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Two civil society organizations selected to collaborate on research projects

October 31, 2020

In spring 2020, CERC Migration launched a call to civil society organizations to propose research questions that could assist them in their mission to support migrants to Canada. A panel of seven experts evaluated the proposals based on how well they addressed an existing knowledge gap and had impact on the wider community of migration and integration researchers and practitioners.

Based on our evaluation, CERC Migration is pleased to be working with ACCES Employment and the Saskatchewan Association of Immigrant Settlement and Integration Agencies to address research questions that will lead to improved support and outcomes for newcomers to Canada.

The following are the two research projects selected:

I) Social Media Facilitation of the Immigration Journey: From Pre-Arrival Preparation to Settlement and Labour Market Integration in Canada

Research partner: ACCES Employment

Research question: How has social media become a “virtual bridge” for newcomers, contributing to their success in Canada?

This research project, put forward by ACCES Employment, uses an innovative technology lens to address the long-standing issue of the labour market and socio-cultural integration of newcomers in Canada. The research will uncover the successes and best practices of connecting with newcomers through social media by analyzing the impact of pre- and post-arrival social media use on migrants’ success, and will investigate how social media contributes to the stages of a migrant’s journey, including: information gathering, learning, adjustment, connection building, adaptation and integration.

The increasing use of social media among newcomers to learn about Canada’s labour market and local culture is becoming more important for settlement agencies to study so that they can meet the needs of newcomers through this new medium. The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on new immigrants will affect their integration outcomes due to a lack of access to needed settlement services. This research will provide a foundation for understanding how social media and technology can help to alleviate these pressures for new immigrants and improve access to settlement services.


II) The Impact of Settlement Service Provider Organizations (SSPOs) on the Integration and Retention of Newcomers in Saskatchewan’s Small Centres

Research partner: Saskatchewan Association of Immigrant Settlement and Integration Agencies

Research question: How does engagement with a settlement service organization impact the outcomes of a newcomer’s integration into a small Saskatchewan centre, including their job opportunities, sense of belonging and decision to stay?

The research proposal presented by the Saskatchewan Association of Immigrant Settlement and Integration Agencies was selected for its relevance to Canada’s policy goal to retain more new immigrants in small- and medium-sized centres around Canada. This research partnership will uncover the reasons for newcomers leaving small- and medium-sized centres in Saskatchewan, and develop an action plan to improve their retention and integration outcomes. This research project will contribute new perspectives and empirical evidence to our understanding of how immigrants choose where to live and for how long. Given the renewed focus in policy discussions around strategies to increase population growth in Canada’s rural areas, this project is expected to make a large impact on the existing body of research. Specifically, the project will seek to understand the impact that the services of a settlement service organization has on the integration and retention of newcomers in a small urban centre. It will also investigate the factors that play a role in newcomers’ choices to come to, stay or leave the small centres of Saskatchewan, and how settlement service organizations might adapt their services to provide the greatest value to the newcomers in a small centre.

For more information, contact Stein Monteiro at steim@ryerson.ca.