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Scholars of Excellence Workshop – The future of immigration attitudes in Canada: Illuminating blind spots and exploring interventions

September 19, 2023
11:00 AM EDT - 5:30 PM EDT
Hybrid (In person at CERC Migration office / online via Zoom)
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The Scholars of Excellence Workshop series are day-long sessions where international scholars are invited to contribute to complex topics of interest to the academic community. The Workshops are convened by CERC Migration's visiting Scholars of Excellence.

Our September workshop is co-convened by Scholars of Excellence Mireille Paquet, Concordia University and Dan Hiebert, University of British Columbia, and hosted by Anna Triandafyllidou.

Since the year 2000, public attitudes toward immigration and immigrants in Canada have been comparatively positive and stable. But the country is experiencing new tests of this high degree of social approval. Canada is experiencing historically high volumes of the number of temporary migrants (now at over two million), permanent residents (projected to include 500,000 admissions per year by 2025) and asylum claimants (including an unknown number of permits granted to Ukrainians affected by war); and, now, government is exploring the possibility of regularizing the status of undocumented residents.

This workshop explores and forecasts the future of immigration attitudes in a changing Canada through a dialogue between academics and government officials working on this issue. Speakers will consider whether the factors thought to explain the specificity of Canadians’ attitudes toward immigration, which have been seen as robust, remain valid. Participants will evaluate different methods to measure changing perceptions of immigration in Canada and how to best capture the feelings of different publics. The relationship between public communication on the part of government, and public attitudes, will also be considered. Participants will further explore how the experiences of other countries can be leveraged to expand our understanding of immigration attitudes in Canada.

Workshop Agenda
11 AM  EDT Welcome reception
11:15-11:20 AM EDT Welcome: Mireille Paquet, Concordia University, Dan Hiebert, University of British Columbia, and Anna Triandafyllidou, CERC Migration, Toronto Metropolitan University
11:20 AM-1:15 PM EDT

Panel 1: Evidence of changing attitudes toward immigration in Canada and in comparative perspective

Chair: Andrew Parkin, Environics Institute

1:15-2:15 PM EDT Lunch break
2:15-3:45 PM EDT

Panel 2: Interventions aimed at changing public attitudes toward immigration Canada and in comparative perspective

Chair: Dan Hiebert

3:45-4 PM EDT  Coffee Break
4-5:30 PM EDT

Roundtable with Stakeholders

  • Henry Akanko, Hire Immigrants Ottawa
  • Debbie Douglas, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
  • Shamira Madhany, World Education Services
  • Stephan Reichhold, Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes