Summary Report: Consultations and Public Opinion Research on the Future of Immigration in Canada

Table of Contents

Overview and Context

Every fall, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship tables in Parliament the Annual Report on Immigration, which includes an immigration levels plan for the following year. The immigration levels plan details how many immigrants Canada will welcome as permanent residents under the family, economic, refugee, humanitarian and other classes (which include persons admitted on humanitarian or public-policy grounds).

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducted a multifaceted outreach and consultation initiative during the summer of 2016, in part to inform the immigration levels plan for 2017. While IRCC conducts an engagement and consultation exercise annually for the development of the immigration levels plan, this year’s initiative was broadened beyond immigration levels to a national conversation on immigration to Canada.

The initiative included cross-Canada round-table discussions hosted by the Minister or Parliamentary Secretary, webinars with stakeholders hosted by IRCC officials, a call for online written submissions and public opinion research (focus groups and a telephone survey).

The objectives of these consultations were to

  • launch a national conversation on the future of immigration to Canada;
  • obtain a wide range of views from the general public and a variety of stakeholders about immigration levels and the mix between the different classes; and
  • build awareness and support among partners and stakeholders for a more strategic and long-term approach to immigration levels planning.

In addition to this public consultation, IRCC has extensive and ongoing engagement with provinces and territories about immigration levels planning, which is required by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and guided by a jointly developed consultation frameworkFootnote 1.

Consultation Methods

Round-table sessions with the Minister or Parliamentary Secretary

From July 4 to September 7, 2016, the Minister and Parliamentary Secretary hosted a total of 43 round-table sessions with stakeholders across Canada. In-person round-table sessions were held in every province (a total of 23 cities), along with two teleconferences in the territories. Departmental officials moderated all sessions.

Participants included 568 representatives of stakeholder groups, including settlement and refugee resettlement organizations, employers, labour organizations, multicultural and ethno-cultural associations, indigenous representatives, municipalities, academics, educational institutions and other key partners. Approximately 208 observers, including departmental officials, ministerial staff, provincial and territorial partners and members of Parliament, also attended.

Consult Annex A for a complete list of dates, locations and participating organizations.

To help guide the round-table sessions, participants received copies of a discussion document that included specific questions grouped into four broad themes:

  • Strengthening our Canadian fabric
  • Unlocking Canada’s diverse needs
  • Modernizing our immigration system
  • Leadership in global migration and immigration

The full discussion document appears as Annex B.

Following each round-table session, participating stakeholders were invited to provide written feedback on the discussion guide through IRCC’s online submission form or by email.

Webinars led by Departmental Officials

From July 12 to September 1, 2016, IRCC departmental officials hosted a series of webinars to solicit stakeholder views, specifically about immigration levels and classes. IRCC sent invitations to stakeholder organizations that indicated that they were unable to attend a round-table session and to additional organizations further identified by IRCC and provinces. More than 160 representatives from stakeholder groups participated in the webinars. The list of organizations that confirmed their participation in a webinar is found in Annex C.

Webinar Dates
Date Stakeholder group TimeFootnote 2
July 12, 2016 National Settlement Council 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
July 28, 2016 Stakeholders in the Atlantic provinces 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
August 16, 2016 Francophone stakeholders outside Quebec 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
August 24, 2016 Stakeholders in Ontario 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
August 30, 2016 Stakeholders in British Columbia and Alberta 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
September 1, 2016 Stakeholders in Saskatchewan and Manitoba 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Key questions guiding the discussion during the webinars included the following:

  • How many newcomers should we welcome to Canada in 2017 and beyond?
  • How can immigration fill in the gaps in our demographics and economy?
  • Do we have the balance right among the immigration programs or streams? If not, what priorities should form the foundation of Canada’s immigration planning?
  • Currently immigration levels are planned yearly. Do you agree with the thinking that planning should be multi-year?
  • How can we best support newcomers to ensure they become successful members of our communities?

Online Call for Written Submissions

From July 5 to August 5, 2016, the general public and stakeholders were invited to read the discussion guide and submit their views through an online form posted to the IRCC consultations webpage. The form requested the following information:

What perspective you bring:

  • Settlement and resettlement organizations
  • Immigrant-serving organizations
  • Employer associations
  • Chambers of commerce or business councils
  • Labour organizations
  • Multicultural or ethno-cultural associations
  • Municipalities
  • Indigenous groups
  • Academia
  • Educational institutions
  • General public
  • Other

IRCC received a total of 4,677 submissions: 93% from the general public and 7% from stakeholder groups. Departmental staff organized the submissions according to the four themes outlined in the discussion guide: strengthening our Canadian fabric, unlocking Canada’s diverse needs, modernizing our immigration system, and leadership in global migration and immigration. IRCC did not conduct a demographic or regional analysis of the submissions.

Summary of Discussion

N.B. The findings summarized in this section reflect only the views of those who participated in the consultations. The summary of discussion should not be projected as representative of the entire Canadian population or of all IRCC stakeholders. It is intended to provide deeper insight into the underlying reasons for opinions.

The round-table sessions, webinars and online submissions revealed a wide range of views regarding what immigration means and how Canada can continue to grow through immigration. To help frame these views, IRCC used the four broad themes that guided the round-table sessions, webinars and online submissions.

Strengthening our Canadian Fabric

Overall, stakeholders support a measured increase in immigration levels over multiple years that balances regional demographics and economic needs. This support is based on appropriate settlement and integration supports, such as language training, mentoring and health services and employment strategies. Some online submissions from the general public called for reductions in immigration levels, citing concerns with labour-market and sometimes social integration as well as with the costs of integration supports. Stakeholders and some of the general public expressed overall support for immigration levels that meet the objectives associated with the four primary immigration classes (economic, family, refugee and other). Many cited family reunification as important in supporting the integration of newcomers, which includes establishment in communities. Stakeholders highlighted a number of actions that contribute to successful integration, such as

  • access to pre-departure services to prepare newcomers and manage their expectations;
  • enhancement of overseas promotion of rural regions as destinations for newcomers;
  • improvement to credential recognition and skills transfer, increase in mentoring and Canadian work experience opportunities and promotion of alternative career paths;
  • coordination of settlement programs with services such as child care and health and mental health services.

Participants, including stakeholders and the general public, noted that well-managed and comprehensive settlement support is important for the successful economic and social integration of newcomers and that many partners have a role to play. Many recognized that should immigration levels increase, the settlement sector will need time to increase its capacity and bolster programming in areas that provide more specialized services, including literacy and language classes. Stakeholders also highlighted a need to establish capacity in rural areas and develop innovative ways of delivering services to address the broad spectrum of needs that come with serving job-ready, high-human-capital clients, their spouses and dependents and those who are vulnerable or experience multiple barriers to integration. In a number of round-table sessions, webinars and online submissions, francophone stakeholders urged IRCC to do more to achieve its targets for francophone immigration. Many of these stakeholders identified two barriers to the successful integration of francophone newcomers: limited access to settlement services delivered in French and too few links between service provider organizations and francophone organizations outside Quebec.

During discussions about the proper balance of immigration classes and programs, many stakeholders supported exploring pathways to permanent resident status for temporary foreign workers, those working in lower-skilled occupations and international students. Stakeholders also favoured increasing the allocations in the Provincial Nominee Program to better address regional labour shortages and needs.

Unlocking Canada’s Diverse Needs

Throughout the discussions and online submissions, stakeholders and the general public acknowledged that while immigration can help to fill demographic and economic gaps, it is only one component of a larger strategy to meet labour market needs and that it should be balanced with fostering talent within Canada and ensuring that Canadians have the supports and opportunities they need to join and stay in the labour market.

Participants stated that the changing structure of Canada’s workforce presents an opportunity for the country to redesign its labour market and economic immigration programs to create a hub for global talent.

Some stakeholders described a shortage of workers in the skilled trades and indicated that the caps on temporary foreign workers negatively impacted some employers. These stakeholders suggested that the Government of Canada simplify pathways to permanent residence for temporary foreign workers, including those in lower-skilled occupations.

There was also general agreement that international students are an important source of talent and support both economic growth and innovation. Many stakeholders called for additional, more straightforward pathways to permanent residency for international students.

Many stakeholders discussed the opportunities and challenges associated with attracting and retaining newcomers in smaller cities and rural communities.

Modernizing our Immigration System

Overall, stakeholders and some members of the general public supported an approach to planning immigration levels that would be set over several years (multi-year planning) instead of the current approach of publishing one-year plans, provided that plans remain flexible enough to accommodate emerging economic trends, world events and new programs.

Many of the suggestions about modernizing the immigration system focused on criticisms of the services currently provided to clients. These included excessively long processing times and difficulties in reaching a representative of IRCC and in receiving updates on applications or responses to enquiries. Many suggestions called on IRCC to improve processing efficiency by making greater use of technology, such as by adding functions to My Account, the online interface for clients. These functions included the ability to update passport numbers and contact information, to review information already submitted and to display notes from case officers. Stakeholders were generally pleased that many application forms are now available online; however, some felt that the website’s navigation was outdated.

Stakeholders and some members of the general public were generally opposed to making expedited services available for higher fees; most felt that this would create a two-tier system, favouring applicants with more funds. A view commonly expressed was that “you should not be able to pay your way into Canada.” The idea of higher fees for expedited services did attract support from some stakeholders—such as companies that recruit for critical skills in rapidly evolving and competitive industries—as long as the process was transparent and didn’t disadvantage other clients. The consensus was that broad improvements, such as streamlining processes and making better use of technology, would reduce processing times for all.

Leadership in Global Migration and Immigration

There was general consensus among stakeholders that Canada is a leader in refugee resettlement and immigration. Many stakeholders at the round-table sessions indicated that Canada follows most of the established best practices for settlement and integration and that the Government of Canada should facilitate the sharing of these best practices across the country and around the world.

A number of stakeholders and some online responses from the general public indicated that tremendous goodwill and community spirit in favour of immigration exists in Canada. Some stakeholders raised concerns about the need to counter negative rhetoric with education and practical tools; ongoing education about the importance and benefits of immigration would help communities successfully integrate immigrants, foster multiculturalism and overcome xenophobia and discrimination.

Finally, stakeholders noted that to attract top talent, Canada must improve its research capacity and innovation ecosystems through government investment and support. For Canada to remain a model to the world, it must continue to welcome refugees, improve the transparency of immigration processes, decrease processing times and foster collaboration with provinces, territories, municipalities and individual Canadians.

Public Opinion Research

IRCC also conducted public opinion research regarding the perceived purposes, benefits and challenges of immigration, as well as regarding appropriate immigration levels and priorities and Canada’s role and reputation on the international stage.

Focus groups were conducted in Toronto, Winnipeg, Montréal, Vancouver and London between July 11 and August 18, 2016. With the exception of Winnipeg (Indigenous populations), the groups included members of the general public and immigrants. See Annex D for the Executive Summary Report on Qualitative Findings.

IRCC also commissioned a telephone survey of 1,598 members of the general public from August 15 to 31, 2016. The sample included 311 interviews with immigrants to Canada and 179 interviews with members of the Indigenous community. Questions addressed immigration levels and priorities as well as other relevant topics. Annex E presents a summary of survey findings.

Full reports on the focus groups and telephone survey will be posted within six months at Library and Archives Canada.

Annex A - Roundtable Schedule and Participating Organizations

Minister Roundtables

July 4th, 2016
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
3:30pm – 5:00pm

Participating organizations:

  • 3 Points Aviation
  • Biovectra
  • Canadian Federation of Independent Business – PEI (CFIB) / la Fédération canadienne de l’entreprise indépendante (FCEI)
  • Coopérative d’intégration francophone de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard (CIF) / Prince Edward Island's Francophone integration cooperative
  • Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce
  • PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada (PEI ANC) / L'Association pour nouveaux arrivants au Canada de l'Î-P-É (ANC Î-P-É)
  • PEI Seafood Processors Association (PEISPA)
  • Royal Star Foods
  • Study Abroad Canada
  • Sunrise Group

July 5th, 2016
Moncton, New Brunswick
10:00am – 11:30am
1:00pm – 2:30pm

Participating organizations:

  • Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick (AANB) / Alliance agricole du Nouveau-Brunswick (AANB)
  • Atlantic Chamber of Commerce Inc. (ACC) / Chambre de commerce de l’Atlantique Inc.
  • Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) / L'Association du camionnage des provinces de l'Atlantique
  • Bay of Fundy Business Council (BOFBC)
  • CAIENA - Péninsule acadienne
  • Centre d’accueil et d’accompagnement francophone des immigrants du Sud-Est du Nouveau-Brunswick (CAFi)
  • Chambre de Commerce et du Tourisme du Grand Caraquet
  • City of Moncton / Ville de Moncton
  • Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB)
  • Comité atlantique sur immigration francophone (CAIF)
  • Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick inc. (CÉNB)
  • Crescent Valley Resource Centre
  • District scolaire francophone Sud
  • Diversis Inc.
  • Fédération des jeunes francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick (FJFNB)
  • Fredericton Chamber of Commerce
  • Human Development Council (HDC)
  • Ignite Fredericton / Allumez Fredericton
  • J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI)
  • McConnell Transport
  • Mount Allison University
  • Multicultural Association of Carleton County (MACC)
  • Multicultural Association of Fredericton Inc. (MCAF) / Association multiculturelle de Fredericton Inc. (AMCF)
  • Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area (MAGMA) / Association multiculturelle du Grand Moncton (AMGM)
  • North West Resource Center for Newcomers (NWRCN) / Centre de ressources pour nouveaux arrivants au Nord-Ouest inc. (CRNANO)
  • Société de l'Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick (SANB)
  • St. Croix Vineyard (SCV)
  • Université de Moncton (U de M)
  • University of New Brunswick (UNB)
  • YMCA of Greater Saint John

July 6th, 2016
Halifax, Nova Scotia
10:00am – 11:30am
1:00pm – 2:30pm

Participating organizations:

  • Acadian Seaplants Limited (ASL) / Algues Acadiennes Limitée (Algues Acadiennes)
  • Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC) / Conseil économique des provinces de l'Atlantique (CÉPA)
  • Atlantic Region Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies Inc. (ARAISA) / Association des agences au service des immigrants de la région atlantique
  • Cape Breton District Health Authority (CBDHA)
  • Cape Breton Partnership
  • Cohen M Lee QC
  • Conseil de Développement Économique de la Nouvelle-Écosse (CDÉNÉ)
  • Digital Nova Scotia
  • EduNova
  • Halifax Chamber of Commerce
  • Halifax Regional School Board
  • IBM
  • Immigration francophone Nouvelle-Écosse
  • Language Assessment Services of NS (LASNS)
  • Lixar
  • Mac, Mac & Mac
  • New Dawn Enterprises
  • Pacrim Hospitality Services Inc. (PHSI)
  • Pictou Advocate
  • YMCA of Greater Halifax / Dartmouth

July 7th, 2016
St John’s, Newfoundland
10:00am – 11:30am
1:00pm – 2:30pm

Participating organizations:

  • Academy Canada Career College
  • Association for New Canadians (ANC) / Association des nouveaux Canadiens
  • Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador (ARNNL)
  • Axis Career Services
  • Baha’i Community of St. John’s
  • Beachside Manor Ltd
  • Chinese Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (CANL)
  • College of the North Atlantic (CNA)
  • Conseil scolaire francophone provincial de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador (CSFP)
  • Dandy Dan's Fish Market Ltd.
  • Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador (HNL)
  • Human Rights Commission Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Business Coalition
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour (NLFL)
  • Refugee and Immigrant Advisory Council (RIAC)
  • Religious Social Action Coalition of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Réseau de Développement Économique et d’Employabilité de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador (RDÉE TNL) / Newfoundland and Labrador Francophone Economic Development Network
  • Réseau immigration francophone de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador (RIF-TNL)
  • Restaurants Canada
  • St. John’s Board of Trade
  • The Cahill Group
  • Tim Hortons
  • Town of Torbay / Ville de Torbay

July 13th, 2016
Mississauga, Ontario
10:00am – 11:30am

Participating organizations:

  • ACCESS  Employment - Toronto
  • Adult and Continuing Education, Peel District School Board / Conseil scolaire de district de Peel
  • Chinese Association of Mississauga
  • Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
  • Hindu Heritage Centre
  • Jame Masjid Mississauga
  • Mississauga Board of Chinese Professionals and Businesses Activities
  • Mississauga Board of Trade (MBOT)
  • Mississauga Chinese Business Association
  • Mississauga Newcomer Information Centre (NIC)
  • Peel Multicultural Council
  • Peel Newcomer Strategy Group (PNSG)
  • The Compass
  • United Way of Peel Region
  • Visible Minority Re-Settlement & Training Network

July 13th, 2016
Brampton, Ontario
1:00pm – 2:30pm

Participating organizations:

  • ACCESS Employment
  • African Community Services of Peel (ACS)
  • Brampton Multicultural Community Centre
  • Downtown Brampton BIA
  • India Rainbow Community Services of Peel
  • Red Shawl
  • Sheridan College
  • World Sikh Organization

July 14th, 2016
Waterloo, Ontario
10:00am – 11:30am
1:00pm – 2:30pm

Participating organizations:

  • Clearpath Robotics
  • Communitech
  • Conestoga College
  • Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI)
  • Danby Group
  • Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC)
  • Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre (KWMC)
  • Linamar
  • Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Canada
  • Mennonite Coalition of Refugee Support (MCRS)
  • Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration (MRCSSI)
  • Muslim Society of Guelph (MSOG)
  • Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services
  • Regional Municipality of Waterloo
  • THS Industries Ltd.
  • University of Guelph
  • University of Waterloo
  • Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB)
  • Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB)
  • Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB)
  • Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin

July 15th, 2016
Scarborough, Ontario
10:00am – 11:30am
1:00pm – 2:30pm

Participating organizations:

  • Afghan Women's Organization (AWO)
  • Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA)
  • Armenian Community Centre of Toronto (ACCT-SAH)
  • Armenian Family Support Services (AFSS)
  • Birchmount Bluffs Neighbourhood Centre (BBNC)
  • Canada One Family Network (COFN)
  • Canadian Arab Federation / la fédération Canado-Arabe (CAF)
  • Canadian Centre for Immigrant and Refugee Health, University of Toronto (CCRIHC)
  • Canadian Tamils’ Chamber of Commerce (CTCC)
  • Catholic Community Services of York Region (CCSYR)
  • Catholic Crosscultural Services (CCS)
  • Centre for Information & Community Services (CICS)
  • Cross-cultural Professionals Association of Canada (CPAC)
  • City of Markham
  • COMITES Toronto/York
  • Dr. Roz's Healing Place
  • Social Services Network (SSN)
  • Gateway Staffing
  • Job Skills
  • Labour Education Centre
  • Levant Settlement Centre
  • Lifeline Syria
  • Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services
  • Muslim Welfare Centre
  • Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)
  • Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce
  • Richmond Hill & Markham Chinese Business Association (RHMCBA)
  • Senior Tamils Centre of Ontario
  • Settlement Assistance and Family Support Services (SAFSS)
  • Toronto District School Board (TDSB) - Newcomer Services
  • The Lighthouse
  • Welcome Centre Immigrant Services
  • Whittamore’s Farm

July 19th, 2016
Toronto, Ontario
10:00am – 11:30am
1:00pm – 2:30pm

Participating organizations:

  • Arab Community Centre of Toronto (ACCT)
  • Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants / L’Association canadienne des conseillers professionnels en immigration (CAPIC-ACCPI)
  • Canadian Auto Workers (CAW)
  • Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC)
  • Canadian Ukrainian Immigrant  Aid Society (CUIAS)
  • CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses
  • Central Neighbourhood House (CNH)
  • Ontario Association of Adult and Continuing Education School Board Administrators (CESBA)
  • CivicAction
  • COSTI Immigrant Services
  • George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology
  • Immigrant Access Fund of Canada Inc. (IAF)
  • Lifeline Syria
  • Maple Leaf Foods
  • Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
  • Mosaic Institute
  • Neighbourhood Legal Services
  • Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)
  • Ontario Metropolis Centre (CERIS)
  • Rainbow Railroad
  • Rexdale Women's Centre
  • Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre (RIWC)
  • South Asian Bar Association (SABA)
  • The 519
  • Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB)
  • Toronto Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (THCC)
  • Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC)
  • Torys LLP
  • Touchstone Institute
  • Ubisoft
  • University of Toronto
  • Munk School of Global Affairs
  • Vietnamese Association of Toronto (VAT)
  • Wellesley Institute
  • WoodGreen Community Services
  • YWCA Canada

August 5th, 2016
Toronto, Ontario
9:30am – 11:30am

Participating organizations:

  • Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT)
  • Community Action Resource Centre (CARC)
  • Eglinton St. George's United Church
  • Fairlawn Avenue United Church
  • Family Matter Nannies
  • FIL-CORE Support Group
  • Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) Toronto
  • Korean Canadian Women's Association (KCWA)
  • Midaynta Community Services
  • Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL)
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  • Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office
  • Toronto Region Board of Trade
  • University Settlement
  • Wee Care Placement Agency
  • Willowdale Community Legal Services
  • York University

August 5th, 2016
Toronto, Ontario
9:30am – 11:30am

Participating organizations:

  • BC Muslim Association
  • City of Richmond
  • City of Surrey
  • Crossroads United Church
  • Delta Safe Haven
  • Delta School District
  • DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society
  • Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association
  • Family Services of Greater Vancouver
  • Kang & Company
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Mission Community Services Society
  • Options Community Services
  • Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS)
  • Richmond Chamber of Commerce
  • Specialty Ethnic Food Services Association of Canada (SEFSAC)
  • Surrey Board of Trade
  • Umoja Operation Compassion Society

August 16, 2016
Surrey, British Columbia
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Participating organizations:

  • BC Muslim Association
  • City of Richmond
  • City of Surrey
  • Crossroads United Church
  • Delta Safe Haven
  • Delta School District
  • DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society
  • Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association
  • Family Services of Greater Vancouver
  • Kang & Company
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Mission Community Services Society
  • Options Community Services
  • Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS)
  • Richmond Chamber of Commerce
  • Specialty Ethnic Food Services Association of Canada (SEFSAC)
  • Surrey Board of Trade
  • Umoja Operation Compassion Society

August 17, 2016
Vancouver, British Columbia
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Participating organizations:

  • Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC (AMSSA)
  • Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
  • Association of Caregiver & Nanny Agencies Canada (ACNA)
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC
  • British Columbia and Yukon Territory Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Burnaby Multicultural Society (BMS)
  • Coalition of BC Businesses
  • EY Law LLP
  • Fairmont Shipping (Canada) Limited
  • Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique (FFCB)
  • Fresh Voices
  • Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House
  • go2 Tourism HR Society
  • Immigration Services Society of BC (ISS of BC)
  • Inland Refugee Society of BC (IRS-BC)
  • Journey Home Community
  • Kurland Tobe Immigration Law Firm
  • Langara College
  • Multicultural Helping House Society (MHHS)
  • Multilingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communities (MOSAIC)
  • North Shore Multicultural Society (NSMS)
  • Pacific Immigrant Resource Society (PIRS)
  • Pacific NorthWest LNG Ltd
  • Rainbow Refugee Committee Vancouver (RRC)
  • S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
  • Seaspan ULC
  • Simon Fraser University (SFU)
  • Société de développement économique de la Colombie-Britannique (SDECB)
  • South Vancouver Neighbourhood House (SVNH)
  • Teck Resources Ltd.
  • Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia (TIABC)
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of British Columbia Alma Mater Society (UBC - AMS)
  • Greater Vancouver Board of Trade (GVBOT)
  • Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC)
  • Vancouver International Maritime Centre (VIMC)
  • Whistler Blackcomb

August 18, 2016
Edmonton, Alberta
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Participating organizations:

  • Alberta Construction Association (ACA)
  • Accès Emploi
  • Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL)
  • Alberta Food Processors Association (AFPA)
  • Alberta Health Services (AHS)
  • Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA)
  • Alberta Teachers of English as a Second Language (ATESL)
  • Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA)
  • Alberta Workforce Essential Skills (AWES)
  • Association de tous les Francophone de l'Alberta (ACFA)
  • Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA)
  • Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET)
  • Building Trades of Alberta (BTA)
  • Campus Saint-Jean (University of Alberta)
  • Canadian Volunteers United in Action Society / L'Association des Volontaires unis dans l'action au Canada (CANAVUA)
  • Catholic Social Services
  • Central Alberta Refugee Effort (C.A.R.E.)
  • Centre d'accueil et d'établissement du Nord de l'Alberta (CAE)
  • Centre for Race and Culture (CRC)
  • City of Edmonton
  • Edmonton Chamber of Commerce
  • Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers (EMCN)
  • Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
  • Immigration Care
  • Indo Canadian Women's Association (ICWA)
  • MacEwan University
  • Migrante Alberta
  • NorQuest College
  • Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce
  • Somali Canadian Education and Rural Development Organization (SCERDO)

August 19, 2016
Calgary, Alberta
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Participating organizations:

  • Lethbridge Family Services
  • Ackah Business Immigration Law
  • Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA)
  • Building Trades of Alberta (BTA)
  • Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre (ACLRC)
  • Asian Heritage Foundation (AHF)
  • Bow Valley College
  • Brooks and County Immigration Services (BSIC)
  • Calgary Board of Education (CBE) / Conseil scolaire de Calgary (CSC)
  • Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth (CBFY)
  • Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD)
  • Calgary Chamber of Commerce
  • Calgary Immigrant Educational Society (CIES)
  • Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA)
  • Calgary Regional Immigration Employment Council (CRIEC)
  • Centre for Newcomers
  • City of Calgary
  • Connexion Carrière
  • Dashmesh Culture Centre
  • Immigrant Access Fund of Canada (IAF)
  • Immigrant Services Calgary
  • National Cattle Feeders’ Association (NCFA) / Association nationale des engraisseurs de bovins (ANEB)
  • SAAMIS Immigration Services Association
  • Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute
  • Stewart Sharma Harsanyi Law
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Lethbridge
  • Van Horne Institute
  • YMCA Calgary

August 29, 2016
Ottawa, Ontario
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Participating organizations:

  • Business Council of Canada / Conseil canadien des affaires
  • Canada Korea Society
  • Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) / Conseil Canadien pour les ressrouces humaines en agriculture (CCRHA)
  • Canadian Chamber of Commerce / Chambre de commerce du Canada
  • Canadian Construction Association (CCA) / Association canadienne de la construction (ACC)
  • Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) – Canada / Fédération canadienne de l’entreprise indépendante (FCEI) - Canada
  • Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) / Congrès du travail du Canada (CTC)
  • Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) / Association canadienne de santé publique (ACSP)
  • Canadian Teachers Federation (CTF) / Fédération canadienne des enseignantes et des enseignants (FCE)
  • Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks / Centre des niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens
  • Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs / Conseil canadien pour la défense et la promotion des Juifs et d’Israël (CIJA)
  • Chinese Community Association & Ottawa Chinese-Canadian Heritage Centre
  • Conference Board of Canada
  • Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO)
  • FCJ Refugee Centre
  • Fédération des Communautés Francophones et Acadienne du Canada (FCFA)
  • Hotel Association of Canada (HAC)
  • Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) / Conseil de Réglementation des Consultants en Immigration du Canada (CRCIC)
  • Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) / Conseil des technologies de l’information et des communications (CTIC)
  • La Cité des affaires
  • Medical Council of Canada / Conseil medical du Canada
  • Metropolis Project - Carleton University
  • Ottawa Catholic School District (OCSB)
  • Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB)
  • Philippine Migrants Society of Canada (PMSC)
  • Public Policy Forum (PPF) / Forum des politiques publiques (FPP)
  • Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité (RDÉE Canada)
  • Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité - Ontario (RDÉÉ-Ontario)
  • Tourism HR Canada / RH Tourisme Canada
  • United Way Centraide Canada
  • Universities Canada / Universités Canada
  • Volunteer Canada / Bénévoles Canada
  • World Skills Employment Centre
  • YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region / YMCA-YWCA de la région de la capitale nationale

