Pathways to Prosperity 2023 Virtual Workshop Series | Série d’ateliers virtuels 2023 de Voies vers la prospérité

Tuesday, January 17 | Mardi, 17 janvier
Newcomer Financial Inclusion and Access to Benefits Support: Opportunities for Intersectoral Collaboration (Video Recording) (Download all presentations)
Chair: Carrie Wong, Prosper Canada

Every year, more than $1.7 billion in government benefits are left unclaimed by those entitled to them. Newcomers are among those most at risk of missing out on benefits they’re eligible for. Through this workshop, participants will learn the importance of accessing benefits for newcomers, ways for organizations and practitioners to provide support to the communities they serve, and how to use the Benefits wayfinder tool to help individuals identify and apply for the benefits they are eligible for.

  • Sally Massey Wiebe, Community Financial Counselling Services (CFCS)
  • Morgan Marshall, Community Financial Counselling Services (CFCS)


Tuesday, January 31 | Mardi, 31 janvier
Challenging Mental Models and Exploring Possibilities in the Settlement Sector (Video Recording) (Download all presentations)
Chair: Apie N’Da, ARAISA

Innovating for Impact (I2) Project aims to improve the capacity of people working in Francophone and Anglophone IRCC-funded agencies to conduct Social Research & Design through a participative, experiential learning approach to foster a sense of belonging among newcomers. This workshop will explore how we challenged mental models with our cohort and supported them in exploring possibilities, testing, and learning about new ideas in the real world. We will share and apply some of the tools and approaches used in the project to support participants in understanding the challenges and opportunities of a capacity-building project that aims to shift perceptions.

  • Elissama Menezes, Inspiring Communities
  • Sara Bateman, Blue Castle Consulting


Tuesday, February 14 | Mardi, 14 février
Breaking the Barriers to Education to Increase the Employment Capacity of Indigenous, Refugee, and Immigrant Mothers in Canada (Video Recording
Chair: Debbie Bell, Mothers Matter Centre

The Mothers Matter Centre, in partnership with Red River College (RRC) Polytechnic and Social Purpose Organizations – like Vanier Community Service Centre-, and with funding from Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), designed a structured, participatory, and accredited Professional Development Program that targets vulnerable and isolated mothers in Canada.

  • Understanding Vulnerable Mothers’ Barriers to Education and Employment
    Debbie Bell, Mothers Matter Centre
  • Overview of the Mothers Matter Centre Professional Development Program 
    Fatima Al-Samak, Mothers Matter Centre
  • The Unique Characteristics of the Home Visitor Professional Micro-credential in Relation to Other Educational Programs 
    Jonathan Bauer, Red River College Polytechnic
  • The Impact of the Professional Development Program on Vulnerable Mothers Working with Other Mothers 
    Sadiya Moussa, Vanier Community Service Centre


Thursday, February 16 | Jeudi, 16 février
Online and Hybrid Language Service Delivery Initiatives (Video Recording) (Download all Presentations)

Chair: Carolyn Langdon, Achēv

This workshop will highlight several initiatives that address the need for online and hybrid language service delivery options for adult immigrants. The presentation will cover remote language assessment using the Canadian Language Benchmarks Online Self-Assessment, hybrid language placement assessment processes, one-on-one English language training at a distance in the LINC Home Study program, development of courseware for online and hybrid classes through the National LINC Online Curriculum project, and development of occupation-targeted online language training content in partnership with the Ontario Restaurant Hotel Management Association. We will conclude with an open discussion about the evolving needs of language clients.

  • Hybrid Language Placement Assessment Processes and Occupation Targeted Online Language Training
    Marsha Parry-Folkes, Achēv
  • Canadian Language Benchmarks Online Self-Assessment
    Jennifer Tanudjaja, Achēv
  • LINC Home Study Program
    Carolyn Langdon, Achēv
  • National LINC Online Curriculum Project
    Rafa Khan, Achēv


Tuesday, 21 February | Mardi, 12 février
Overcoming Employer Engagement Challenges: Experiences from Across Canada (Video Recording)
Chair: Rania Younes, Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC)

 Effectively engaging employers of different sizes and sectors/industries in the delivery of responsive and coordinated immigrant settlement services can be challenging. However, service providers and employers often struggle with reflecting on the barriers to engagement. The presentations in this workshop will address various challenges of working and maintaining relationships with employers. We will openly share experiences and insights from immigrant employment councils (IECs) based on research conducted with service provider organizations (SPOs) and employers from different regions across Canada. We will also present practical solutions for overcoming obstacles to achieve effective employer engagement.

