Presentation on theme: "Project #11 Co-operatives and Minority Francophones in Southern Ontario: An Awkward and Necessary Dance Towards Social and Economic Inclusion Dr. G. Lafrenière."— Presentation transcript:
Project #11 Co-operatives and Minority Francophones in Southern Ontario: An Awkward and Necessary Dance Towards Social and Economic Inclusion Dr. G. Lafrenière Associate Professor Faculty of Social Work Wilfrid Laurier University
Primary Team Members: Gillian Wells MSW Matt Riehl MSW Jenni Rowe MSW (candidate) Maike Zinabou MSW Satyanarayana Ayinagadda PhD Project Goals: To explore the impact of co-operatives on the lives of minority francophones living in Southern Ontario (Franco-Ontariens et Nouveaux Franco-Ontariens); To critically examine the strengths and challenges\impact of the co- operative movement (francophone community) in Southern Ontario and respectfully provide recommendations for consideration in future development initiatives.
Rationale: Declining numbers of Francophones living in Southern Ontario\increasing assimilation rates; Increasing number of francophone immigrants in Southern Ontario – tension in the relationship between both francophone groups; Common denominator relative to social inclusion and economic development.
Project Methodology: Ethics application and review to REB of WLU Training sessions – conducting research Qualitative research (semi-structured interviews) 42 key informants interviewed (gender equity amongst research participants) Over half of research participants – cultural communities 2 focus groups (16 participants) 2 extensive literature reviews
Community Partners: College Boréal Economie Solidaire (Ethel Coté) Université Laurentienne Conseil de la coopération de l’Ontario Centre de santé de Hamilton et Welland Champions in Caisses Populaires and other francophone co-operatives Individuals (champions) in francophone co-op movement Quebec partners also informed project
Main findings: (primary) Co-op model is attractive to the Francophone diaspora however supports must be in place in order for development and expansion to occur; such is not the case at the present moment; Francophones do not wish nor seek bilingual services; (prefer francophone-only services); There is an urgent need to understand exodus of francophone immigrants from Quebec to Southern Ontario; Need to address serious lack of education on co-op model within francophone community; Need to address tension and perceived lack of leadership within francophone co-operative movement (caisses); Need to renew leadership within co-op movement and answer to the needs of aging francophone population in Southern Ontario.
Secondary findings: There is a need for authentic dialogue between policy makers, gov’t., francophone leadership, as well as co-op (Caisses)and CED organizations; Important policy implications relative to immigrant\refugee settlement and assistance via the co-operative model;
Implications for the Social Economy: Need for a permeation model – creation and diffusion of a coordinated education model (all levels) on the social economy\co-operative model of econ.dev. for transformative change in Ontario\Canada to occur; Need to formalize the creation of a Social Economy Secretariat or similar body to sustain and nurture innovation within the social economy.
Student Involvement: Key Success Factor of this research project Students were major stakeholders within project 98% of attributed funds – student salaries 1 undergrad, 6 Master’s students, 1 doctoral student 6 female students\2 male students Doctoral thesis – emerging from this research Important “ripple effect” relative to influence of professional lives of graduates
Conclusions and Next Steps: This CURA project aptly demonstrates that through research, students not only learn but apply the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired in their professional lives. (important for transformative and innovative change). The development of co-operatives by and for minority francophones in Southern Ontario is imperative for future social\cultural\economic growth; Improved leadership, homogenous francophone services, viable funding mechanisms\supports as well as education on the legitimacy of the social economy (which includes co-operatives) is essential for growth to occur; Next steps: dissemination of results (academic\non- academic arenas), coordinated creation of social economy curriculum.