Pathways to Prosperity 2023 Conference for Local Immigration Partnerships and Réseaux en immigration francophone – Presentations and Recordings

Wednesday, November 22, 2023


9:00 AM – 10:30 AM EST

Opening Remarks

Opening Remarks and Land Acknowledgement

  • Victoria Esses, Co-Chair, Pathways to Prosperity Partnership and Professor, Western University


Plenary – Connecting Newcomers with Mental Health and Addiction Services (Video)

Chair: Luisa Veronis, Associate Professor and Research Chair on Immigration and Franco-Ontarian Communities, University of Ottawa

As the need for mental health and addiction services increases among newcomers to Canada, LIPs and RIF have an important role to play in supporting newcomers to find appropriate services to meet their needs. This role may include providing information on the services available in the community or region, providing practical information on how to obtain needed services, facilitating access to and connecting newcomers with these services, and public campaigns. This plenary will discuss the increasing need for mental health and addiction services among newcomers to Canada and innovative practices that can be used to ensure that newcomers receive the supports they need to address mental health and addiction challenges.

  • Creating Informed Connections – Responding to the Needs of Newcomers with Mental Health and Substance Use Needs (Download Presentation)
    Susan Farrell, Executive Director, Canadian Mental Heath Association Ottawa
  • Cultural Competency in Counselling & Employment – Bridging HR & Mental Health in the Workplace (Download Presentation)
    Farah Kotadia, Co-Manager, Vancouver Local Immigration Partnership
  • Mental Health Awareness for Immigrant, Refugee Youth, and International Students (Download Presentation)
    Kevin Pottie, Professor and Family Physician, Western University
  • How to Strengthen Your Own Mental Health Skills to Better Support Your Clientele (Download Presentation)
    Chantale Blanchette, Health Coordinator, Eastern Ontario RIF

Sponsored by: New Canadians


11:00 AM – 12:15 PM EST

Workshops and Roundtables

E1 (in person) – Exploring Models for Community Governance of Newcomer Services

Chair: Jessica Kwik, Peel Newcomer Strategy Group and United Way Greater Toronto

Planning, coordination and advocacy for immigration services takes place in a dynamic community context. What are the parameters to consider for a community-based governance and funding model to improve immigration and settlement services? Two projects, one in French-speaking community (in Northern Ontario) and one in an English-speaking community (in Southwestern Ontario), have been funded by IRCC to consult on a new model that responds to community needs for newcomers.

  • Community Coordination in Immigration in Northern Ontario
    Jean-Paul Kalwahali, Réseau de soutien à l’immigration francophone du Nord de l’Ontario (RIFNO)
  • Regional Accountability Models for Settlement in Peel Region
    Jessica Kwik, Peel Newcomer Strategy Group and United Way Greater Toronto, Rich Janzen, Centre for Community Based Research, and Areej Alshammiry, Centre for Community Based Research

(Download Presentation)


E2 (en personne) – Initiatives novatrices de collaboration entre les RIF et les PLI

Président: Médétonwan Olivier Guédé, Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne (FCFA)

La collaboration entre fournisseurs de services anglophones et francophones est un enjeu prioritaire surtout pour ces derniers qui opèrent dans un contexte minoritaire. Vivre en tant que minorité linguistique francophone impose une certaine adaptabilité et créativité afin d’accroître sa visibilité, dans le but de promouvoir, dans un premier temps les communautés francophones, puis de renforcer le parcours d’intégration francophone auprès des organismes anglophones. La collaboration est ainsi devenue une arme utilisée par les RIF et de différentes manières pour travailler avec les organismes anglophones que sont les PLI. Quelques initiatives inspirantes de collaboration seront partagées pendant cet atelier.

  • Collaboration entre les organismes francophones et anglophones de Toronto
    Mikhaéla Sullivan, Réseau en immigration francophone pour la région Centre-Sud-Ouest de l’Ontario (RIFCSO)
  • Le Nord magnétique 2022
    Thomas Mercier, Réseau de soutien à l’immigration francophone du Nord de l’Ontario (RIFNO)
  • Premier forum “Partenariat entre RIF & PLI, entre rétrospectives et perspectives”
    Sarah Fellag, Réseau en immigration francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (RIFC


E3 (in person) – Mental Health Toolkit for Frontline Staff and Leadership

Chair: Farah Kotadia, Vancouver Local Immigration Partnership and South Vancouver Neighbourhood House

This workshop will focus on the mental health and well-being of new immigrants to Canada. Catered to both frontline staff and leadership alike, the curriculum will delve into the Mental Health Resource and Toolkit developed by Surrey Local Immigration Partnership, in consult with mental health practitioners and funded by IRCC. Working collaboratively with the Vancouver Local Immigration Partnership, the workshop will explore topics such as trauma-informed care, culture competence, addressing stigma, grounding and de-escalation tools, and self-care for practitioners. This will be an integrative and engaging session. Participants will walk away with an increased understanding of coping strategies and mechanisms.

