Welcome and Opening Remarks (March 16, 2017)
- Yolande James, Conference co-chair
- Jack Jedwab, Conference co-chair, President, Association for Canadian studies / Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration
- Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal
- Kathleen Weil, Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness, Government of Quebec
- The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Government of Canada
Plenary 1: Syrian Refugees, One Year Later (March 16, 2017)
In late 2015 and early 2016, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, other government departments, Provinces and Territories, civil society and business partners, and sponsors across the country worked together to bring more than 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada. How these newcomers are doing is of great interest to many. In order to learn from their experiences, the SSHRC and IRCC launched, in April 2016, a call for proposals to support targeted, practical and actionable research projects on the early settlement and integration experiences of Syrian refugees and the experiences of communities that receive them. Twenty-seven research proposals were funded. This plenary will reflect on what we have learned to date and discuss related policy and implementation questions and how this research will inform refugee settlement and integration in the future.
Plenary 2: Identity and Belonging (March 17, 2017)
For Montreal, Quebec and Canada, recent trends in immigration have broadened notions of identity and belonging – and created new challenges and opportunities for policy makers. Where identity until the 1960s used to be expressed in essentially binary terms – English or French; Roman Catholic or Protestant – other variables where language, religion, gender and culture are concerned are increasingly giving rise to new multiple identities. How does this influence a person’s degree of engagement in civil society, and ultimately social cohesion? Is one’s degree of social participation a function of how one identifies himself/herself as an individual? And if so, how can there be multiple identities without some disengagement? Inside and outside of Quebec, these are some of the questions governments face as they try to re-imagine in 2017 what it means to manage diversity.
Plenary 3: Universities as city builders : Making the Right Connections for Foreign Students (March 17, 2017)
Over the past few years, Canada has been increasingly welcoming international students and is developing policies and strategies geared to facilitating their transition towards permanent resident status. Within 2022, the federal government wishes to double Canada’s foreign student population. Therefore, universities will have to play a greater role in the reception, integration and retention of those young migrants and future graduates. A lesser studied aspect remains the relationship between universities and their environment, each one of them being increasingly defined by ethnic and cultural diversity. Participants in this session will discuss the role universities can play within their communities and the ways in which post-secondary institutions develop innovative strategies aiming to establish relationships with a set of stakeholders involved in the immigration sector. Throughout the presentation of different institutions, we will see how universities participate in the city’s economic, social and cultural development. How can universities inspire their international clientele to stay in their cities after they graduate?