Pathways to Prosperity 2020 National Conference: The Future of Immigration and (Re)Settlement in Canada

Monday, November 23, 2020


11:00 – 11:45 AM EST

Opening Remarks, Indigenous Perspectives, and The Honourable Marco Mendicino (Video)

Conference Chairs: Victoria Esses and Jean McRae, Pathways to Prosperity Co-chairs


11:45 – 1:00 PM EST

Royal Society of Canada Report on COVID-19 and Immigration: Vulnerabilities Revealed and Recommendations for the Future (Video) (Download Presentation)

Chair: Natalya Brown, Nipissing University

As part of the Royal Society of Canada’s series on the impact of COVID-19 on Canadian society, Pathways to Prosperity was commissioned to prepare an evidence-based report on COVID-19 and Immigration. The working group for this report includes nine members under the leadership of Victoria Esses and Jean McRae. This plenary will cover the sections of the report highlighting the vulnerabilities exposed as a result of the pandemic and the action-oriented recommendations for future policies and programs to optimize the benefits of immigration for Canada, Canadians, and immigrants.

  • Immigration Policy 
    Naomi Alboim, Queen’s University
  • Case Studies of Vulnerable Groups and Essential Workers 
    Margaret Walton-Roberts, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Public Attitudes Toward Immigrants and Immigration 
    Leah Hamilton, Mount Royal University
  • Settlement Services 
    Chris Friesen, Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia


1:45 – 3:00 PM EST

The Impact of COVID-19 on Marginalized Communities (Video)

Chair: Enrico del Castello, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

This plenary focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on marginalized communities and specifically the various immigrant communities who have been particularly at risk during the pandemic. The potential consequences of the pandemic include discrimination, exclusion, trauma, compromised health, gender-based violence, and disrupted settlement and integration. Moving beyond negative impacts, we will also discuss the remarkable resilience that has been displayed during the pandemic by immigrant communities and those who serve them, and strategies that have been developed to ameliorate harm.

  • The Impact of COVID on Marginalized Groups – From Discourse to Action (Download Presentation)
    Nina Condo, Elmwood Community Resource Centre
  • Centering Stories (Download Presentation)
    Don Boddy, Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Agencies (MANSO)
  • Addressing the Amplified Risks of Pandemic Times for LGBTQI Refugees: Learnings for Now and the Renewal (Download Presentation)
    Sharalyn Jordan, Simon Fraser University
  • The Impact of COVID-19 on the Professional Integration of Newcomers in Canada (Download Presentation)
    Paul Muamba, Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité (RDÉE)


3:30 – 4:45 PM EST

Concurrent Workshops (Video Recording and Powerpoint presentations from the workshops available here)


6:30 – 7:00 PM EST

1) Entertainment sessions with live music and poetry 

  • Live Music by Frank Bessai, Founding Member of the Musical Ensemble “Le Fuzz”
  • Spoken Word Performance by Fauzia Agbonhin, Award-Winning Poet

2) Discussion Room:

  • Planning for Post-COVID-19 Recovery: What Research is Needed?
  • The Post-COVID-19 Settlement Sector: Getting Back to the New Normal?


Tuesday, November 24, 2020


11:00 – 12:15 AM EST

Opening Remarks: Fraser Valentine, Assistant Deputy Minister of Settlement and Integration, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (Video)
Special Keynote Speaker: Christopher Stuart Taylor, Author, Public Servant, and Educator (Video)

Chair: Victoria Esses, Pathways to Prosperity

Confronting Racism Toward Immigrants to Canada: Links to the Past and Future Prospects
Dr. Christopher Stuart Taylor focuses on issues of diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism, immigration, race and ethnicity, anti-racism, Black Canadian history, Caribbean history, slavery in the Americas, the African and Black diaspora, and Black identity. He is the author of Flying Fish in the Great White North: The Autonomous Migration of Black Barbadians, published by Fernwood Publishing. He has served as the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator in the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General’s Diversity, Inclusion & Accessibility Office; a Senior Policy Advisor at Ontario’s Anti-Racism Directorate; and Manager of Social Justice & Change Cluster at the Ontario Correctional Services College. Dr. Taylor teaches in the Department of History and the Arts First Program at the University of Waterloo.


1:15 – 2:30 PM EST

An Intersectional Approach to Understanding and Reducing Discrimination Towards Immigrants (Video)

Chair: Beba Svigir, Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA)

Discrimination toward immigrants is a complex phenomenon, with factors such as race, ethnicity, and religion interacting with immigrant status to drive discrimination, and immigrant status also being used to justify discrimination that actually is based on these other factors. Discrimination is also experienced by immigrants in diverse facets of their lives, from the workplace to the provision of healthcare. The speakers in this plenary will explore some of these complexities and the impact they have on immigrants’ experiences, as well as providing actionable recommendations for change.

  • An Intersectionality Approach to Understanding and Addressing the Needs of Black Immigrants in Canada (Download Presentation)
    Bukola Salami, University of Alberta
  • Racializing the “Problem” of Immigrants’ Accents at Work (Download Presentation)
    Vijay Ramjattan, University of Toronto
  • Intersectional Discrimination: What If We Seriously Talk About It? (Download Presentation)
    Salimata Soro, Conseil de développement économique des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba (CDEM)
  • The Service Access Needs of Racialized and Indigenous Communities (Download Presentation)
    Ciann Wilson, Wilfrid Laurier University


3:00 – 4:15 PM EST

Concurrent Workshops (Video Recording and Powerpoint presentations from the workshops available here)

4:15 – 4:45 PM EST

Poster Awards and Closing Remarks

Chairs: Jean McRae, CEO, Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria and Victoria Esses, Pathways to Prosperity | Voies vers la prospérité