Event: Canada as Safe Haven? The Migration of War Resisters from the United States

May 4th 7:00-9:00 pm May 5th 9:00-3:30 pm
Canada as Safe Haven? The Migration of War Resisters from the United States 
May 4th Evening Key Notes Speaker & Panel 
Followed by 1-Day Conference (registration link below)
Co-hosted by the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the International Migration Research Centre.On Friday, May 4th at 7:00pm, Dr. John Hagan, Professor of Sociology and Law at Northwestern University, Vietnam war resister, and renowned author of Northern Passage: American Vietnam War Resisters in Canada, will deliver a lecture titled “How American’s Have Remembered to Forget: Canada, Collective Memory and America’s Forever Wars.” The lecture will be followed a screening of a documentary film-in-progress: “Canada as safe haven?” and a live panel discussion with filmmaker Lisa Molomot, war resisters featured in the film, activists, and Dr. Hagan.

Register for the evening event here.

May 5th Conference

During the Vietnam War, Canadian government and society welcomed between 50,000 and 100,000 US war resisters, providing safe haven from militarism and a mandatory draft (Hagan 2001). A more recent cohort of some 300 resisters began entering Canada in 2004 to make refugee claims after service and tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. These are two historical periods in the shared, cross-border history between the two countries. While some were able to stay, most had refugee claims for protection rejected; some were deported and served time in military prison (War Resister Support Campaign 2014). Even if they did not find legal status in Canada, members of both cohorts found and forged spaces of safe haven in Canada. For some, these were paths to citizenship; for others they were temporary safe havens in urban and rural communities.

This one-day workshop will facilitate a dialogue amongst US war resisters and activists from both time periods, researchers, and community members. These conversations will enable us to learn from and appreciate specific histories of precarity, migration, and im/mobilities of war resisters, and to map, remember, and celebrate the impact of social support and resistance movements in Canada. These exchanges will also illustrate the broader cross-border socio-legal, cultural and geopolitical contexts in and between the US and Canada during these times. From these rich discussions, we can reflect on present day geopolitical relations between Canada and the United States and globally, and think through how lessons of social movements and resistance can potentially be, and are being, operationalised today.

The day will be organized as follows:
Session 1: War resisters share histories
Session 2: Activists share histories
Session 3: Researchers share findings and strategies to document war resister histories.

Come be part of these important conversations at the Basillie School of International Affairs, with a reception to follow.

Click here to register for the Saturday workshop

News: IMRC’s Dr. Janet McLaughlin in the news!

Check out the Star’s article, a documentary, and WLU highlight of her research.

  • https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/migrants/2017/10/07/this-sexually-abused-migrant-worker-is-now-safe-but-she-knows-others-arent.html
  • http://www.contextwithlornadueck.com/2017/10/11/migrant-justice/
  • https://www.wlu.ca/academics/research/researcher-profiles/faculty-researchers/janet-mclaughlin.html

Past News and Events

Event: Up/Rooted: Refugees, Resettlement, Community Conference March 30-April 1, 2017

Inaugural Dr. Kerry Preibisch Lecture – Dr. Janet McLaughlin March 31st, 2016

Inaugural Dr. Kerry Preibisch Global Social Justice and Migration Lecture

World In Motion: International Migration and Refugee Trends and Challenges In partnership with Third Age Learning Guelph, the IMRC presents the 2017 Winter Lecture Series “World In Motion: International Migration and Refugee Trends and Challenges”. This lecture series engages with one …

News: IMRC Initiative to Support Syrian Refugees Support our Initiative! – December 18, 2016

News 2016-03-01 Now available as an e-book: “Diasporas, Development and Governance”, Abel Chikanda, Jonathan Crush, and Margaret Walton-Roberts

News 2016-03-08 Interview with IMRC Associate Director, Dr. Margaret Walton-Roberts at the 2015 Canadian Science Policy Conference   Watch Here: http://ow.ly/ZujGs

2015-11-05 New Report: International Students in Ontario’s Postsecondary Education System, 2000-2012: An evaluation of changing policies, populations and labour market entry processes, Keegan Williams, Gabriel Williams, Amy Arbuckle, Margaret Walton-Roberts and Jenna Hennebry, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO)

2015-07-17 How Can Rust Belt Cities Attract More Immigrants?, article in the Pacific Standard featuring Dr. Margaret Walton-Robert’s work on second-tier cities

2015-06-26 Why newcomers are beginning to bypass Canada’s big cities, Globe and Mail article featuring Dr. Margaret Walton-Roberts

2015-04-22 Despite System’s Flaws, More International Students Coming to Ontario, a New Canadian Media article featuring Dr. Margaret Walton-Roberts

2015-04-12  Gujarati to Odia, Canada has ’em all, a Hindustan article featuring Dr. Margaret Walton-Roberts

2015-03-02 Migration Research Center at Koç University: International Summer School Opportunity

The Call for Applications is now opened. Submissions are due by midnight GMT on Sunday, 25 April 2015. This year MiReKoc Summer School will explore the theme of “Diasporas and Transnational Communities”.

Event: Up/Rooted: Refugees, Resettlement, Community Conference

March 30-April 1, 2017

World In Motion: International Migration and Refugee Trends and Challenges

In partnership with Third Age Learning Guelph, the IMRC presents the 2017 Winter Lecture Series “World In Motion: International Migration and Refugee Trends and Challenges”. This lecture series engages with one of the most important issues of our time. From global to local levels, human migration raises complex social, economic and political issues. Though by no means a contemporary phenomenon, migration has become a ‘hot button’ political issue; while governance of refugee and migrant flows can have lasting consequences for human rights, social cohesion and economic prosperity. The series begins by looking backward, to the historical routes of migration, proceeds to contemporary challenges and opportunities created by migration, and concludes by looking forward to Canada’s role in this ever widening world in motion.

January 11

Global Migration History: Tracing the great migrations

This lecture will focus on the historical context of global migration and will explore the driving factors behind these movements.

Lecturer: Dr. Jason Neelis

Dr. Jason Neelis studies religious traditions of South Asia in historical, economic, and material contexts, with an emphasis on issues related to processes of cross-cultural mobility and exchange. His teaching interests extend broadly to trans regional connections and movements and the role of cultural and religious catalysts in the past and present. Dr. Neelis holds a BA from Brown University, an MA from University of Texas at Austin and a PhD from the University of Washington. 

January 18

Contemporary Migrations:  Root causes and governance of migration

This lecture will focus on the causes and drivers of today’s migratory patterns. It will explore these factors in terms of global, national, and provincial implications.

Lecturer: Dr. Alan Simmons

Dr. Alan Simmons is Senior Scholar in Sociology at York University in Toronto. He has written widely on international migration, refugee movements, immigrant settlement in Canada, and Canadian immigration policy. He is author of a several academic monographs and more than four dozen scholarly book chapters and journal articles. Professor Simmons holds BA and MA degrees from the University of British Columbia and a PhD from Cornell University.

January 25

The Canadian Immigration Experience: history, politics & economics

This lecture will provide insight into Canada’s long established role as a destination country for immigration. Former and current political, historical, and economic issues, policies and governance approaches will be discussed.

Lecturer: Raphael Girard

Raphael Girard  has over 40 years of experience in the Canadian Foreign Service. Throughout his time, he specialized in refugee and immigration issues, leading the task force on Refugee Determination which developed legislation that continues to form the basis of Canada’s approach to the protection of refugees claiming asylum in Canada.  He served in several senior executive positions in the Public Service including Director General of Refugee Affairs, and Assistant Deputy Minster, Immigration Operations. In his postings abroad Mr. Girard served an Ambassador to Yugoslavia and Romania as well as a number of countries in Southern Europe.      

February 1

Gaining Perspective I: Migration and socio-economic change

This lecture will outline issues and challenges related to migration flows for both countries of origin and destination, ranging from shifting norms to economic development.

Lecturer: Dr. Mikal Skuterud

Dr. Mikal Skuterud is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Waterloo. His main research interests lie in the field of labour economics, especially in the areas of immigration policy and labour market regulations affecting the hours that people work. He also focuses on the challenges that many new immigrants face in trying to integrate into Canada’s labour markets. He holds an undergraduate degree from Labour Studies from McMaster University, a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of British Columbia, and a PhD in Economics from McMaster University.