  • Understanding and Mitigating Employer Engagement Challenges: Lessons Learned from Newcomer Service Providers and Employers in Canada (Download Presentation)
    Celia Huang, Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC)
  • Intentional Networking-Connecting Business to Talent (Download Presentation)
    Alida Campbell, Halifax Partnership
  • The Power of Purposeful Engagement: A New Approach to Overcoming Barriers to Employer Engagement (Download Presentation)
    Daniel Chen, Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC)
  • Responding to Employer Engagement Challenges Through Programs and Services (Download Presentation)
    Maura McKinnon, New Brunswick Multicultural Council

Tuesday, February 28 |   Mardi, 28 février
The National Gender-Based Violence Settlement Sector Strategy – Building Capacity & Collaboration Across Canada (Video Recording) (Download All Presentations)
Chair: Kathryn Bates-Khan, YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth

Come to this workshop about gender-based violence (GBV) awareness and responses to find out about tools and resources that you can use in your work with newcomers, immigrants and refugees with members of the GBV Settlement Sector Strategy Partnership Project. Throughout the project which started in 2019, we have had the opportunity to engage and consult with experts, leaders, and frontline staff from settlement and anti-violence organizations across Canada. We hope these materials will be useful resources for organizations on the topics of GBV awareness, strategic priorities, and collaborative responses.

This workshop is about:
– Identifying Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGVB) and the impacts for safety of newcomers, immigrants and refugees
– Challenges and barriers – working with the clients experiencing violence
– Using a trauma and violence informed lens, causes of violence, responding to GBV

Presenters include:

  • Charlene Connors, Elmwood Community Resource Centre Winnipeg
  • Margarita Pintin-Perez, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)
  • Valérie Auger-Voyer, Ending Violence Association of Canada
  • Kathryn Bates-Khan, YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth
  • Briana Miller, YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth


Thursday, March 2 | Jeudi, 2 mars
Supercharging Organizational Innovation through Integrated EDI Pathways (Video Recording) (Download All Presentations)
Chair: Colleen Belle, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)

Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) has developed integrated Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) pathways to facilitate and develop the EDI knowledge and capacity of employers, partner organizations, and the community. These pathways empower participants to generate and mobilize EDI knowledge and skills to foster welcoming communities for immigrants to Canada. Presenters will showcase three innovative approaches to EDI, with an emphasis on the future of work ofEDI in the settlement sector. Presenters will demonstrate these approaches through an interactive activity and facilitate a discussion with participants about the application of innovative EDI approaches in their work.

  • Building Welcoming Workplaces through the Atlantic Immigration Program
    Jordan Remedios, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
  • Intercultural Competence in Organizations and Communities: Application within Black Immigrant and Local Black Communities in Nova Scotia
    Colleen Belle, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
  • Developing Anti-Racism in Community Services through Community Based Research
    Tessa Dixon, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)


Tuesday, March 7 | Mardi, 7 mars
Community Solutions to Post-Resettlement Psychosocial Adaptation Challenges: Implications for Policies and Practice (Video Recording) (Download All Presentations)
Chair: Sophie Yohani, University of Alberta

This presentation describes the role of Community Learning for Empowerment Groups (CLEGs) in exploring and supporting the psychosocial adaptation of diverse groups of Syrian refugees (N=62). It will highlight the theoretical roots of CLEGs; the implementation process, strengths, and challenges of CLEGs in the context of this community-based participatory study; and participant-identified solutions to psychosocial adaptation. As a community-based participatory research (CBPR) method, CLEGs are founded on principles of co-learning and community-driven practice to support Syrian refugees’ psychosocial wellbeing during early post-resettlement. This presentation will focus on the community identified solutions and the potential for these solutions to shape policy and practice across sectors to better support refugees’ adaptation.

  • Sophie Yohani, University of Alberta
  • Anna Kirova, University of Alberta
  • Hassan Al Ebrahim, Multicultural Health Brokers Cooperative


Thursday, March 9 | Jeudi, 9 mars
Elevating Training and Entrepreneurship Supports Through Technology (Video Recording)
Chair: Aimee Holmes and Saba Mushtaq, ACCES Employment

Organizations that are open to technology use in service provision and committed to closing the digital divide are better able to engage potential clients and deliver effective programming to achieve outcomes. With practical examples, we will cover a series of approaches and tools that increase interactivity and outcomes in remote and hybrid service delivery models, including tailored digital literacy upskilling and virtual reality training for newcomer jobseekers bound for the construction trades and self-directed online learning platforms offering flexible, tailored support to newcomer entrepreneurs.

