Pathways to Prosperity 2021 National Conference – Presentations and Recordings

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose: Post-COVID Strategies to Address Enduring Challenges in the Settlement and Integration of Newcomers in Canada

November 8-10, 2021
A Virtual Conference


Monday, November 8, 2021

11:00 – 11:30 AM EST

Welcome and Opening (Video)

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

  • Opening Remarks and Land Acknowledgement
  • Presentation by Nadine McKenzie, Naawakwe Singers
  • Welcome from the The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship


11:30 – 12:45 PM EST

Acknowledging and Defeating Racism and Islamophobia in Canada: The Path Ahead (Video)

Chair: Ahmad Majid, Executive Director, Saskatchewan Association of Immigrant Settlement and Integration Agencies

Racism and Islamophobia are wicked problems that require multi-pronged solutions enacted at all levels of society. Their elimination is an aspirational long-term goal, with many steps along the way. An important step is to acknowledge that they exist and then to consider the myriad changes that will be required in both the short- and long-term to ultimately defeat racism and Islamophobia in our society and eliminate their negative impacts. In this plenary we will proceed on this journey through a discussion of the nature and context of racism and Islamophobia in Canada today, on-the-ground strategies for change, and systemic policies and practices that must be dismantled in order to achieve our ultimate goal.

  • Canada’s Islamophobia Problem: What Can Be Done? (Download Presentation)
    Steven Zhou, Journalist and Author
  • Asking Anti-Colonial Questions: My Work in Radio, Storytelling and Confronting Racism
    Minelle Mahtani, Brenda and David McLean Chair of Canadian Studies, University of British Columbia
  • Cities’ Responses to Racism: Initiatives and Approaches in Montreal
    Bochra Manaï, Commissioner for the Fight against Racism and Systemic Discrimination, City of Montréal
  • Standing Together: Anti-Racism and Mental Health Promotion (Download Presentation)
    Kenneth Fung, Clinical Director, Asian Initiative in Mental Health, University Health Network


1:45 – 3:00 PM EST

Supporting Immigrant – Indigenous Relations in Canada: Addressing Long-standing Issues and Moving Toward a Shared Future (Video)

Chair: Nancy Clark, Assistant Professor, University of Victoria

Those who have attended previous Pathways to Prosperity National Conferences will know that for a number of years we have recognized the importance of fostering positive relations between Indigenous Peoples and immigrants in Canada, and have discussed strategies for doing so. Some progress has been made in this regard and in this panel we return to a discussion of the actions that can be taken to support immigrant-Indigenous relations in Canada and present some examples of success. Our goal is to learn from the work that is being conducted in this area and to support individuals and organizations as they strive to develop their own strategies for promoting increased understanding and collaboration between Indigenous Peoples and immigrants as they move toward a shared future.

  • Becoming Allies: Enhancing Cultural Understanding between Indigenous and Newcomer Youth in Canada (Download Presentation)
    Oliver Kamau, Manager for Settlement Services, Edmonton Immigrant Services Association
  • Dialogues for Truth: Leveraging Umbrellas to Centre Indigenous World View (Download Presentation)
    Katie Crocker, Chief Executive Officer, Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC (AMSSA) and Norm Leech, Executive Director, Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre
  • Building Safe Spaces for Intercultural Understanding between Newcomers and Indigenous People (Download Presentation)
    Jess Hamm, Executive Director, Saskatchewan Intercultural Association
  • Navigating Immigrant-Indigenous Relations in Canada – A New Way Forward (Download Presentation)
    Anthony Olusola, Executive Director, Truly Alive Youth and Family Foundation


3:30 – 4:45 PM EST

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


6:00 – 7:30 PM EST

Settlement Sector Roundtable on Advocacy Priorities for the Future 

Facilitator: Chris Friesen, Chair, Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance – Alliance canadienne du secteur de l’établissement des immigrants (CISSA-ACSEI)

Under the auspices of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), a national working group of academics, former government officials and settlement sector representatives came together to reflect and analyze the impact of COVID-19 on immigration and newcomers. Based on these analyses, the working group provided a robust set of recommendations on all aspects of immigration to Canada, including those from the settlement sector perspective. In March 2021, the RSC published the Working Group’s Policy Briefing entitled “Supporting Canada’s COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery Through Robust Immigration Policy and Programs.” This roundtable discussion will provide an opportunity to reflect on the recommendations and explore areas where the settlement sector could come together in possible local, regional and national advocacy areas.