August 30, 2016
Northwest Territories and Nunavut
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Participating organizations:

  • Carrefour Nunavut
  • Conseil de développement économique des Territoires du Nord-Ouest (CDÉTNO)
  • Diamond Financial Services Northwest Territories
  • Explorer Hotel
  • Federation Franco-Tenoise (FFT)
  • Javaroma Gourmet Coffee & Tea
  • NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines
  • Réseau d’immigration francophone des Territoires du Nord-Ouest (RIFTNO)
  • Stantec Architecture Ltd
  • Stantec Consulting Ltd.
  • Tim Hortons

September 7, 2016
1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Participating organizations:

  • Yukon Status of Women Council
  • Yukon Registered Nurses Association (YRNA)
  • Yukon Federation of Labour
  • Yukon Chamber of Commerce
  • Stantec Consulting Ltd.
  • Multicultural Centre of the Yukon (MCY)
  • MJ Thorpe Restaurant
  • Association of Professional Engineers of Yukon
  • Association franco-yukonnaise (AFY)

Parliamentary Secretary Roundtables

July 12, 2016
Regina, Saskatchewan
10:00 a.m.  - 11:30 a.m.
1:00 p.m.  - 2:30 p.m.

Participating organizations:

  • Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise (ACF)
  • Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS)
  • Brandt Group of Companies
  • Conseil des écoles fransaskoises (CÉF)
  • Conseil économique et coopératif de la Saskatchewan (CÉCS)
  • Global Transportation Hub (GTH)
  • Regina Immigrant Women's Centre
  • Regina Open Door Society (RODS)
  • Réseau en immigration francophone de la Saskatchewan (RIF-SK)
  • Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association (SCA)
  • Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL)
  • Saskatchewan Mining Association
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic
  • The Mosaic Company
  • Tourism Saskatchewan
  • University of Regina
  • University of Regina Students' Union (URSU)
  • Western Canadian Wheat Growers

July 13, 2016
Winnipeg, Manitoba
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Participating organizations:

  • Accueil francophone du Manitoba
  • Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM)
  • Canada West Foundation
  • Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR)
  • Conseil de développement économique des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba (CDEM)
  • Division scolaire franco-manitobaine (DSFM)
  • Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW)
  • Hylife Limited
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations (MANSO)
  • Manitoba Chambers of Commerce
  • Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MIIT)
  • Manitoba Interfaith Immigrant Council (MIIC)
  • Manitoba Trucking Association
  • Mennonite Central Committee
  • Newcomers Employment & Education Development Services (NEEDS) Inc
  • Protegra
  • Regional Connections
  • Société franco-manitobaine
  • Université de Saint-Boniface
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Winnipeg
  • World Trade Centre Winnipeg (WTCW)

July 14, 2016
Thunder Bay, Ontario
10:00 a.m.  - 11:30 a.m.
1:00 p.m.  - 2:30 p.m.

Participating organizations:

  • Association des Francophones du Nord Ouest d'Ontario (AFNOO)
  • City of Thunder Bay
  • Community Living Thunder Bay
  • Construction Association Of Thunder Bay
  • Lakehead University
  • Lakehead University Student Union (LUSU)
  • Racialized Young Professionals
  • Réseau de soutien à l'immigration francophone du Nord de l'Ontario
  • Right to Refuge
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Thunder Bay
  • Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce
  • Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC)
  • Thunder Bay Country Market
  • Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Centre (TBIFC)
  • Thunder Bay Multicultural Association
  • Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) / Centre régional des sciences de la santé de Thunder Bay
  • YES Employment Services

July 15, 2016
Sudbury, Ontario
10:00 a.m.  - 11:30 a.m.
1:00 p.m.  - 2:30 p.m.

Participating organizations:

  • Cambrian College
  • Church of the Epiphany, Sudbury
  • City of Sudbury
  • Contact interculturel francophone de Sudbury (C.I.F.S.)
  • Greater Sudbury Police Service
  • Lifeline Sudbury
  • Réseau en immigration francophone du Nord de l'Ontario (Réseau du Nord)
  • St. Peter's United Church
  • Sudbury Catholic District School Board
  • Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association (SMFAA)
  • Laurentian University / Université Laurentienne

August 8, 2016
Toronto, Ontario
1:00pm - 3:00 p.m.

Participating organizations:

  • CultureLink
  • Desloges Law Group (DLG)
  • EGALE Canada
  • HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO)
  • Romero House
  • South Asian Women's Centre
  • Tibetan Canadian Culture Centre

August 9, 2016
London, Ontario
10:00 a.m.  - 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Participating organizations:

  • Access Centre for Regulated Employment
  • Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario (ACFO de London-Sarnia)
  • City of London
  • Collège Boréal - London
  • Fanshawe College
  • London Cross Cultural Learner Centre (CCLC)
  • London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC)
  • London Middlesex Immigrant Employment Council (LMIEC)
  • London Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership (LMLIP)
  • South London Neighbourhood Resource Centre (SLNRC)
  • Western University
  • WIL Employment Connections
  • YMCA of Western Ontario – Windsor

August 10, 2016
Niagara Region
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Participating organizations:

  • Brock University
  • Niagara College
  • Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre
  • Niagara Region
  • Spicy Thai
  • Welland Heritage Council and Multicultural Centre
  • YMCA of Niagara

August 11, 2016
Ajax, Ontario
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Participating organizations:

  • Community Development Council Durham (CDCD)
  • Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB)
  • Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre
  • Local Diversity and Immigration Partnership Council (LDIPC)
  • Pickering Islamic Centre
  • Town of Whitby
  • Ukranian Canadian Congress
  • Welcome Centre for Immigrant Services
  • Women’s Multicultural Resource and Counselling Centre of Durham (WMRCC)

August 12, 2016
Hamilton, Ontario
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Participating organizations:

  • City of Hamilton
  • Colombian Refugees Association
  • Global Peace Council Canada
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB)
  • Halton Multicultural Council
  • Hamilton-Brantford Building & Construction Trades Council
  • Immigrants Working Centre (IWC)
  • Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology
  • Réseau de soutien à l’immigration francophone pour le Centre Sud-Ouest de l’Ontario
  • Sexual Assault & Violence Intervention Services of Halton  (SAVIS of Halton)
  • Sevenstar Sports
  • Sheridan College
  • South Yemen Association
  • Terra Firma Halton

Annex B - Discussion Document

Canada’s Continuing Story of Immigration – The Next Chapter

Immigration Consultations: Spring–Summer 2016 Discussion Document


Since the first newcomers arrived on Canadian soil, a sense of possibility, innovation and discovery has been a defining part of our national identity.

Although times and conditions may have changed, 21st-century newcomers to Canada have retained that innovative spirit, enriching the communities where they settle and helping to ensure the Canada of tomorrow remains as dynamic as the country of yesterday.

Canada’s strength lies in its diversity. Indeed, the story of Canadian immigration is inseparable from the story of Canada itself.

The Government of Canada is asking Canadians from coast to coast to coast to help write the next chapter of that story. We are committed to an immigration system that supports diversity and helps to grow the economy, as it strengthens the fabric of our society.

Through wide-ranging consultations, we want to hear what immigration means to you and how we can continue to grow our nation through the immigration system.

The findings of these consultations will help us as we determine the way forward on immigration to Canada.

Through this process, we will be looking to the future and taking inspiration from the spirit of possibility that has defined our history.

It is an ambitious undertaking. We are, in effect, laying part of the Canadian foundation for the next 150 years.

Strengthening our Canadian fabric

Canada is the product of its people. Our government, laws, social beliefs and traditions all come from the people who live here.

Newcomers have a strong desire to be part of their community, to be accepted and to prove they can be successful. All of us play a role in helping newcomers integrate and be accepted into our communities.

When we welcome and integrate newcomers, we strengthen Canadian society. Newcomers are active members in communities large and small. They bring new energy to daily life and help make Canada successful by growing our diverse society, culture and economy.

Immigration also brings families together. As more Canadians travel the world, some build their families abroad. The reunification of these families in Canada is a priority for the Government of Canada.

  1. How many newcomers should we welcome to Canada in 2017 and beyond?
  2. How can we best support newcomers to ensure they become successful members of our communities?
  3. Do we have the balance right among the immigration programs or streams? If not, what priorities should form the foundation of Canada's immigration planning?

Unlocking Canada’s diverse needs

Every newcomer helps build our country. The contributions that all immigrants bring to Canada result in jobs, innovation and economic growth.

Immigrants bring new perspectives as they experience Canada through their own cultures.

That fresh perspective can lead to inspiration and discovery, revitalising Canadian traditions with a new energy and innovation.

Across Canada, immigrants build many new successful businesses and organizations. With an aging population and communities across Canada becoming short on a young labour force, immigration is seen as a possible solution.

  1. How can immigration play a role in supporting economic growth and innovation in Canada?
  2. Should there be more programs for businesses to permanently hire foreign workers if they can't find Canadians to fill the job?
  3. What is the right balance between attracting global talent for high-growth sectors, on the one hand, and ensuring affordable labour for businesses that have historically seen lower growth, on the other?
  4. How can immigration fill in the gaps in our demographics and economy?
  5. What Canadian values and traditions are important to share with newcomers to help them integrate into Canadian society?

Modernizing our immigration system

The success of Canadian immigration depends partly on the systems we use to process applications and the service we provide to clients. In a 21st-century world, we need modern systems to stay competitive internationally.

Serving clients well with fast and efficient processing is important as we plan for the future. This means making sure applicants can easily learn the status of their application and have confidence that they will get a fast and fair decision.

We have made good progress on this, but we know we can do better to meet the changing needs of our clients.

  1. Currently, immigration levels are planned yearly. Do you agree with the thinking that planning should be multi-year?
  2. What modernization techniques should Canada invest in for processing of applications?
  3. What should Canada do to ensure its immigration system is modern and efficient?
  4. Is there any rationale for providing options to those willing to pay higher fees for an expedited process?

Leadership in global migration and immigration

The reasons why people leave their homes and move to a new country are always changing. Poverty, instability and war, among other things, mean that more people are leaving their homes to build new lives in other countries.

Canada has always been proud to provide a new home to those in need.

We have a wide range of programs in place to help newcomers. Our settlement program is recognized around the world.

Canada is also a destination of choice for students and workers with skills and experience from around the world.

Other countries often look to Canada’s immigration practices as a model for their own. The international profile of our immigration system is one of the reasons for this.

  1. Is it important for Canada to continue to show leadership in global migration? If so, how can we best do that?
  2. How can Canada attract the best global talent and international students?
  3. In what ways can Canada be a model to the world on refugees, migration and immigration?

Annex C - Organizations that confirmed participation in a Webinar


  • Accès Emploi
  • Accueil francophone du Manitoba
  • ACFA Calgary
  • ACIC Inc.
  • Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC
  • Agricultural Sector Council
  • Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
  • Al Nadwa Islamic Centre
  • Alberta Food Processors Association
  • Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association
  • Alberta Roadbuilders and heavy construction association
  • Allen and Hodgeman
  • Alliance of Manitoba Sector Councils
  • Arcola East Community Centre
  • Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise
  • Assiniboine Community College
  • Association des Collèges et Université de la Francophonie Canadienne
  • Association for New Canadians
  • Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan
  • Aura


  • BC Assembly of First Nations
  • BC Colleges
  • BC LNG Alliance
  • BC Technology Industries Associations


  • Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Canadian Arab Federation
  • Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors
  • Canadian Caribbean Association
  • Canadian Centre for Refugee & Immigrant Health Care
  • Canadian Council for Refugees
  • Canadian Federation of Independent Business
  • Canadian Islamic Congress
  • Canadian Luthern World Relief, Refugee Program
  • Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute
  • Canadian Restaurant and Food Services Association
  • Canadian Tamil Congress
  • Cape Breton Partnership
  • CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses
  • Catholic Family Services of Peel
  • Centre d'accueil et d'etablissement du Nord de d’Alberta
  • Centre d’accueil pour les nouveaux arrivants francophone
  • Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
  • Chinese Professional Association of Canada
  • Cité collégiale
  • City of Kelowna
  • City of Moncton
  • City of Sudbury
  • City of Victoria
  • Clef pour l'intégration au travail des immigrants
  • Coalition of BC Businesses
  • Collège Boreal
  • Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick
  • Comité Atlantique sur l’immigration francophone
  • Commercial Production Association of Western Canada
  • Confederation College
  • Conseil de développement économique des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba
  • Conseil des organismes francophones de la région de Durham
  • Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick
  • Copernicus Studios Inc.
  • COSTI Immigrant Services
  • Cox & Palmer


  • Digital Nova Scotia
  • Double Negative
  • Durham Community Development Council
  • Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre


  • Eastman Immigrant Services
  • Ecole technique et Professionnelle
  • Economic Development Brandon
  • Edmonton Chamber of Commerce
  • Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers
  • Ethnic Chambers Division, Ontario Chamber of Commerce


  • Fanshawe College
  • Federation of Muslim Women
  • Fédération des Communautés Francophones et Acadienne
  • Fédération franco-ténoise
  • Filipino-Chinese Association of BC
  • Fresh Voices


  • Global Gathering Place
  • Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce
  • Great Northern Peninsula Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Go2HR


  • Habitat for Humanity Missisauga-Halton
  • Halifax Regional Business and Community Economic Development Association
  • Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Halton Mosque Interfaith Youth Group
  • Holland College
  • Humboldt Regional Newcomer Center


  • Immigrant Centre
  • Immigrant Employment Council of BC
  • Immigration Francophone Nouvelle-Ecosse
  • Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia
  • Information and Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba
  • Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria
  • Interfaith Council of Halton
  • International College of Manitoba
  • International Women of Saskatoon


  • Jaggi Law Office
  • Jain Society of Toronto
  • Jamaican Canadian Association
  • Jewish Vocational Service of Metropolitan Toronto


  • Le Carrefour francophone de Sudbury
  • Lebanese Chamber of Commerce
  • Liuna 183 - Tri Fund
  • Local Immigration Partnership Halifax
  • London Cross Cultural Learner Centre


  • Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations
  • Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council
  • Manitoba Pork Council
  • Marina Nemat
  • Mennonite Central Committee Canada
  • Mennonite New Life Centre
  • Meridian Manufacturing Inc.
  • Mission Community Services
  • Moose Jaw Multicultural Council
  • Mount St. Vincent
  • Multicultural Association of Chaleur Region
  • Multicultural Centre of the Yukon
  • Municipalities Newfoundland
  • Munro Law Office
  • Muslim Association of Canada
  • Muslim Chamber of Commerce


  • National Congress of Italian Canadians – Ontario
  • New Canadians' Centre of Excellence Inc
  • New Brunswick Community College
  • New Brunswick Multicultural Council
  • Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre
  • Norquest College


  • Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
  • Ontario Network of Employment Skills Training Projects


  • Pacific Immigrant Resource Society
  • Pacific Northwest LNG
  • PIRS
  • Punjabi Community Health Services


  • RCI Capital Group
  • Regina Immigrant Women's Centre
  • Regina Newcomer Welcome Centre
  • Regional Connections, Manitoba
  • Region of Waterloo
  • Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité (RDÉE Canada)
  • Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité de la Nouvelle Ecosse
  • Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité de la Saskatchewan
  • Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité de l'Ontario
  • Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité du Nouveau Brunswick
  • Réseau de Soutien à l'immigration francophone de l'Est de l'Ontario
  • Réseau de soutien à l’immigration francophone pour le Centre Sud-Ouest de l’Ontario
  • Réseau de Soutien à l'immigration francophone Yukon
  • Réseau en immigration francophone de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador
  • Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia
  • Richmond Multicultural Community Services


  • Sask Pork
  • Saskatchewan Intercultural Association
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic
  • Saskatoon Open Door Society
  • St. Lewis Adult Learning Centre
  • Saint Mary’s University
  • Seneca College - Newnham Campus
  • Social Planning Council of Winnipeg Inc.
  • South Central Immigrant Services
  • Southeast Newcomer Services
  • Southern Alberta Language Assessment Services Ltd
  • Stewart McKelvey
  • Sudbury Chamber of Commerce


  • T4G
  • Teixeira Group of Companies
  • Terra Firma Halton
  • Tourism Saskatchewan
  • Toronto Catholic District School Board
  • Toronto District School Board
  • Toronto Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Town of Bridgewater
  • Town of Whitby


  • Ukrainian Canadian Congress
  • Université de Saint-Boniface
  • University of Ontario Institute of Technology
  • University of Regina Students' Union
  • UR Pride Centre, University of Regina


  • Vancouver Board of Education (Vancouver School Board - District 39)
  • Vancouver Economic Commission
  • Vietnamese Community Centre of Mississauga


  • Welcome Centre Immigrant Services
  • Westcap Mgt. Ltd.
  • WIL Counselling and Training for Employment
  • Winnipeg Construction Association
  • Winnipeg English Language Assessment and Referral Centre
  • Working Women Community Centre


  • Yazidi Community
  • YMCA of Greater Toronto
  • YMCA
  • Yorkton Newcomer Welcome Centre

Annex D - Report on Qualitative Findings

Qualitative Research On Immigration – Summer 2016

Report on Qualitative Findings

Submitted to
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Prepared By

Ce rapport est aussi disponible en français.

EP363-140000-012- Series C Qualitative
Contract Number B8815-170100/001/CY
POR number: 013-16
Awarded June 21, 2016

Project 11158-010
September 9, 2016

Executive Summary

Leger is pleased to present Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) with this report on findings from a series of focus groups on Immigration in Canada. This report was prepared by Leger who was contracted by IRCC (contract number B8815-170100/001/CY awarded June 21, 2016).

1.1 Background and Objectives

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is currently engaged in planning immigration levels and Canada’s immigration priorities.  The Department identified a need for qualitative (focus group) research, in order to assess the Canadian public’s views on immigration to Canada.

The main objective of the research is to provide IRCC with insights on issues which may include the following:

  • Views on Canada as a country of immigration and the values and goals Canada should pursue;
  • Views on Canada as a settlement country;
  • Immigration levels and how potential changes in levels should impact immigration categories;
  • Views/expectation of the Government of Canada; and
  • Communication needs and preferences.

Public attitudes toward immigration levels are of key importance to IRCC’s policies and programs. The information gained through this public opinion research will be shared throughout the Department. The research was designed to assist it when establishing priorities, developing policies and communications products and strategies, and planning programs and services.

1.2 Methodology


A total of ten (10) in-person focus groups were held in five (5) different locations. Two separate groups were conducted in each location, for a total of 10 groups. One group was among members of the general population and the other group among recent immigrants, with the exception of Winnipeg where sessions were held with indigenous peoples.

Twelve (12) participants were recruited for each group in anticipation that in the event of last minute cancellations there would be 8 to 10 individuals attending in each group.  Each group lasted approximately 2 hours.

City Composition Language Recruited Show ups Participated Tentative Date
Toronto, ON Gen Pop
English 24 23 20 July 11, 2016
Winnipeg, MB Indigenous Peoples English 24 23 20 July 13, 2016
Vancouver, BC Gen Pop
English 24 24 20 August 16, 2016
Montreal, QC Gen Pop
French 24 23 20 August 4, 2016
London, ON Gen Pop
English 24 22 19 August 18,2016
Total     120 115 99  

General Population Groups: More specifically, the general public group included a good representative mix of:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Residency status
  • Income
  • Education

Immigrant Groups: The groups among recent immigrants to Canada included an appropriate mix of:

  • Newcomers (less than 5 years) * Minimum of 5 participants
  • Recent immigration (5 to 15 years)
  • Ethnocultural groups (varied by location according to immigration patterns)
Aboriginal Groups: Winnipeg

In Winnipeg, both sessions were composed of Indigenous peoples, with one group held with women and the other with men.

At the start of each group, Leger provided participants with details specific to the conduct of the groups ahead of time.  Such details included the audio/video taping of the discussion, the presence and purpose of the one-way mirror, basic rules about privacy and confidentiality, including the fact that tapes will be destroyed one year after completion of the project, and that participation is entirely voluntary.  As well, participants were told at the time of recruitment, as well as at the start of each session, that the groups were conducted on behalf of the Government of Canada.  In Montreal, where the groups were held in French, simultaneous translation to English was provided.  A cash incentive of $125 was given to each participant.

1.3 Overview of Qualitative Findings

Positive Perspective toward Immigration
  • Overall, the mood of the country was very positive about immigration and most participants believed that immigration is at the core of our country’s narrative.
  • Participants believe Canada has a long history of openness to immigration and believe that diversity and respect for differences are important Canadian values.
  • In fact, participants take pride and state that Canada needs to remain a welcoming and accepting country for immigrants.
Canada and Immigration
  • Our first exercise asked participants to pick three words from a list of over twenty-five (half negative, half positive words) randomly distributed on a page.
  • The words ‘welcoming’, ‘fair’, ‘diversity’, and ‘compassionate’ were the most often mentioned positive words.  Regardless of the target group present at the sessions, the general outlook on immigration remained positive, certainly at the level of values and guiding principles.
  • While some, mostly in the recent immigrant groups, did choose negative words such as complicated and slow, these were generally associated with the immigration process.
  • When the word “overwhelmed” was used it was associated with system capacity as well as the international interest in immigrating to Canada.
Benefits of Immigration
  • While fairly long lists of benefits were generated by participants, the common thread remained the contribution of immigration to the national economy.
  • Almost all of the participants believed that immigration is part essential to Canada (i.e. economic benefits, population growth), obligatory (i.e.: compassionate/responsible) and contributory (i.e.: diversity, innovation, cultural enrichment).
  • Participants spontaneously associated the need for immigration in Canada to fill the demands of our job market, but also as a means of creating economic growth.
  • Other perceived benefits mentioned were immigration’s contribution to our declining population, cultural enrichment and the influx of newer or fresher ideas.
  • The newcomer focus groups particularly insisted on the need for economic immigrants in Canada.
Challenges and Issues
  • While the tone always remained positive across the five cities visited, some issues and challenges were voiced by both the general public and recent immigrants.
  • These concerns or issues tended to be mentioned more as question marks as opposed to critiques or a disapproval of immigration.
  • While both positive and negative views were voiced, this should not be interpreted to mean that some participants were favorable and others unfavorable to immigration to Canada.
  •  The “It is a good thing … but (…)” tended to be the most common way Canadians expressed their views.
  • It should be noted that very few participants cited security as an immigration issue or concern.

The concerns most often voiced by participants were:

  1. Integration issues (mostly tied to linguistic integration, and economic integration often referred to as “finding that first job”);
  2. The capacity of our job market to supply enough quality employment opportunities to newcomers;
  3. Our capacity to properly support and adequately educate newcomers on our laws, and “general way of doing things”, allowing newcomers to smoothly “fit in” (an individual responsibility of members of the host society directly in contact with newcomers);
  4. Foreign credential recognition and the burden on professionals to “regain” their right to work in their field; and
  5. System capacity issues (vetting, selection, welcoming, and proper follow ups and measurement of outcomes).
Changing Immigration Levels and Prioritizing Immigration Categories
Immigration Levels
  • When asked about immigration levels, very few participants were familiar with the annual immigration figure for Canada and expressed mixed views on that current figure albeit with a common caveat that they didn’t feel that they could judge the immigration figure.
  • When the suggestion was made that this figure could grow in the near future, participants who had been more vocal on the economic necessity of immigration, tended to be more supportive.
  • In all locations, participants tended to trust that those making decisions regarding the appropriate levels of immigration would know what the right level should be (would have the right social and economic indicators).
  • There were several comments regarding the increase in levels, and many also tied this objective with the necessity to ‘better’ disperse immigration across all regions (outside Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal).
  • The concept of immigration levels reaching 1% of the total population did not generate any significant ‘pushback’ from Canadians. In actual fact, except maybe for Montreal, using the 1% figure helped Canadians make sense of the number and, for many, made it more acceptable.
Immigration Categories
  • On the issue of immigration categories, Canadians felt the country should adopt a balanced approach; and that an increase in one category of immigrants should not negatively impact other categories.
  • When looking at levels and categories, participants tended to believe that Canada should strive to be very competitive in attracting talent (economic immigration), while maintaining an enviable reputation globally for its humanitarian efforts.
  • More would prioritize economic immigrants, while some also believed we should increase the number of refugees into the country.
  • In all five cities, participants tended to support an overall increase in immigration levels (derived mainly from an increase in economic immigrants), if it did not compromise other immigration categories such as refugees or family reunification.
  • It should be noted that immigrant groups in all cities would like to see a reduction in the backlog or an increase in levels in the family reunification category.
Information Needs of Canadians and Basis of Potential Support for Increased Immigration Levels
  • Participants stated that, while they may be open to increased immigration, that they needed additional context which would enable them to understand current and proposed immigration levels (i.e.: Labour market needs and the immigration plan)
Regional Differences
  • It should be noted that if the report does not directly name a region or directly reports on a noticeable difference between locations, the reader should consider that no significant regional differences were apparent. As such, much of this report will be from a national perspective, as general outlook on immigration, perspectives on changing immigration levels and concerns regarding immigration to Canada were largely the same in all five locations.
  • While Vancouver sessions spent more time on economic integration of newcomers and ‘system-capacity’ issues (can our hospitals, schools and social services handle the new demand), Toronto showed more interest in measurement of immigration outcomes (Is Canada doing a good job of ensuring immigrants succeed?), Montreal focused more on selection criteria, Winnipeg spoke about housing and community services, and London spent more time on local job market issues. While these differences do exist, the general conclusions presented here apply to all locations visited.

1.4 Note on Interpretation of Research Findings

The views and observations expressed in this document do not reflect those of IRCC. This report was compiled by Leger, based on the research conducted specifically for this project.  The analysis presented represents what Leger believes were the most salient points during the focus group sessions.  All words or sentences in quotation marks are actual verbatim comments from participants.  As such, these quotes do not reflect the views of IRCC. They were selected by Leger for their capacity to directly convey the views and opinions of participants, in their own words.

Findings from this qualitative research (i.e. focus groups) should be considered directional only and results should not be projected as representative of the entire Canadian population. It is intended to provide deeper insight into the underlying reasons for opinions or lack thereof.

1.5 Political Neutrality Statement and Contact Information

Leger certifies that the final deliverables fully comply with the Government of Canada’s political neutrality requirements outlined in the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada and Procedures for Planning and Contracting Public Opinion Research.

Additional information

Supplier name: Leger
PWGSC Contract Number: EP363-140002/010/CY
Contract Award Date: June 21, 2016

The contract value for this project is $70,466.80 (including HST).

To obtain more information on this study, please email

Annex E - 2016 Public Views on Immigration Levels: Topline Summary

Annex F - News Release

National conversation on immigration launched

July 5, 2016—Ottawa, ON – The Government of Canada is asking Canadians about what they think immigration means for Canada, and how we can continue to grow our nation through immigration.

Starting today until August 5, 2016, Canadians can get involved by providing an on-line written submission. Other consultation activities include cross-Canada round-table discussions led by the Minister and Parliamentary Secretary, stakeholder engagement by departmental officials; and, public opinion research.

Canada’s strength lies in its diversity. Our diversity is closely tied to immigration and is a valued part of Canada’s story—we are asking Canadians to help us write the next chapter.

The feedback gathered from Canadians will be used to help guide decisions on how many people we will welcome in the coming years and the future of immigration in Canada.

Immigrants have always been a central part of Canada’s success. The contributions of newcomers result in jobs, innovation and economic growth. Immigrants also strengthen our country socially and culturally.

The Government of Canada is committed to an immigration system that supports Canada’s diversity and helps grow our economy as it strengthens our society. This is an ambitious undertaking that will help determine the way forward on immigration to Canada.


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