Presentation on theme: "“READY-MADE” IMMIGRANTS? CONCRETE EXAMPLES OF INTEGRATIVE PRACTICES"— Presentation transcript:
1 “READY-MADE” IMMIGRANTS? CONCRETE EXAMPLES OF INTEGRATIVE PRACTICES Dr. Annick LenoirProfessor, Department of social workUniversité de SherbrookeMetropolis seminar, OttawaJanuary 25, 2010
2 Introduction Overview General background Implementing the provincial-regional-municipal partnershipA few challenges related to the integration of immigrantsA few initiatives under wayPossible future initiativesConclusion
3 GENERAL BACKGROUND 1 – ESTRIE 10,209 km² area that includes the city of Sherbrooke and seven other regional county municipalitiesImmigration in Estrie is mostly urban and mostly in Sherbrooke (67.6% of the region’s immigrants) (MICC, 2009).2006EstrieSherbrookeQuebecTotal population298,779(4% of Quebec population)147,427(49.2% of Estrie population)7,546,131Urban population63.8%91.3%80.2%Foreign-born population5%6.3%11.1%
4 2- HISTORY OF IMMIGRATION IN ESTRIE DateSource country1830Ireland1840Scotland, England, French-speaking CanadaItaly, Syria, China, RussiaWestern Europe (France, Germany)Western Europe (Italy, Belgium, Austria), Eastern Europe (Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, USSR, Yugoslavia)United States, Haiti, Africa, India, Colombia, ChileAsia (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.
5 3- CHARACTERISTICS OF IMMIGRATION IN ESTRIE TODAY Immigrants to Estrie in 2009, admitted to Quebec from 1998 to 2007Immigrants to Quebec in 2009, admitted to Quebec from 1998 to 2007Mostly selected refugees43.1% refugees, 40% economic immigrants, 16% family class19% refugees, 54.9% economic immigrants, 24.8% family classStrong 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 IMMIGRATIONThe 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 immigrantsFoster the representation of immigrants in all areas of municipal activityFoster cross-cultural understandingDevelop the partnership (Ville de Sherbrooke, 2009)
7 2 - POSITION OF THE MICCStrategic plan ( ) focused on the following:Openness – diversity and sharing common valuesRecruitment and selection of immigrantsFrancization and integrationSupport for immigrants during the integration process (various measures taken)Improved organizational performanceDevelopment of human resources skillsVarious 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]
8 3 - MICC-city / MICC-CRÉ-SPECIFIC AGREEMENTS 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 processMeeting the needs of businesses located in their areaIncreased understanding between the host population and immigrantsIn 2009,12 specific agreements were signed between the Government of Quebec, through the MICC, and 12 CRÉs8 other agreements were entered into directly with municipalitiesThe Estrie CRÉ and the city of Sherbrooke were among the first to enter into such an agreement (2005).
9 THE challenges 1 – HETEROGENEITY OF IMMIGRATION AND NEEDS Heterogeneity of immigrants: Source country, mother tongue, schooling, immigration route and immigration status2009EstrieQuebecAdmitted to Quebec from 1998 to 2007Immigrants’ 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 language47% vs. 44.2%54.4% vs. 29.1%Time in Canada as of 2006 census(a) 5 years or less(b) 10 years or less30.6%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 institutionsAn ad hoc committee on youth from cultural communities was formed and brings together the related organizations.
11 2 – BARRIERS TO INTEGRATION Region’s socio-economic characteristicsOther barriers to employment integration:Lack of knowledge of French and/or EnglishForeign credential recognition (immigrants’ educational and professional qualifications are often under- recognized)Lack of recognition by employers of professional experience acquired abroadDifficulty joining a professional bodyLack of local professional networksEmployers’ voluntary and involuntary discrimination2006EstrieSherbrookeQuebecPrimary industry4.7%0.9%3.7%Construction5.4%4.8%5.2%Manufacturing20.7%15.3%14.5%Services69.2%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).2006EstrieQuebecImmigrant populationTotal populationUnemployment rate14.4%8.2%10.9%8%2006SherbrookeQuebecImmigrant populationTotal populationAverage 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
13 3 – A LOCAL POPULATION REQUIRING AWARENESS-RAISING Immigration to Estrie is nothing new, but it has become more heterogeneous, to the point that, as of several years ago, most immigrants areLatin AmericanRefugeesEither highly or very poorly educatedThe host population is poorly informed and has little awareness of the following:The contribution of immigrants to Quebec’s developmentQuebec’s efforts abroad to promote immigrationThe immigrant selection processQuebec’s humanitarian commitmentsReception programs for refugees
14 This lack of awareness affects the following: Prejudices regarding immigrants’ education, religion, culture, etc.Perceptions regarding immigrants’ needs, expectations and requestsPerceptions regarding the benefit of developing, adapting and complementing services that are currently provided to immigrant clientsPerceptions 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 immigrantsSocial isolation and related difficulties:Developing a social network that is not immigrant- basedPractising FrenchUnderstanding how the host society works and, therefore, participating in itUnder-use of local resourcesLack of representation on local decision-making bodiesGenuine 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
16 A DIFFICULT REGIONALIZATION 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)
17 A FEW INITIATIVES Under way 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 jobsContinuing to develop and provide integration services for immigrants, but also focussing on information dissemination, and on raising awareness among the host population and among employersRegionalizing immigration by attracting by promoting the region to foreign businesses
20 ConclusionImmigrant 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.