Tuesday, November 9, 2021


10:00 – 10:45 AM EST

Discussion forums

  • Post-COVID Recovery: Preparing for the “New Normal” | Relance post-COVID : se préparer à la « nouvelle normalité »
    Facilitator | Facilitateur : Frank Bauer, Executive Director, Central Aberta Refugee Effort (CARE) | directeur général, Central Aberta Refugee Effort (CARE)
  • Supports for Temporary Foreign Workers and International Students | Appuis aux travailleurs étrangers temporaires et étudiants étrangers
    Facilitator | Facilitateur : John Shields, Professor, Ryerson University | professeur, Université Ryerson

Meeting notes from discussion forums are available on the virtual platform for registered attendees. 


11:00 – 12:15 PM EST

Why Our Stories Matter: Racialized Women, Immigration and Gender Justice in Post-Pandemic Canada (Video)

Keynote Speaker: Silmy Abdullah, Author, Lawyer and Social Justice Advocate

Silmy Abdullah is a Bangladeshi-Canadian author, lawyer and social justice advocate. Her debut collection of short stories, Home of the Floating Lily, explores the Bangladeshi immigrant experience in Toronto. Set primarily in a Bengali neighbourhood in the Scarborough/East York Area, the stories are inspired by her own lived experience as an immigrant, as well as the work she does in her community as a lawyer. Silmy provides legal services to low-income South Asian clients in Ontario, many of whom are newcomers. Her practice focuses on the intersection of immigration, poverty and gender-based violence. She is a passionate advocate who has spoken on important human rights issues on numerous platforms, including community workshops, mainstream media, the Parliament of Canada and conferences in Canada and overseas.


1:15 – 2:30 PM EST

Envisioning Immigration and Settlement in Canada in a Post-Pandemic Era (Video)

Chair: Carolyn Whiteway, Executive Director, Atlantic Region Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (ARAISA)

While we are not quite there, the post-pandemic era is approaching, and immigration will be central to a successful recovery. This session will explore what immigration and settlement are likely to / should look like post-pandemic, and what we can do to harness immigration for a prosperous Canadian future. The presenters in this session will not only talk about what we know about immigration and settlement in Canada now and what we have learned during the pandemic, but will be creative in anticipating what future policies and programs in Canada could look like to optimize the benefits for newcomers and established Canadians alike.

  • Adaptations and Innovations in Settlement Services: What We’ve Learned (Download Presentation)
    David Cashaback, Senior Director, Settlement and Integration Policy, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
  • Canada as the Successful Immigrant Nation: Can We Make it Last? (Download Presentation)
    Keith Neuman, Senior Associate, Environics Institute
  • Housing Newcomers to Canada: A Federal Housing Policy Perspective (Download Presentation)
    Patricia Roset-Zuppa, Vice President, Policy, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
  • Navigating a New Path in a Hybrid World: Reflections on Immigration and Settlement Services
    Kathy Sherrell, Director, Settlement Services, Immigrant Services Society of BC


3:00 – 4:15 PM EST

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


5:00 – 5:45 PM EST

Discussion forums

  • Steps for Translating Research into Policy and Practice | Les étapes pour transformer la recherche en politiques et pratiques
    Facilitator | Facilitatrice : Florentien Verhage, Coordinator, Greater Victoria Local Immigration Partnership | coordinatrice, Partenariat local d’immigration du Grand Victoria
  • Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Strategies: What New Practices or Tools are Being Used and How Effective are They? | Stratégies de lutte contre le racisme et l’oppression : quels nouveaux outils et nouvelles pratiques sont utilisés et sont-ils efficaces?
    Facilitator | Facilitatrice : Sarah Wayland, Senior Project Manager, Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council | gestionnaire de projet principale, Conseil du Partenariat d’immigration d’Hamilton
  • Housing, Housing, Housing: Possible Solutions to the Housing Crisis for Newcomers | Logement, logement, logement : les solutions possibles à la crise du logement chez les nouveaux arrivants
    Facilitator | Facilitatrice : Natalya Brown, Associate Professor, School of Business, Nipissing University | professeure agrégée, École de gestion, Université Nipissing

Meeting notes from discussion forums are available on the virtual platform for registered attendees. 


6:00 – 7:30 PM EST

Screening of the Documentary, The Mosque: A Community’s Struggle followed by Q and A with the Producer, Director, and Documentary Interviewees

Chair: Victoria Esses, Pathways to Prosperity; Q&A with Sergeo Kirby, Ariel Nasr, Mathieu Lajante

The story of the Quebec Mosque Shooting is known around the world, but the story of the community that survived the attack is all but unknown. The Mosque: A Community’s Struggle is an intimate portrait of the resilient Muslim community of Sainte-Foy, Quebec as they struggle to survive and shift the narrative of what it means to be a Muslim, one year after the devastating attack that took the lives of six of their members. As the world moves on, this small mosque and its community fight Islamophobia, harassment and hate speech. How will the community heal and how will they stop the rhetoric that threatens to precipitate further violence?