Projects Funded Through 2017 National Call for Proposals

Theme: Economic Integration of Immigrants in Canada

Are SMEs with Immigrant Owners Exceptional Exporters?

Research Team: Horatio Morgan and Sui Sui, Ryerson University

The research aims to examine why immigrant entrepreneurs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) might be drawn to global markets, and how they might fare, compared with their non-immigrant counterparts. It will help in understanding whether immigrant owners primarily shape their export decisions and financial performance through a social capital perspective (immigrant-owned SMEs conducting business abroad tend to rely on their owners’ personal networks for access to internationalization-relevant resources), or a cognitive perspective (immigrant entrepreneurs are susceptible to overconfidence in decisions to conduct business beyond their host country, and thus imprudently intensify their operations in high-risk foreign markets, and incur greater financial loss than their non-immigrant counterparts). The study will use data from Statistics Canada’s Survey on Financing of SMEs and from Schedule 50 of the Corporation Income Tax Return and General Index of Financial Information. The research has the potential to help practitioners, business leaders and policy makers take informed actions that foster the development and growth of immigrant exporting businesses, and thus help accelerate the economic integration of immigrants in Canada.

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Theme: Social and Cultural Integration of Immigrants in Canada

Recognizing the Informal Sector: The Welcoming of Francophone Immigrants in Saskatchewan by Established Immigrants

Research Team: Jérôme Melançon, Michael Akinpelu, and Daniel Kikulwe, University of Regina

The main question that this research project aims to answer is: How can the welcoming and settlement capacities for French-speaking immigrants from Africa be improved? This project has two objectives: (1) to develop a profile of the Francophone community of African origin in Saskatchewan; and (2) to analyze the existing capacities and know-how within the Francophone African community in Saskatchewan (FACS) to contribute to the Francophone communities of the province. These goals are designed to first and foremost answer the questions asked by the FACS to the Canadian Institute for Research on Linguistic Minorities (Centre canadien de recherche sur les francophonies en milieu minoritaire – CRFM). The research will use mixed methods to collect data. For the quantitative approach, the researchers will conduct a survey in French, which will be the key instrument for data collection in Saskatchewan. For the qualitative approach, the researchers will conduct six focus group interviews, each with 5 to 6 participants who will be recruited in Regina. As Francophone immigration must increase in the coming years, the results will contribute to the development of welcoming capacities before they are necessary on a larger scale.

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In Search of Welcoming Neighbourhoods and Adequate Housing: The Experiences of Recent Immigrants in Northeast Ontario

Research Team: Natalya Brown and Anahit Armenakyan, Nipissing University

This project’s initial phase focuses on recent immigrants in North Bay and Timmins. It aims at identifying community characteristics that facilitate or hinder housing integration; examining newcomers’ behaviours and interactions with their neighbours, and perceptions of their neighbourhoods; and studying the use of social marketing by settlement and municipal agencies to foster welcoming neighbourhoods and to create a sense of community for newcomers. The research will involve recruiting newcomers to participate in an online survey; conducting 2 focus groups, each with 8 to 12 participants; conducting interviews with key informants such as settlement workers and landlords; and conducting a content analysis of materials related to anti-racism, integration, tolerance and diversity. To determine whether, over time, immigrants improve their housing situation faster in these communities in comparison to those living in the Greater Toronto Area or in other gateway cities, a study tracking the housing trajectories of a group of immigrants in northeastern Ontario will be conducted with funding sought from a SSHRC Insight Grant.

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Paternity in a Migration Context: Redefinition of the Paternal Role?

Research Team: Saïd Bergheul, Oumar Mallé Samb, University of Québec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue; and Jean Ramdé, Laval University

This research aims to develop knowledge about the realities facing immigrant fathers. It will examine: (a) the peculiarities of their paternal roles; (b) the influence of immigration on their paternal function and involvement; and (c) their post-migration adaptive strategies, in order to design interventions and initiatives that will facilitate an efficient exercise of their paternal roles and involvement. This research will attempt to understand the influence of immigration on their paternal function and involvement from the interviewed fathers’ perspectives. The participants will be recruited among fathers from African, North-African, European, Asian and South-American origins. This range of diversity is chosen because of the need to have a large variety of viewpoints and to have as much information as possible on a reality that is still largely little-known. This knowledge will be especially useful to mental health practitioners and policy-makers.

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Theme: Role of the Settlement Sector and Not-for-Profits in Canada

Portfolio-based Language Assessment in LINC Literacy Classes: The Need for Data to Guide Policy and Practice

Research Investigator: Marilyn L. Abbott, University of Alberta

The project aims to examine the validity of the newly mandated Canadian Language Benchmark-based progress assessment in LINC entitled Portfolio-based Language Assessment (PBLA) from the perspectives of beginning adult English language literacy learners (ELLs); to understand the impact of PBLA on beginning adult ELLs’ learning goals, strategies, motivation, and achievement; and to examine the relationships between instructor assessment knowledge and PLBA practices on ELLs’ assessment knowledge, practices, and learning over time. The grant from Pathways to Prosperity will fund the local pilot study in year one. Four LINC instructors (one instructor of each of the beginning Canadian Language Benchmark levels) and their students will be recruited from local post-secondary institutions to participate in the pilot study. At the end of the study, approximately fifteen of these students (one from each level and first language group) will be selected for individual interviews.

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Theme: Health and Well-being of Immigrants in Canada

Accessing Canadian Healthcare for Immigrants: Empowerment, Voice and Enablement (ACHIEVE)

Research Team: Setareh Ghahari, Queen’s University; Robert Gilmore, Loyola School of Adult and Continuing Education; and Madeleine Nerenberg, KEYS Job Centre

Accessing Canadian Healthcare for Immigrants: Empowerment, Voice & Enablement (ACHIEVE) is a program designed to enable immigrants to build knowledge, experience, and self-confidence in navigating the health care system. This research will undertake a preliminary pre-post effectiveness evaluation of the program, including an assessment of potential outcome measures and testing its feasibility of use in practice. The study participants will be 60 adult immigrants recruited from Kingston and surrounding area, whose ability to speak and listen in English is at the Canadian Language Benchmark 3 or above. They will participate in an ACHIEVE program workshop that covers: An overview/introduction to Ontario’s health care system; Connecting with your family doctor; Communicating better with your healthcare provider; and Overcoming barriers to access health services. Demographic information will be collected from the participants before the start of the program, and the Health Education Impact Questionnaire and Patient Communication Self-Efficacy Scale will be administered before and after completion of the program.

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Theme: Location Decisions of Immigrants to Canada

Who Stays and Who Leaves Atlantic Canada?

Research Team: Howard Ramos, Yoko Yoshida, Dalhousie University; and Michael Haan, Western University

The research aims to explore factors that are relevant to immigration and retention in the Atlantic region and seeks to answer the following four questions: (1) Are there differences in retention of immigrants in rural versus urban regions? (2) Does the National Occupational Classification (NOC) of employment affect retention? (3) Does immigrating with other family members affect retention? and (4) Does how one measures retention affect levels of retention? To answer these questions the 2004 and 2014 Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) will be used, and information for the general population will be extracted from the 2016 Census. Simple tabular and graphical results will be created by province, breaking down retention by 1, 3, 5 and 10 years after landing for different cohorts of immigrants. The study will provide important insight that can contribute to the evaluation of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program.

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