  • Farah Kotadia, Vancouver Local Immigration Partnership and South Vancouver Neighbourhood House
  • Tina Balachandran, Surrey Local Immigration Partnership and DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society

(Download Presentation)


E4 (in person) – Unlocking the Potential of Learning from and with Other LIPs: Immigrant Surveys as a Means to Share and Build our Research Experience

Chair: Dan Vandebelt, Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership

The workshop will share LIP experience undertaking a biannual survey of immigrants between 2017 and 2021 in one community – opening it up to LIPs across Canada to go through the process together in 2023. Participating LIPs will share what was learned about running an immigrant survey and share a toolkit with tips & templates to help LIPs running similar surveys. We will explore how LIPs can both maintain a local focus and collaborate with other LIPs to share and build their capacity to better understand the experiences of immigrants, as well as develop a common knowledge base and research approaches.

  • Kailea Pedley, Cape Brenton Local Immigration Partnership
  • Leen Al-Habash, Guelph-Wellington Local Immigration Partnership
  • Petrusia Hontar, St.Thomas-Elgin Local Immigration Partnership

(Download Presentation)


E1 (virtual) – Synergy in Action: Best Practices for LIPs to Support Ukrainian Displaced Persons and Other Newcomers in Mid-size to Rural Based Partnerships

Facilitators: Catherine Fisher Andrews, Quinte Local Immigration Partnership, and Yuliya Lohvynenko and Myroslava Symonenko, Quinte Immigration Services

This roundtable shares the power and energy of regional partnerships in driving the development of “welcoming communities” within the context of unprecedented situations in the LIP and settlement sectors. Using case examples of projects and initiatives supporting displaced Ukrainians and other newcomers arriving in Quinte region, we will explore challenges and successes experienced in building local partnerships that created a safety net for newcomers. This roundtable will open a door to discussing LIPs’ best practices and learnings, and will foster a spirit of collaboration between participants of the conference. Sharing knowledge is a great way to enrich each others’ skills as well as drive positive change in the LIP sector.


E2 (virtual) – Working Together: The Role of LIPs and RIF in Supporting Newcomer Health

Facilitators: Laura Branner, Lethbridge Local Immigration Partnership, and Stasha Donahue, Lethbridge Local Immigration Partnership

The Lethbridge Newcomer Health Advisory Group (LNHAG) was already working together when the LIP started. We will give a quick overview of Past/Current/Future projects (including Navigating COVID, Mental Health) and how we have been able to work together to address some of the challenges that newcomers face navigating the health system. Join us in a discussion about the benefits of having a LIP health working group.
Questions to be addressed include, for example:

  • How do other communities (especially smaller centers) assist newcomers to navigate the complexity of health care?
  • Does your LIP have a health working group? What does it look like?
  • Do you want to establish a health working group, but not sure how/where to start?


01:30 PM – 02:45 PM EST

Workshops and Roundtables

F1 (in person) – Innovative Anti-Racism Initiatives: The Experiences of BC Local Immigration Partnerships and the National LIP Secretariat

Chair: Elmira Galiyeva, South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services (SOICS) and South Okanagan-Similkameen Local Immigration Partnership

The workshop will showcase collaborative practices to address racism and create more welcoming communities:

  1. Education project – UnBox that led to partnership with local school districts: anti-racism educational series, adaptation of UnBox for middle schools, and community dialogues in South Okanagan.
  2. Research project on the underlying causes of systemic and institutionalized racism faced by racialized newcomers and co-designed solutions in Burnaby.
  3. Learnings from bringing together representatives from equity deserving groups and law enforcement to co-develop tools to address incidents of racism in the Tri-Cities.
  4. Initiatives by the National LIP Secretariat: explore the collaborative conception of these initiatives and a Self-assessment Tool, reflect on making tools that generate transformation.
  • Un-Box: Anti-Racism Initiatives in Small Urban-Rural Communities in Partnership with School Districts
    Elmira Galiyeva, South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services (SOICS) and South Okanagan-Similkameen Local Immigration Partnership
  • Building Belonging and Economic Inclusion in Burnaby –  Realizing the Full Potential of Racialized Newcomer and Immigrant Talent in the City (Download Presentation)
    Ana Maria Bustamante, Burnaby Intercultural Planning Table/Burnaby Local Immigration Partnership (Burnaby Family Life)
  • Building Empathy and Allyship in Co-Designing Anti-Racism Tools with Equity Deserving Groups in the Tri-Cities – Co-Developing Tools to Support Victims of Racism with Equity Deserving Groups and Law Enforcement (Download Presentation)
    Thábata da Costa, Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership
  • Unifying for Change: Strengthening Anti-Racism Capacity through the National LIP Secretariat (Download Presentation)
    Marycarmen Lara-Villanueva, National LIP Secretariat


F2 (in person) – Preparing for APRCP Year Round

Facilitators: Ariane Savi, Halifax Immigration Partnership, and Érika Cantu, Greater Moncton Local Immigration Partnership

Join your LIP Colleagues as we together explore approaches LIPs take to track and record output and outcomes data to prepare IRCC’s Annual Performance Report for Community Partnerships (APRCP). This session is intended to surface promising practices and tools LIPs can use to empower themselves for optimal reporting.