  • Blended Learning to Upskill Newcomer Entrepreneurs
    Laura Dowding, Director, ACCES Employment
  • Virtual Reality and Other Innovative Training Approaches
    Suzana Belan, ACCES Employment
  • The Benefits of Centralizing the Procurement of and Staff Training on Virtual Tools
    Aimee Holmes, ACCES Employment


Tuesday, March 14 | Mardi, 14 mars
Making the Grade: Addressing Racism in Schools in Small and Rural Communities (Video Recording)
Chair: Melanie Bailey, PEI Provincial Immigration Partnership Program and Refugee Services Association PEI

The school system is a key institution when it comes to the integration of newcomer families into a community. Small communities may face unique challenges in addressing racism and discrimination in schools. In this workshop, speakers will share research highlighting the need to address racism and discrimination in the school system and anti-racism initiatives geared towards K-12 schools.

  • Large-Scale Public Comments Data in Understanding Public Response to Anti-Racism Education through Social Media (Download Presentation)
    Michelle Lam, Brandon University CARES Research Centre
  • Newcomer Integration in Schools is an Opportunity for Diversity Training (Download Presentation)
    Marc Yvan Valade, Toronto Metropolitan University
  • Anti-Racism Practices in K-12 schools in Small and Rural Centers in Canada (Download Presentation)
    Natalya Brown, Nipissing University


Thursday, March 16 | Jeudi, 16 Mars
Understanding the Experiences of Yazidi Youth (Video Recording) (Download All Presentations)
Chair: Charlotte Finnigan, Western University

This workshop will explore the results from a university-community partnered research study, which explored adjustment to life in Canada for Yazidi youth refugees from their perspective. As part of this research, Yazidi youth created an art piece which represents their migration challenges, successes, and the supports they still require. In this workshop, results from the research study will be explored and Yazidi youth will participate in sharing their artwork. Discussion will be had on how community agencies and support services can use this information to increase the effectiveness of the supports being provided to Yazidi youth refugees in Canada.

  •  Charlotte Finnigan, Western University
  • Jason Brown, Western University
  • Mohamed Al-Adeimi, South London Neighbourhood Resource Centre


Tuesday, March 21 | Mardi, 21 Mars
Newcomers and Racialized Experiences in the Canadian Labour Market: Challenges and Opportunities (Video Recording
Chair: Mohamed Elmi, Toronto Metropolitan University

Newcomers and racialized people have higher rates of unemployment compared to Canadian-born and non-racialized people. This workshop examines the knowledge gaps about the foundational and transferable skills of newcomers and the challenges they, as well as racialized Canadians, face in relation to employment and labour market. In this workshop, researchers from the Diversity Institute at Toronto Metropolitan University, MacEwan University and the University of Fraser Valley will provide insights on responses to overcoming skills and employment barriers for newcomers and racialized Canadians, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on skill levels and employment barriers faced by those groups.

  • Newcomers, Skills, and the Canadian Labour Market: Challenges and Opportunities
    Guang Ying Mo, Toronto Metropolitan University, and Wendy Cukier, Toronto Metropolitan University
  • Exploring Systemic Barriers facing Precariously Employed Racialized Edmontonians: Preliminary Findings (Download Presentation)
    Jennifer Long, MacEwan University, Doriane Intungane, MacEwan University, Hellen Gateri, MacEwan University, and Rita Dhungel, University of Fraser Valley


Tuesday, March 28 | Mardi, 28 Mars
Newcomer Youth and Employment: Findings from a Mixed-Methods Study in the Greater Toronto Area (Video Recording) (Download All Presentations)
Chair: Irene Vaksman, JVS Toronto

The economic integration of newcomer youth is important for their well-being and settlement in the Toronto region. Yet limited current information about newcomer youth’s employment experiences is available. This panel will discuss major findings from a collaborative research project to improve understanding of newcomer youth’s employment-related assets, barriers and needs, as well as their visions for the future of work. The project relied on scoping reviews, surveys and qualitative data collection with newcomer youth and key stakeholders to generate insights and inform strategies to strengthen youth’s employment outcomes. Newcomer youth were engaged in the study as both participants and researchers.

  • A Survey of Newcomer Youth Experiences in the GTA Labour Market
    Sugi Vasavithasan, Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC)
  • A Qualitative Look at Newcomer Youth’s Labour Market Integration in the GTA
    Neda Farahmandpour, JVS Toronto
  • Envisioning the Future of Work From a Newcomer Youth Perspective
    Farzana Propa, WoodGreen Community Services, and Alma Betancourth, WoodGreen Community Services


Thursday, March 30 | Jeudi, 30 Mars

The Newcomer Knowledge Hub: A Community of Practitioners and Academics to Facilitate Research-based Settlement Service Solutions (Video Recording) (Download All Presentations)
Chair: Vibha Kaushik, Immigrant Services Calgary

To address the challenges of immigration, maximize the opportunities and benefits, and promote timely and proactive responses, Immigrant Services Calgary conceptualized the Knowledge Hub (K-Hub), a virtual community of practitioners and academic researchers that share immigrant settlement-related data, solve problems through networking, generate new ideas, and develop sector capacity to improve the services for, and experience of newcomers to Canada. K-Hub will leverage aggregated, anonymized newcomer and settlement outcomes data to identify issues, gaps, and emerging trends in newcomer needs and current settlement programs. This workshop will invite discussion on how anonymized data can be used for improvements within the sector.

  • Vibha Kaushik, Immigrant Services Calgary
  • Ajwang Warria, University of Calgary


Tuesday, April 4 | Mardi, 4, avril
Breaking Barriers: Empowering Newcomers with Open Banking in Canada (Video Recording) (Download All Presentations)
Chair: Mark Dickens, Vambora

Join our workshop to learn about the financial system in Canada and the challenges it creates for newcomers. We will discuss open banking, and how it is being utilized globally across various sectors such as housing, banking, and insurance. Discover why now is the perfect time to disrupt the financial system in Canada and how open banking can be the solution to help newcomers access the products and services they need to succeed. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn and engage in a discussion about the future of finance in Canada.

  • Mark Dickens, Vambora
  • Tyler Adams, Blackline Property Management
  • Nigel Istvanffy, Neo Financial
  • Erik Lapointe, SingleKey

Thursday, April 6 | Jeudi, 6 Avril
Stay in the Know: Expanding Knowledge Mobilization Across the Settlement Sector (Video Recording
Chair: Monina Febria, World Education Services (WES)

Information is constantly evolving. As technology advances and various media platforms serve as knowledge sharing hubs – accessible, and timely information is critical to organizational success across a range of sectors. Especially for organizations working to support immigrant and refugee communities, keeping up to date with rapidly changing information is crucial. This session will highlight some knowledge mobilization platforms already in existence to help equip partners with the tools and strategies they need to stay in the know. Unique insights from this panel will enable individuals and organizations to not only enhance their knowledge sharing practices but inform their work and the communities they serve.


Tuesday, April 11 | Mardi, 11 Arvil
The Role of Internationally Educated Health Professionals (IEHPs) in Addressing Canada’s Health Human Resource Crisis: Intersectoral Collaboration to End Underutilization through Systems Change (Video Recording)
Chair: Mariah Maddock, N4 – National Newcomer Navigation Network

Canada is facing a health human resource crisis. Labour shortages, difficult working conditions, and the growing needs of an ageing population have strained the health system. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these long-standing problems, contributing to burnout and an exodus of health professionals from the workforce. In this context, it is remarkable nearly half (47%) of IEHPs in Canada are unemployed or underemployed. In this workshop, speakers will discuss how an intersectoral Community of Practice is convening stakeholders from across sectors and geographies to develop actional recommendations to support Internationally Educated Nurses and Internationally Trained Physicians obtain optimal employment in Canada.

  •  Joan Atlin, World Education Services (WES)
  •  Caroline Ewen, World Education Services (WES) (Download Presentation)
  •  Sahar Zohni, N4 – National Newcomer Navigation Network – CHEO (Download Presentation)


Thursday, April 13 | Jeudi 13 Avril
International Student Settlement Supports Across and Within Sectors: Challenges and Best Practices in BC, Nova Scotia, and Ontario (Video Recording
Chair: Lisa Ruth Brunner, University of British Columbia

Canada increasingly relies on international students to fill its economic immigration needs. However, its multi-step ‘edugration’ system involves prolonged periods of temporary residence and precarity, and gaps in international student settlement supports are clear. What supports are most urgently needed, and at which stage of the ‘edugration’ process? Who should fund them? Which sectors are best positioned to deliver them? What best practices, especially involving inter-sectoral coordination, exist? What ethical considerations are at play? Speakers from BC, Nova Scotia, and Ontario will highlight key issues and initiatives across and within higher education institutions, governments, and the settlement sector.

