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Presentation on theme: "“READY-MADE” IMMIGRANTS? CONCRETE EXAMPLES OF INTEGRATIVE PRACTICES"— Presentation transcript:

Dr. Annick Lenoir Professor, Department of social work Université de Sherbrooke Metropolis seminar, Ottawa January 25, 2010

2 Introduction Overview General background
Implementing the provincial-regional-municipal partnership A few challenges related to the integration of immigrants A few initiatives under way Possible future initiatives Conclusion

10,209 km² area that includes the city of Sherbrooke and seven other regional county municipalities Immigration in Estrie is mostly urban and mostly in Sherbrooke (67.6% of the region’s immigrants) (MICC, 2009). 2006 Estrie Sherbrooke Quebec Total population 298,779 (4% of Quebec population) 147,427 (49.2% of Estrie population) 7,546,131 Urban population 63.8% 91.3% 80.2% Foreign-born population 5% 6.3% 11.1%

Date Source country 1830 Ireland 1840 Scotland, England, French-speaking Canada Italy, Syria, China, Russia Western Europe (France, Germany) Western Europe (Italy, Belgium, Austria), Eastern Europe (Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, USSR, Yugoslavia) United States, Haiti, Africa, India, Colombia, Chile Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos) and Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica) Eastern Europe (Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia and the former Yugoslavia) 2000-… South America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia), Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi), Asia (Afghanistan, Myanmar, Bhutan, China, Iraq, Pakistan), Europe (Bosnia-Herzegovina, former Yugoslavia, France), etc.

Immigrants to Estrie in 2009, admitted to Quebec from 1998 to 2007 Immigrants to Quebec in 2009, admitted to Quebec from 1998 to 2007 Mostly selected refugees 43.1% refugees, 40% economic immigrants, 16% family class 19% refugees, 54.9% economic immigrants, 24.8% family class Strong presence of immigrants from (a) South America, (b) Western and northern Europe and (c) Central Asia (a) 21.3% (14.3% = Colombians) (b) 17.9% (13.9% = French) (c) 8.5% (6.8% = Afghans) (a) 9.1% (4% = Colombians) (b) 12.6% (9.9% = French) (c) 3.9% (in 2006, 0.5% = Afghans) Relatively young population (a) 0-24 years: 45.7% (b) years: 45.4% (c) 45 years and older: 8.8% (a) 0-24 years: 36% (b) years: 56.2% (c) 45 years and older: 8.7% Time in Canada as of 2006 census (a) 5 years or less: 30.6% (b) 10 years or less: 44.6% (a) 5 years or less: 22.8% (b) 10 years or less: 35.6%

6 IMPLEMENTING THE PROVINCIAL-REGIONAL-MUNICIPAL PARTNERSHIP 1 – POSITION OF THE CITY AND THE Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) ON IMMIGRATION The Estrie CRÉ [regional conference of elected officials] has a four-prong Plan de développement quinquennal [five-year development plan] ( ), the second prong of which is entitled Miser sur le capital humain et l’immigration comme moteur de développement [human capital and immigration as an engine of growth] (CRÉ Estrie, 2007). The city of Sherbrooke’s Politique d’accueil et d’intégration des personnes immigrantes [policy on welcoming and integrating immigrants], in place since 2004, has four focuses: Provide access to municipal services to all immigrants Foster the representation of immigrants in all areas of municipal activity Foster cross-cultural understanding Develop the partnership (Ville de Sherbrooke, 2009)

7 2 - POSITION OF THE MICC Strategic plan ( ) focused on the following: Openness – diversity and sharing common values Recruitment and selection of immigrants Francization and integration Support for immigrants during the integration process (various measures taken) Improved organizational performance Development of human resources skills Various programs and initiatives related to reception, settlement, integration, francization, and regionalization of immigration, including the following: Programme d’accompagnement des nouveaux arrivants (PANA)[newcomer assistance program] Programme Action diversité (PAD)[action diversity program] Programme régional d’intégration (PRI)[regional integration program] Programme d’aide financière pour l’intégration linguistique des immigrants (PAFILI)[financial assistance program for the linguistic integration of immigrants]

The agreements are aimed at fostering the attraction and retention of immigrants in the regions. They focus on the increased autonomy of these municipalities and on shared responsibility for integration. The agreements help support the following: Implementation of regional action plans that foster support to newcomers during the integration process Meeting the needs of businesses located in their area Increased understanding between the host population and immigrants In 2009, 12 specific agreements were signed between the Government of Quebec, through the MICC, and 12 CRÉs 8 other agreements were entered into directly with municipalities The Estrie CRÉ and the city of Sherbrooke were among the first to enter into such an agreement (2005).

Heterogeneity of immigrants: Source country, mother tongue, schooling, immigration route and immigration status 2009 Estrie Quebec Admitted to Quebec from 1998 to 2007 Immigrants’ level of education (a) 17 years and more (b) years (c) 11 years or less (a) 30.2% (b) 40.8% (c) 29% (a) 29.5% (b) 46.5% (c) 21.4% Knowledge of French vs. no knowledge of either official language 47% vs. 44.2% 54.4% vs. 29.1% Time in Canada as of 2006 census (a) 5 years or less (b) 10 years or less 30.6% 44.6% 22.8% 35.6%

10 Need for the region, but particularly for the city of Sherbrooke, to ensure that existing institutions adapt in order to meet immigrants’ diverse and changing needs. This is another huge challenge. Various partnerships have been established: Between the different immigrant support organizations in the region and educational, health, social service, and other institutions An ad hoc committee on youth from cultural communities was formed and brings together the related organizations.