 February 8

Gaining Perspective II: The politics of migration

In the context of large movements of individuals across border, this lecture will examine state and popular reactions and perceptions to migration. Emerging concerns such as racism, xenophobia, and politics of Brexit and “Trumpism” will be discussed.

Panel Discussion: Anna Klimbovskaia, Kate Subak, Dr. Edward Koning

Anna Klimbovskaia is the Project Manager and Lead Researcher of the Pluralism Project. She holds a Masters in International Public Policy from the Balsillie School of International Affairs with a double specialization in international political economics and international environmental policy. Anna’s research focuses on sustainable development, economic policy, energy,diversity, and labour mobility, among others. 

Kate Subak is a senior executive with a background in management consulting and leadership in major arts and financial institutions. Kate deeply appreciates a good strategy and a strong fact base, and she loves working with people on issues they care deeply about. Kate lives in Toronto.The Century Initiative was formally established a little over two years ago with the goal of developing and driving a project that would transform Canada for the 21st Century. Its stated goal is thoughtful, responsible population growth, and everyone involved with the Century Initiative is working hard toward a Canada of 100 million people by the year 2100.

Dr. Edward Koning is an assistant professor at the University of Guelph. His research centres on the politics of immigration and integration, with a particular focus on North American and Western Europe. His interests also include ethnic and linguistic diversity, new institutionalist theory, minority politics and social policies. Currently, he spends most of his research time on investigating comparative differences in the access immigrants have to social programs in Western welfare states.

February 15

Refugee Settlement:  Refugee experiences & Canadian communities

A panel discussion will include multidisciplinary and diverse perspectives on refugee experiences. By bringing together academics and community organizations this panel will highlight the human face of migration and the challenges of community integration.

Panel Discussion: Dr. Margaret Walton-Roberts, Maissaa Almustafa, Jaya James, Jim Estill

Dr Margaret Walton-Roberts is a human geographer trained in the UK and Canada who focuses on international migration. She is currently a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University and Associate Dean o the School of International Policy and Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Her research interests are in gender and migration, transnational networks, and immigrant settlement. 

Maissaa Almustafa is a PhD candidate at the Global Governance Program at Balsillie School of International Affairs, Waterloo Ontario. Her broad research interest includes the protection gaps for refugees created by clashes between already established frameworks of global migration governance and national policies and practices of immigration and border control.

Jaya James is a lifelong Guelph resident and University of Guelph graduate. She is the director of Lakeside HOPE House, a Guelph organization that offers services and programs to community members experiencing poverty. Jaya was the founding director of the Refugee Sponsorship Forum that brought together resources and built relationships across not-for-profit community organizations in support of 76 privately sponsored refugee families coming to Guelph and area. 

February 22

Religion and Migration: Faith, culture & perceptions across borders

This lecture will focus on the role of religion in migration from a variety of faith-based perspectives. Topics will emphasize the complex intersections between culture, identity and faith across borders.

Lecturer: Dr. Paul Freston

Dr. Paul Freston is the CIGI Chair in Religion and Politics in Global Context at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and with the Religion and Culture Department at Wilfrid Laurier University. Dr. Freston is a distinguished senior fellow and director of the Program for Studies of Religion in Latin America, Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR), Baylor University, and professor colaborador in the Post-Graduate Programme in Sociology, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil. He has published extensively on three areas: religion and politics in comparative perspective; religion, globalization and transnationalism; and transformations in the religious field of Latin America and especially Brazil.

March 1

Canada in the World: Looking forward

The lecture series will conclude with a look at the Canadian Government’s approach to migration governance, from border control to immigration and citizenship policies. Emphasis will be given to understanding the past, present and future of immigration policies.

Lecturer: Dr. Andrew Thompson and Dr. Jenna Hennebry

Dr. Andrew S. Thompson is adjunct assistant professor of political science at the University of Waterloo, senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, and the program officer for the global governance programs at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. He is also the co-host of Inside the Issues, CIGI’s weekly international affairs podcast.  He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Waterloo, and is a specialist in the fields of international human rights, civil society movements and fragile states.

Dr. Jenna Hennebry holds a Ph.D. in Sociology, is an Associate Professor affiliated with the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and is the Director of the International Migration Research Centre (IMRC) at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her research focuses on international migration and mobility, with a specialization in lower-skilled labour migration with regional expertise in Canada, Mexico, Morocco and Spain. Dr. Hennebry’s research portfolio includes comparative studies of migration policy and foreign worker programs with an emphasis on migrant rights and health, migration industries, non-state migration mediation, transnational families, and the role of remittances in development


Event: World in Motion

World In Motion: International Migration and Refugee Trends and Challenges
Winter 2017 Lecture Series

International Students in Ontario and Canada’s Postsecondary Education System

Research done by IMRC affiliated faculty have focused on various aspects of the international students’ experience, their socioeconomic status and outcomes after finishing their studies, as well as major provincial and federal policy changes that affect student immigration. Research has focused on how the healthcare sector is influenced by policies addressing postsecondary international students. It has explored the intersection of nursing regulatory and immigration systems in Canada. Migrant transition programs (Status conversion from temporary to permanent) influence the nursing sector in Canada.

For more information and questions please contact Dr. Margaret Walton-Roberts ([email protected])or Dr. Jenna Hennebry ([email protected])

Report: International Students in Ontario’s Postsecondary Education System, 2000-2012: An evaluation of changing policies, populations and labour market entry processes

Keegan Williams, Gabriel Williams, Amy Arbuckle, Margaret Walton-Roberts and Jenna Hennebry from the International Migration Research Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University
This report explores how many international students came to Ontario between 2000-2012, their socioeconomic status and outcomes after finishing their studies, as well as the major provincial and federal policy changes that affected student immigration during this time. The study examines international student visa data from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, as well as international student arrival and labour market transition data from Statistics Canada.

Video: Nursing shortages and international migration

Video: Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) in Canada

These films are products of a SSHRC knowledge Synthesis grant that explored the intersection of nursing regulatory and immigration systems in Canada. For more information about internationally educated nurses, please see the report below.

2014-08-1, via Youtube

Report:  Immigration policy changes and entry to practice routes for Internationally Education Nurses (IENs)

Margaret Walton-Roberts, Jennifer Guo, Keegan Williams and Jenna Hennebry

This knowledge synthesis report examines how migrant transition programs (status conversion from temporary to permanent) influence the nursing sector in Canada. Immigrant transition programs have significant relevance for nursing because they add complexity to;  labour force planning in the health sector,  ethical recruitment protocols for international health care, processes of migrant workforce integration, and  the assessment of structural processes that shape and reproduce migration as a form of gendered state developmentalist policy in some sending regions.

The Globe Nurse Care Chain: From India to Canada

Current Research: Indian Trained Nurses in Ontario, Canadaconferences 178

Margaret Walton-Roberts in collaboration with Jenna Hennebry

In her current research, Dr. Walton-Roberts examines the changing spatial and social characteristics of Indian trained nurse emigration as part her wider interest in global skilled migration. She examines the experiences of a cohort of Indian trained nurses to come to Ontario, Canada, for a post-graduate critical/geriatric care course. The custom-designed course was explicitly structured to guide students through the regulatory requirements to practice nursing in Ontario, and all the students entered the program through an immigration-education consultant based in India. Students were mostly drawn from two states in India, Kerala and Punjab. The research examines their experiences in the educational program and their entry into the nursing profession in Canada.

For more information or questions please contact Dr. Margaret Walton-Robert ([email protected]) and Dr. Jenna Hennebry ([email protected])

Nursing Education in Punjab and its Role in Overseas Migration

Smita Bhutani, Pradita Gupta and Margaret Walton-Roberts

Based on survey and interview data gathered at nursing schools and colleges across Punjab, this research demonstrates how opportunities linked to the global nursing labour market substantially motivate the uptake of the profession in Punjab. The allure of working overseas is not just accounted for by salary differences, but also by the perceived advantages of continued training and career development that overseas employment (particularly in the west) offers. The research recommends policy changes in Punjab to enhance the attractiveness of the conditions and career development of nursing in order to compensate for the substantial draw the international market offers trained nurses.

Student Nurses and their Post Graduation Migration Plans: A Kerala Case Study

Margaret Walton-Roberts

The research explores the training and migration of nurses from Kerala in Southern India. Many western observers argue that currently there is a worldwide shortage of trained nurses, and the demand for all types of qualified nurses can only be serviced through international migration. Based on interviews and surveys, the research demonstrates the overwhelming desire of students to work overseas and elaborates on their geographical preferences with regard to possible destinations. Against the backdrop of the Global Nursing Care Chain, nurse migration to large institutional hospitals with bone fide recruitment agencies is seen as a desirable, indeed permissible, channel of mobility of this class of skilled, feminized migrant, and as such suggests that it will continue to be of significant policy and research interest both in India and abroad.

More readings:

Walton-Roberts, M. (2012) “Contextualizing the global nursing care chain: international migration and the status of nursing in Kerala, India.” Global Networks 12, 2: 175-194.

Walton-Roberts, M. and J. Hennebry (2012) “Indirect pathways into practice: A comparative examination of Indian and Philippine internationally educated nurses and their entry into Ontario’s nursing profession.” CERIS Working Paper No. 92.

Immigration Policy and Skilled Migration

Global competition for skilled migration has seen a range of policy options employed to capture full and partial human capital endowments. Immigration policy in many OECD nations now places a premium on migrants with specific skills that are seen as vital to national development, innovation and competitiveness. Nations are in competition for this talent, often reverting to what has been called a ‘citizenship for talent exchange’. Greater migrant selectivity can be seen in the growing use of the skilled points-based system across immigrant receiving states. One policy arena emerging in response to this need is in the intersection of migration and education. The widespread adoption of models that permit the conversion of international students to permanent migrants has emerged in many OECD nations, though clearly waxing and waning along with economic conditions as the UK’s recent situation reveals.

For more information or questions contact Dr. Margaret Walton-Roberts ([email protected])or Dr. Jenna Hennebry ([email protected])

Backgrounder on Immigration Policy Changes and Entry to Practice Routes for Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) Entering Canada

M. Walton-Roberts, K. Williams, J. Guo and J. Hennebry (2014) Policy Points,Issue V.

Every year, about 17,500 internationally-educated nurses (IENs) immigrate to Canada from countries like the Philippines, India, and China. While many IENs would like to practice in Canada, new immigration policies and professional regulations at the federal and provincial level limits their ability to do so. In response, migrants are increasingly using two-step immigration routes to enter the profession (e.g., international student -> permanent economic immigrant) or pursuing alternative careers in health (e.g., Personal Support Worker). These outcomes have significant policy implications for labour force planning in nursing, ethical recruitment for international healthcare workers, the process of migrant workforce integration, and reproduction of migration as a form of gendered development for sending states.  The purpose of this policy points is to summarize our findings from a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) knowledge synthesis report on how migrant transition programs intersect with labour force planning in the Canadian nursing sector. We consider the relevance of these issues for employers, regulators, the Canadian health system, and migrants themselves

Living with Others: Fostering Cultural Pluralism through Citizenship Politics

Considerable research to date has focused on accommodating newcomers through official citizenship policies that promote integration through multiculturalism or assimilation. It has also focused on policies that securitize citizenship through restrictive border controls and security measures. Much less research has investigated creative, citizen-led initiatives of civil society organizations within communities. These initiatives seek to circumvent these citizenship policies (multicultural assimilationist or restrictive in nature) in favour of opening communities to newcomers and fostering cultural pluralism in ways that transform understanding about who is a citizen and who belongs to the community. This project investigates why, how, and under what conditions some communities are more open to cultural difference than others; what types of projects facilitate openness to newcomers and how do citizens and non-citizens participate in these projects in ways that transform understandings of citizenship and belonging. Rather than focusing on barriers to integration, the project will contribute to policy relevant scholarship that examines successful community initiatives across several European countries that foster living with cultural plurality and investigates why some communities, rather than acting in reactionary ways, open their doors to newcomers instead.

This is a SSHRC – funded project conducted by IMRC-affiliated faculty member, Dr. Kim Rygiel at Wilfrid Laurier University and Dr. Feyzi Baban, at Trent University.

For more information please contact project leads Dr. Kim Rygiel ([email protected]) or Dr. Feyzi Baban ([email protected])