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Shibao Guo University of Calgary & Don DeVoretz RIIM/Simon Fraser University March 25, 2006 Settling West: Exploring the Integration Experience of Recent.

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Presentation on theme: "Shibao Guo University of Calgary & Don DeVoretz RIIM/Simon Fraser University March 25, 2006 Settling West: Exploring the Integration Experience of Recent."— Presentation transcript:

1 Shibao Guo University of Calgary & Don DeVoretz RIIM/Simon Fraser University March 25, 2006 Settling West: Exploring the Integration Experience of Recent Mainland Chinese Immigrants in Edmonton

2 Outline Contextual information A questionnaire approach Report of findings Conclusions and implications

3 Canadian Immigration Policy Pre-1967: racial background 1967: the immigration point system 1980s: business immigration program 1990s: highly skilled immigrants 2001 Census –18.4% - born outside Canada –13.4% - visible minorities –1,029,400 Chinese Canadians

4 History of Chinese Immigrants 1858: Chinese arrived in Victoria –Coolie workers and chain migrants: CPR –From Guangdong & Fujian –Single men with rural origins 1885 – 1923: head tax ($50 - $500) 1923: Chinese Immigration Act 1947: repeal of 1923 Act

5 Chinese Emigration China: isolated since 1949 1973: establishment of diplomatic relations Open door polices since 1978 1990s: emigration phase

6 The Chinese Leaver-Stayer Project Examines the underlying forces that influence the move-stay decision for Chinese immigrants Two stages 1.Seeks understanding of the integration experience of Chinese immigrants in Canada 2.The experience of Chinese immigrants who returned home The Canadian portion of the project involves a matched study in five cities: Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton

7 Research Questions Why do some people decide to leave while others stay? Who leaves, who stays, and why? Does Canada push them back home or do forces in their home country attract them back? What are the integration experiences of those who stayed in Canada? What are the policy implications?

8 The Edmonton Study Focusing on the integration experience of recent Mainland Chinese immigrants in Edmonton

9 Questionnaire I.Basic information II.Motivations for immigrating III.Integration experience in Canada IV.Concluding remarks

10 I: Basic Information GenderAge Place of Birth Current Residence Family Members Language Marital Status NationalityEducation Background





15 Major Cities They Came From Beijing21.1% Shanghai9.6% Harbin7% Chengdu6.1% Guangzhou6.1%







22 II. Motivations for Immigrating to Canada a.Further Studies b.Higher Paying Job c.More Job Security d.Opportunities for Promotion e.Less Stress f.Family Reunion g.Taking Care of Parents h.Living in the Canadian Culture i.Speaking English j.Seeking New Opportunities k.Acquiring Canadian Citizenship or Permanent Residency l.Education for the Children m.Natural Environment n.Joining My Old Friends o.Other Motivations


24 Top Five Motivations for Moving to Canada 1. Ed/school system for their children43.5% 2. Natural environment42.7% 3. Further their own studies30.6% 4. Acquiring Canadian citizenship or PR26.6% 5. Living in the Canadian culture24.2%



27 1. Language difficulties32.3% 2. Lack of Canadian work experience21.8% 3. Lack of social network17.7% 4. Chinese work experience not recognized15.3% 5. Chinese qualifications not recognized 15.3% Top Five Major Barriers Preventing from Achieving Goals

28 III: Integration Experience in Canada Any difficulties of integrating into Canadian society? Employment experiences in Canada Social experience Impressions of Canada Experience with government and non- government organizations


30 1. Language53.2% 2. Obtaining employment33.9% 3. Lack of social network29.0% 4. Cultural adjustment25.0% 5. Being a foreigner16.9% Top Five Major Difficulties Facing Integration

31 Employment Experiences Your job before and after immigration Your household income in Canada How would you describe your current job in comparison with your job before you left China

32 Occupation Before and After Immigration OccupationsBefore (%) After (%) 1. Occp. in natural and applied sciences33.926.9 2. Financial, secretarial and admin occp.11.68.7 3. Prof. occp. in business and finance4.51.9 4. Middle and other management7.11.9 5. Prof occp. in Soc Sci, Educ, Gov.24.16.7 6. Prof occp. in health, RN and supervisors5.41.0 7. Occp. in art, culture, recreation and sport1.80 8. Homemaker01.0 9. Construction, trades, and Labourers4.513.5 10. Food and services01.0 29. Unemployed1.618.3 30 Students5.418.3 Total100



35 Other Integration Experience Social Experience –Friends and families –Are you happier than before you left China? Impressions of Canada Three things which brought you the most/least satisfaction –How would you describe your life in Canada now? –Any regrets about moving to Canada? Experience with government and non-government organizations





40 Top Five Areas That Need Help Finding a Job51.6% Finding a Job for Spouse15.3% Enrolling in ESL13.7% Applying for Loans to Buy an Apartment or a House12.9% Applying for Loans to Start Business8.9%

41 IV: Concluding Remarks What could the Canadian government do to help new Chinese immigrants integrate into Canadian society more effectively? How could the two governments cooperate to help Chinese immigrants? Anything else youd like to add?

42 Policy Implications What can Canadian Government do to help retain this group of immigrants? How can we facilitate immigrants access to the labour market? What are the policy implications of this research to other immigrants in Canada?

43 Thank you!

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