Region’s socio-economic characteristics Other barriers to employment integration: Lack of knowledge of French and/or English Foreign credential recognition (immigrants’ educational and professional qualifications are often under- recognized) Lack of recognition by employers of professional experience acquired abroad Difficulty joining a professional body Lack of local professional networks Employers’ voluntary and involuntary discrimination 2006 Estrie Sherbrooke Quebec Primary industry 4.7% 0.9% 3.7% Construction 5.4% 4.8% 5.2% Manufacturing 20.7% 15.3% 14.5% Services 69.2% 79% 76.6%

12 Immigrants usually have jobs that are below their skill level and that the city considers “low level” positions (Ville de Sherbrooke, 2009). 2006 Estrie Quebec Immigrant population Total population Unemployment rate 14.4% 8.2% 10.9% 8% 2006 Sherbrooke Quebec Immigrant population Total population Average income, based on years since arrival (a) 5 years or less (b) 10 years or less (c) Overall (a) $18,655 (b) $23,896 (c) $27,654 $30,451 (a) $17,347 (b) $20,191 (c) $28,513 $28,513

Immigration to Estrie is nothing new, but it has become more heterogeneous, to the point that, as of several years ago, most immigrants are Latin American Refugees Either highly or very poorly educated The host population is poorly informed and has little awareness of the following: The contribution of immigrants to Quebec’s development Quebec’s efforts abroad to promote immigration The immigrant selection process Quebec’s humanitarian commitments Reception programs for refugees

14 This lack of awareness affects the following:
Prejudices regarding immigrants’ education, religion, culture, etc. Perceptions regarding immigrants’ needs, expectations and requests Perceptions regarding the benefit of developing, adapting and complementing services that are currently provided to immigrant clients Perceptions regarding immigrants’ skills and abilities in terms of socialization or qualification (their ability to take part in society economically and socially) The host population’s expectations of immigrants as citizens, workers, clients, etc. Ready-made immigrants…

15 Multiple impacts on social integration:
Financial uncertainty (and therefore difficulty accessing housing) and a concentration of immigrants Social isolation and related difficulties: Developing a social network that is not immigrant- based Practising French Understanding how the host society works and, therefore, participating in it Under-use of local resources Lack of representation on local decision-making bodies Genuine frustration on the part of the immigrants: They do not feel heard, understood or welcome. They may be disappointed with respect to their immigration plans. Immigrants have difficulties identifying themselves as part of the host society and in feeling like equal citizens

In 2001, 1.4% of immigrants living in Quebec lived in Estrie, vs. 1.9% in 2006 (MICC 2009b; MICC 2009c). Relative success: The region is still not very attractive to economic immigrants. Current migratory movements involve mostly selected refugees (especially from Bhutan (2009) and Myanmar (2008)). Access to employment is a key factor in destination choice and in retention: Migration of immigrants from Estrie to other regions that are more promising with respect to employment (Montréal, Ontario, Alberta)

Several local or MICC-sponsored initiatives have been launched or are being run concurrently with those of the MICC. For example: To raise the local population’s awareness of diversity: The Festival des traditions du monde [world traditions festival] and the Buffet des Nations [buffet of nations] (city) The Semaine québécoise des rencontres interculturelles [Quebec intercultural week] (MICC, city, CRÉ) One day under the theme “Bilan et perspectives en immigration” [update and perspectives on immigration] (city, CRÉ) To promote reception and integration: An initiative program for the reception and integration of immigrants (city, MICC)

18 A FEW INITIATIVES under way
To promote employment integration: Job fair for immigrants in Estrie (MICC and MESS) A job-shadowing program for young workers (MICC and MESS) To promote the regionalization of immigration: Promotion of the region to immigrants in Montréal (MICC) Program to help immigrants in their job search when they choose to settle in Sherbrooke after the initial meeting in Montréal (MICC)

19 Possible future INITIATIVES
Since integration and regionalization are still problematic, we must remain proactive and approach integration and regionalization differently. Proposals of initiatives to develop concurrently with existing services and activities: Redesigning the organization of services by training key resource people for immigrants who are looking for jobs Continuing to develop and provide integration services for immigrants, but also focussing on information dissemination, and on raising awareness among the host population and among employers Regionalizing immigration by attracting by promoting the region to foreign businesses

20 Conclusion Immigrant integration is not the responsibility of a single government department or a few local institutions. It depends on all of a community’s resources, whether it is a neighbourhood, a city, a region, the province or the country. It depends on public decision-makers, association representatives, employers, and also the local population. Today’s Quebec is the product of the work, imagination and entrepreneurship of thousands of immigrants a host of countries. Ready-made immigrants? If they are given the necessary time and if they are supported in the integration process, today’s immigrants will do great things tomorrow.

21 Thank you!


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