colleagues from Ontario and Manitoba will share their approaches to empowering immigrants and we will discuss key priorities and challenges in our attempts.

  • An Overview of ISANS Empowerment Framework 
    Wenche Gausdal, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
  • Empowerment in the (Re)settlement of Newcomers: Accelerating Engagement and Improving Integration 
    Monica Abdelkader, COSTI Immigrant Services
  • The Ethno-Cultural Program at Society for Manitobans With Disabilities: Helping Newcomers With Disabilities Navigate the Road to Independence
    Muhiadin Sheikh Omar, Society for Manitobans with Disabilities


4. Creating a Collaborative and Welcoming Space with a Focus on Trauma Informed Care

(In English)

Chair: Diana Jeffries, Pacific Immigrant Resources Society

Ottawa Newcomer Health Centre (ONHC) was implemented out of a partnership between Somerset West Community Health Centre and Catholic Centre for Immigrants. ONHC provides a welcoming space and a one-stop shop for newcomers by offering services for physical and mental health and well-being through a lens that is focused on social determinants of health and trauma informed care. Diana Jeffries will present her work on trauma-informed practices for practitioners working with immigrants and refugees. Developed through IRCC funding, Diana has developed curricula and workshops addressing the issues of learning in safe spaces through the PIRS programs, which are designed for inclusive classroom practices, and addressing issues such as trauma and other barriers to learning.

  • Implementation of a Collaborative Initiative (Download Presentation)
    Marianela Gonzalez, Catholic Centre for Immigrants
  • Ottawa Newcomer Health Centre: Growth and Outcomes (Download Presentation)
    Siffan Rahman, Somerset West Community Health Centre
  • Creative Solutions for Challenging Barriers: Ottawa Language Access (Download Presentation)
    Nimo Farah, Somerset West Community Health Centre
  • Addressing Trauma and Barriers to Learning (Download Presentation)
    Diana Jeffries, Pacific Immigrant Resources Society


5. Innovation and New Technologies in Newcomer Settlement

(In English)

Chair: Mark Patterson, Magnet

Technologies play a vital role in newcomer settlement. This workshop examines the role of new technologies and innovation various topics: how new technologies connect newcomers to employment, uses of new technologies for private sponsorship of refugees, how new technologies are being used to assist Syrian refugees in their settlement in Canada, the Cultural Access Pass and the role of arts and culture participation for Canada’s newest citizens, and the We Speak Translate Project. Through these topics participants will learn about the value of innovation and technology in aiding newcomer settlement. Presenters in this workshop are directly engaged with the projects.

  • New Technologies and Employment Opportunities for Newcomers 
    Mark Patterson, Magnet
  • We Speak Translate Project and Training (Download Presentation)
    Kate Longpre, ICA Victoria
  • Tech, Culture, and Inclusion: The Cultural Access Pass and the Role of Arts and Culture Participation for Canada’s Newest Citizens (Download Presentation)
    Yasmine Mohamed, Institute for Canadian Citizenship


6. The Impact of Partnerships: Successful Strategies to Support Economic Inclusion of Immigrants

(In English)

Chair: Abigail Cameron, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

Presenters will share how different partnership approaches enhance initiatives that support immigrant economic integration in Metro Vancouver. Using a wide array of community engagement strategies, presenters will share examples of successful initiatives that leveraged partnerships in its implementation and delivery, and the outcomes and benefits to immigrant economic integration. From specialized programs that support highly vulnerable newcomers to leveraging private partnerships, this workshop will look at the unique ways not-for-profit organizations can engage community support in the planning and delivery of programs that support immigrant labour market integration.

  • The Job Readiness Program Under ACT, a Program for Highly Vulnerable Newcomers – Unique Employer – Employee Partnership Approach
    (Download Presentation)

    Mary Kam and Sandra Almeida, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
  • Foreign Credential Recognition Loan Project 
    Michael Lam, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
  • The Role of the LIP in Tri-Cities Newcomer Employment Week (Download Presentation)
    Abigail Cameron, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.


7. Refugee Youth in Halifax and Toronto: Exploring Integration and Social Justice Through Photography

(In English)

Chairs: Susan M. Brigham, Mount Saint Vincent University, and Nabiha Atallah, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)

Presenters share findings from research projects involving refugee children and youth in Halifax and Toronto. The participants were critically engaged in using creative practice (i.e. photography and bookmaking) to express their perspectives, circumstances, and their reflections on social justice as related to several themes that they decided on: peace/war, gender equity, food security, family, the environment, and home/belonging. We highlight their efforts to inform policy-makers of the needs of young refugees and to ultimately influence policy development. Our preliminary findings show that young people’s needs are best met through welcoming communities that have culturally responsive institutions and where white settlers are open to and actively
create opportunities to listen to refugees’ stories and perspectives.

  • Exploring Social Justice Using Photography With Refugee Youth in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Download Presentation)
    Susan M Brigham, Mount Saint Vincent University
  • Partnering to Promote Youth Integration (Download Presentation)
    Nabiha Atallah, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
  • The Need for a Family Approach When Addressing the Social Integration Challenges of Syrian Newcomer Youth 
    Bayan Khatib, The Syrian Canadian Foundation
  • Making Picture Books With and for Refugee Children: Young People as Cultural Producers 
    April Mandrona, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design


8. Immigration on the Margins: Supporting Newcomers in Rural, Remote, and Northern Areas

(In English)

Chairs: James Baker, Association for New Canadians

While the majority of research on immigration tends to focus on major urban areas, there is a growing demand for scholarship that focuses on immigration to rural areas. This is especially important given the role that immigration can play in addressing rural demographic issues such as outmigration as well as declining and aging populations. The goal of this panel then is to highlight key initiatives and research that is designed to facilitate the inclusion and integration of newcomers while promoting and supporting their retention in rural, remote, and northern areas of the country.

  • Splits in the Neighbourhood? Negotiating Visibility in a Rural Reception Context 
    Christopher Kyriakides, York University
  • Remote Dispatches: Settlement in Smaller Centres (Download Presentation)
    Ken Walsh, Association for New Canadians
  • Successes and Challenges of Small Centre Settlement 
    Lynn Weaver, Cowichan Intercultural Society
  • Integrating and Retaining Immigrants in Small Centers (Download Presentation)
    Melanie Bailey, PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada