The Pathways to Prosperity 2020 National Conference a Success

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On November 23-25, Pathways to Prosperity held its eighth annual, and first virtual, conference – The Future of Immigration and (Re)Settlement in Canada. More than 1300 service providers, LIPs and RIFs, government representatives, researchers, and other stakeholders from across the country were in attendance. The feedback received on the conference indicates that by all counts, it was a great success, with comments such as:

  • Thank you for putting together such a great conference, it was the highlight of my fall semester. It was wonderful to be able to engage in meaningful exchange with the P2P community, learn from so many colleagues and friends from across the country, and gain useful insights – especially in relation to the impacts of COVID-19…
  • The P2P Conference was AMAZING. Every session was so relevant, inspiring, on trend and timely given our current and rapidly changing landscape…
  • My experience has been positive with the P2P conferences over the past years. P2P organizers have been the eyes and ears of all that impacts immigration. They are the experts and I congratulate them.
  • I think this year’s conference will go down in history as the most unique, creative, and logistically challenging (especially from an IT standpoint). Congratulations for pulling it off, P2P Team.

The first day kicked off with opening remarks and a land acknowledgement by Patrick Hunter, a 2-Spirit Ojibway Artist and Graphic Designer, and an opening address by the Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. The theme for this first day was Immigration and (Re)Settlement in the Time of a Pandemic.   It included two plenary sessions – The Royal Society of Canada Report on COVID-19 and Immigration: Vulnerabilities Revealed and Recommendations for the Future and The Impact of COVID-19 on Marginalized Communities – as well as nine concurrent workshops and two open discussions on research and strategies required for a post-COVID-19 world. The first day ended with live music and spoken word poetry.

The second day of the conference focused on the theme of Toward a Racism and Discrimination Free Canada and was kicked off by Fraser Valentine, Assistant Deputy Minister of Settlement and Integration, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. This was followed by a very engaging and thought-provoking special keynote address by Dr. Christopher Stuart Taylor on Confronting Racism Toward Immigrants to Canada: Links to the Past and Future Prospects. This day also included a plenary on An Intersectional Approach to Understanding and Reducing Discrimination Toward Immigrants and nine concurrent workshops. At the end of the second day, the poster award winners were announced from among more than 30 poster presentations:

  • First Prize: Charlotte Carrie and Jason Brown, University of Western Ontario, and Rajaa Al-Abed and Mohamed Al-Adeimi, South London Neighbourhood Resource Centre, for their poster: Barriers and facilitators to accessing mental health services for migrant youth – Perspective of service providers
  • Second Prize: Xiaohao Wu, Luisa Veronis, and Rachel Walker, University of Ottawa, for their poster: English-speaking and French-speaking international students’ agency and experiences at a bilingual university
  • Third Prize: Idil Ali and Elena Neiterman, University of Waterloo, for the poster: The experience of immigrant informal caregivers navigating healthcare and social services for their child with a developmental disability

On November 25, Pathways to Prosperity held a full-day conference for Local Immigration Partnerships and Réseaux en immigration francophone, focusing on upcoming priorities set by these collaborative enterprises. Entitled – The Evolution of Local Immigration Partnerships and Réseaux en immigration francophone in Effecting Change – the day included two plenary sessions: LIPs and RIFs Combating Racism and Discrimination: What is Our Role and What are Our Boundaries? and The Evolving Role of LIPs and RIFs in Responding to Crises and New Challenges, as well as six breakout sessions.

We would like to thank all presenters and chairs who worked so hard to ensure that the conference was a success. We also thank all of the sponsors for their support – Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, Immigrant Services Calgary, Windmill Mircolending, The Royal Society of Canada, and YMCA of Greater Toronto – Immigrant Services. Additionally, this conference would not have been possible without the generous support of our main funder – Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.

Recordings from all plenary sessions and workshops are available on the virtual conference platform, which remains open to all registered attendees using your personal password. We also encourage you to visit the exhibitors and the posters at your leisure.