(Download Presentation)


F3 (in person) – Rural LIPs: Building Capacity from Within

Chair: Abiha Syed, Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership

This workshop explores LIPs’ role in increasing the receptive capacity of small centres through practical examples such as train-the-trainer, matching/mentorship, and employer capacity building programs. The focus is a LIP’s role/position in the work – operate capacity building programs themselves, act as the backbone for collaborative co-creation, or develop and/or pilot programs before handing them over to the community. We would like to discuss a) ideas and opportunities to build attraction and retention capacity in centres with fewer settlement services, and b) how LIPs can resolve tensions between our IRCC mandated role as conveners and local expectations for program delivery.

  • Taking Steps to Ensure that Our Work Centers the Right People (Download Presentation)
    Dieulita Datus-Hall, Red Deer Local Immigration Partnership
  • Stimulating Collaborations and Grassroots Initiatives in Rural Communities to Increase Receptive Capacity – Creating Local Microgrants, Neighbourhood Outreach, and Obtaining Seed Funding (Download Presentation)
    Jennifer Mah, Medicine Hat Immigration Partnership
  • The Eastern Ontario Immigrant Attraction and Retention Strategy-A Collaborative Approach (Download Presentation)
    Jodi Bucholtz, Local Immigration Partnership – Lanark & Renfrew
  • Grey-Bruce: Advancing Inclusion Beyond Awareness (Download Presentation)
    May Ip, Grey Bruce Local Immigration Partnership


F4 (in person) – Enhancing Newcomer Settlement through Innovative Community Engagement: Best Practices Learned from LIPs and RIF

Facilitators: Aleksandar Kovacevic, RIF des Territoires du Nord-Ouest & FFT, Malini Sengupta, Yellowknife LIP & CDÉTNO, Elaine Burton Saindon, PVLIP, & Rafael Lasevitz, YTEC

Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs) and Reseau en Immigration Francophone (RIFs) come together to explore and discuss innovative approaches, collaborative strategies, and community-driven solutions to sustain successful partnerships.

(Download Presentation)


F1 (virtual) – Collaborative Approaches to Advancing Mental Health (Video)

Chair: Jessica Kwik, Peel Newcomer Strategy Group and United Way of Greater Toronto

This workshop will focus on the collaboration among different groups including:

  • newcomer-serving staff trained on mental health fundamentals,
  • immigration partnerships that work with settlement associations on mental health programming,
  • organizations engaged in cross-sectoral collaborations to improve culturally responsive mental health services and integrate newcomer youth experiences.

Presenters will share examples from across Southwestern Ontario, including the Peel region and from Prince Edward Island.

  • Newcomer Young Adult Mental Wellness: Bridging Sectors for Improved Supports (Download Presentation)
    Shriya Seksaria, Peel Newcomer Strategy Group and United Way of Greater Toronto
  • Capacity Building through a Mental Health Lens (Download Presentation)
    Kanwalpreet Kaur, Punjabi Community Health Services
  • Developing Culturally-Sensitive and Trauma-Informed Mental Health Support for Immigrant Communities (Download Presentation)
    Melanie Bailey, Immigrant & Refugee Services Association (IRSA) PEI


F2 (virtual) – Anti-racism and Anti-oppression 2.0: Continuing the Conversation

Facilitators: Sarah Wayland and Mohammad Araf, Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council (HIPC)

Anti-oppressive practices and goals seek to recognize and dismantle discriminatory actions and power imbalances resulting from various systems of oppression (racism, ableism, etc.). This interactive session will begin by reviewing the basic components of ARAO and why this framework offers an essential lens for our work. Participants will spend most of the session sharing examples from their own work, including successes and failures, and the importance of the local political climate.


03:00 PM – 05:00 PM EST

IRCC Consultations with LIPs/ZIPs and Francophone Community Partners; Closing Remarks (Video)

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is organizing a consultation designed to promote meaningful dialogue among LIPs/ZIPs and Francophone community partners with the primary aim of strengthening community resilience and receptiveness in response to the increasing levels of immigration. During this event, LIPs, ZIPs and Francophone community partners will engage directly with IRCC, fostering a dynamic exchange of ideas and experiences. This collaborative effort seeks to develop practical strategies to address the unique challenges posed by unprecedented immigration levels, enhancing community readiness and receptivity for newcomers. Participants will have the platform to showcase their achievements, discuss obstacles encountered in crafting community-level strategic plans, and share valuable best practices and adaptable tools to meet evolving community needs.