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Established by the President of the Royal Society of Canada in April 2020, the RSC Task Force on COVID-19 was mandated to provide evidence-informed perspectives on major societal challenges in response to and recovery from COVID-19. 

The Task Force established a series of Working Groups to rapidly develop Policy Briefings, with the objective of supporting policy makers with evidence to inform their decisions. 

Full Report

Executive Summary

Overview of Supporting Canada’s COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery Through Robust Immigration Policy and Programs

Canada has been seen globally as a leader in immigration and integration policies and programs, and as an attractive and welcoming country for immigrants, refugees, temporary foreign workers, and international students. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed some of the strengths of Canada’s immigration system, as well as some of the fault lines that have been developing and have deepened over the last few years. In this briefing, we provide an overview of Canada’s immigration system prior to the pandemic, and the policies and programs in place to support immigrant selection, settlement, and integration. We then discuss the system’s vulnerabilities as revealed by the pandemic, and explore a post-COVID-19 immigration vision.

Authors of the Report

Victoria Esses, Co-Chair of the Pathways to Prosperity Partnership; Professor of Psychology and Director of the Network for Economic and Social Trends, University of Western Ontario

Jean McRae, Co-Chair of the Pathways to Prosperity Partnership; Chief Executive Officer of the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria and Treasurer of the Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance - Alliance canadienne du secteur de l’établissement des immigrants (CISSA-ACSEI)

Naomi Alboim, Distinguished Fellow, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University and Senior Policy Fellow, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration, Ryerson University

Natalya Brown, Associate Professor in the School of Business and the Department of Political Science, Philosophy and Economics at Nipissing University; Vice Chair of the Pathways to Prosperity Standing Committee on Immigration to Northern, Rural and Remote Communities

Chris Friesen, Director, Settlement Services, ISSofBC and Chair, Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance - Alliance canadienne du secteur de l’établissement des immigrants (CISSA-ACSEI)

Leah Hamilton, Professor, Bissett School of Business, Mount Royal University; Member of the Advisory Council of the Pathways to Prosperity Partnership

Aurélie Lacassagne, Associate Professor in Political Science at Laurentian University; Member of the Governance Committee and Advisory Council of the Pathways to Prosperity Partnership

Audrey Macklin, Director of the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, Professor of Law and Rebecca Cook, Chair in Human Rights at University of Toronto

Margaret Walton-Roberts, Professor, Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University and Balsillie School of International Affairs

For further information or for media requests, contact Erika Kujawski at ekujawski@rsc-src.ca. 

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