  • Alex Kang, BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs
  • Roopa Desai Trilokekar, York University
  • Jennifer Wesman, EduNova Cooperative Ltd.
  • Jenny Francis, Langara College


Tuesday, April 18 | Mardi, 18 Avril
L’Ontario français expliqué par les immigrantes et les immigrants : Une recherche-action (Video Recording)
Présidente : Luisa Veronis, Université d’Ottawa

Cet atelier présentera une recherche-action initiée par les trois Réseaux en immigration francophone de l’Ontario visant à créer une série d’ateliers qui expliquent l’Ontario français aux personnes nouvellement arrivées dans la province. Pour ce faire, nous avons recueilli les témoignages de 20 personnes immigrantes francophones d’origines diverses, établies pour des périodes allant de 2 à 47 ans et habitant à travers la province. Les résultats sont organisés autour de quatre volets principaux : les droits linguistiques des francophones, l’histoire de l’immigration en Ontario français, la valeur ajoutée du bilinguisme et les succès, défis et stratégies des francophones en Ontario.

  • Les origines du projet « L’Ontario français expliqué par les immigrantes et les immigrants » : Le point de vue des RIF de l’Ontario
    Alain Dobi, Réseau en immigration francophone du Centre-Sud-Ouest de l’Ontario, Élise Edimo, Réseau de soutien à l’immigration francophone de l’est de l’Ontario (RSIFEO), Thomas Mercier, Réseau de soutien à l’immigration francophone du nord de l’Ontario, et Jean Claude Nda, Réseau en immigration francophone du Centre-Sud-Ouest de l’Ontario
  •  Les immigrantes et immigrants francophones parlent de leurs expériences et représentations de l’Ontario français : une recherche-action
    Luisa Veronis, Université d’Ottawa, Guillaume Deschênes-Thériault, Université d’Ottawa, François Larocque, Université d’Ottawa, et Monika Jezak, Université d’Ottawa
  • Des ateliers par et pour les immigrantes et immigrants francophones : un aperçu
    Anne Lechowicz, Université d’Ottawa


Thursday, April 20 | Jeudi, 20 Avril
Mind the Gap: Securing Inclusive Pathways for International Students (Video Recording)
Chair: Guliz Akkaymak, World Education Services (WES)

The international student population is rapidly increasing in Canada. International students continue to make tremendous contributions to Canadian society yet experience unique challenges throughout their trajectories. With a complex mix of funding mechanisms, resources, and gaps in services – a comprehensive strategy is needed to better support their integration and equip them for academic success. This panel seeks to unite diverse stakeholders within the international student space to highlight national solutions, both policy and programmatic, towards better supporting current and prospective students.


Tuesday, April 25 | Mardi, 25 Avril
The Impact of Intersectoral Collaboration on Non-Traditional Settlement Sectors: A Case of Local Immigration Partnerships in Ontario (Video Recording
Chair: Blair Cullen, Wilfrid Laurier University

Local Immigration Partnerships are community-based councils whose goal is to develop a local settlement strategy to produce a welcoming community. LIPs’ activity mostly consists of working with non-traditional settlement sectors to increase diversity competency. Using academic and practitioner perspectives, this workshop examines the nature and effectiveness of these collaborations, with a focus on the impacts of LIPs on municipalities and the health sector in Ottawa and Waterloo Region. The presentations will feature a combination of research findings and on-the-ground experiences of LIP personnel to show the inroads intersectoral collaborations can make and challenges they may face with non-traditional settlement sectors.

  • Welcoming Communities, Local Immigration Partnerships and Municipalities: Where do Municipalities fit in a New Immigrant Settlement Landscape? (Download Presentation)
    Blair Cullen, Wilfrid Laurier University, Luisa Veronis, University of Ottawa and Margaret Walton-Roberts, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • How Are Non-Medical Settlement Service Organizations Supporting Access to Healthcare and Mental Health Services for Immigrants: A Scoping Review (Download Presentation)
    Ayesha Ratnayake, University of Ottawa, and Shahab Sayfi, University of Ottawa
  • Best Practices by OLIP and Partners for Refreshing Ottawa Immigration Strategy (OIS) by Developing and Implementing Five Sectoral Table Initiatives (Download Presentation)
    Ayshan Mammadzada, University of Ottawa, and Hindia Mohamoud, Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership