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Agenda and Speakers

Canadian Immigration Summit 2017: Innovating at 150 and BeyondMay 9–10, 2017 Ottawa

> Show Me: Full Agenda | Speakers Only

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

8:00 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM Opening Remarks

The Conference Board of Canada will welcome delegates, outline the goals of the Summit, and provide an update on the National Immigration Centre.

8:45 AM Plenary Session 1
Keynote Address: Celebrating Canada’s 150th Anniversary

In 2017, Canada commemorates its 150th anniversary—and celebrates the vital role that immigrants play in its growth as a nation. The opening keynote speaker, the Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, will highlight immigration’s central role in our national history, and also update delegates on recent actions to achieve the federal government’s immigration mandate.

McCallum <br />  
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Government of Canada
10:00 AM Plenary Session 2
Innovating 21st Century Solutions

Throughout its history, Canada has turned towards innovative solutions in pursuit of its immigration objectives. The skills-based points system is one of many prominent examples. In light of its contemporary immigration issues, speakers will discuss how Canada could make improvements through 21st century innovations. What can Canada learn from peer nations and how can their successes be applied at home?

11:00 AM Plenary Session 3
Immigration in the Digital Age

Today, prospective immigrants, refugees, international students, and foreign workers depend on social media and mobile technology to learn about Canada. Upon arrival, they rely heavily on technology to find their way in the country to communities, services, and jobs. However, technology can be leveraged even further to improve Canada's immigration system and support newcomers. Providing successful domestic and global examples, speakers will outline how this can be done-from pre-arrival to selection, settlement, integration, and retention.

12:00 PM Networking Luncheon
1:00 PM Concurrent Sessions: Set A
(please choose one)
1:00 PM Concurrent Session A1
Section 95 in 2017

Immigration is an area of shared federal-provincial/territorial jurisdiction under section 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867. Drawing parallels between the past and present, speakers will discuss the evolution of Canadian immigration law and policy since Confederation. How can intergovernmental collaboration be enhanced? How can policy refinements be made to address immigration challenges in cities and rural settings? What role does immigration play in nation building and the identity of Canadians today? What does the future have in store for the country's immigration system?

1:00 PM Concurrent Session A2
Recognizing Skills, Qualifications, and the Potential

Although they are brimming with potential, immigrants and refugees often find it difficult to get their skills, competencies, foreign experiences, and qualifications recognized in Canada. The Conference Board estimates these challenges cost Canadians up to $17 billion per year. In this session, speakers will provide examples of innovative approaches that help address these issues.

For example, how can we effectively assess the competencies of refugees who arrive to Canada without their credentials? How could pre-arrival supports be leveraged? What are some domestic best practices that could be applied more widely across Canada? What lessons could Canada learn and adopt from peer nations? How could immigrants be better linked to alternative careers?

1:00 PM Concurrent Session A3
Building on the Momentum

Drawing on lessons learned from one of Canada’s largest refugee initiatives ever, speakers will discuss how stakeholders can enhance collaborative efforts to help refugees succeed in Canada. The Leaders’ Roundtable on Immigration’s March 2017 visit to Germany and Switzerland will help inform the discussion.

How can lessons learned and the momentum from this past year inform improvements to Canada’s refugee settlement efforts? What approaches are most successful to supporting collaboration amongst stakeholders as they deliver services to refugees upon arrival and throughout their integration process? What supports in the first year of arrival best empower refugees to flourish after “month 13”—when initial funding supports are no longer available?

2:15 PM Plenary Session 4
Strengthening Selection

How could Canada’s governments improve their programs to effectively balance Canada’s immediate and long-term skills needs? In light of their growing role in the selection process, what modifications could be made to programs to better address the needs of employers? And looking at the country’s competitive advantages and disadvantages through the eyes of a prospective skilled immigrant, speakers will discuss why foreign talent should choose Canada out of many available global options.

3:30 PM Plenary Session 5
Facilitating the Free Flow of People and Capital

A 21st century economy requires a 21st century policy and regulatory environment to promote growth. This session will explore what Canada can do to ensure people and investment capital flow freely to fuel prosperity. Speakers will explore domestic and global best practices and key considerations including international students, foreign workers, risk management, physical residency requirements, and maintaining an effective balance between the public and private interest.

4:30 PM Speed Networking

Get out and mingle. Participate in this exclusive, facilitated speed networking session and meet key immigration leaders and practitioners from across Canada.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

8:00 AM Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM Opening Remarks
8:35 AM Plenary Session 6
“Canadian Experience Required”: Overcoming the Barriers

Speakers will share innovative best practices aimed at improving immigrant labour market outcomes. How can employers identify the right talent to meet their workforce needs? How can stakeholders work together to help immigrants find good jobs, including in regulated professions?

9:30 AM Plenary Session 7
The Big Shift: Two-Step Migration

While Canada is encouraging two-step migration, many of the country’s temporary residents have limited access to settlement supports, which hinders their integration process. As a result of this shift, Canada’s immigration system stakeholders will need to adapt.

Given their prominence in attracting temporary residents to Canada, what adjustments will employers and educational institutions need to make to give foreign workers and international students the settlement supports that they need? Where do service providers factor into the equation? How could the three levels of government provide more effective settlement supports to temporary residents to help facilitate their transitions to permanent residence? Should government settlement funding criteria be modified to respond to this shift?

10:30 AM Concurrent Sessions B
Taking Action: Developing a National Immigration Action Plan for Canada

Participating in this consultation session, delegates will exchange creative ideas and solutions to inform the development of a National Immigration Action Plan for Canada.

Session details to be advised.

12:00 PM Networking Luncheon
1:15 PM Concurrent Sessions Set C
(please choose one)
1:15 PM Concurrent Session C1
Leveraging Diversity to Enhance Canada’s Prosperity

How can stakeholders work together, tapping into the skills, knowledge, and connections of the foreign born to enhance Canada’s prosperity? During this session, speakers will discuss effective business and human resources practices to harness the skills and talents of Canada’s diverse population in the workplace and in markets—including immigrants, refugees, international students, and foreign workers.

1:15 PM Concurrent Session C2
Empowering Foreign Born Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Immigrants and refugees fill jobs. They also create them. Though upon arrival, they face various sets of challenges launching and sustaining their businesses that cut across linguistic, cultural, financial, and gender lines. Nonetheless, immigration in itself is an entrepreneurial phenomenon, and foreign born entrepreneurs have a very strong desire to succeed. How then, can stakeholders provide the assistance necessary to empower foreign born entrepreneurs? And how can foreign born female entrepreneurs be supported adequately? Speakers will share their personal examples and the keys to empowering the entrepreneurially-inclined.

1:15 PM Concurrent Session C3
Making Canada Home: Cases from Small, Medium and Large Communities

Looking at examples of small, medium and large communities, stakeholders will compare and contrast the main factors that nurture feelings of belonging and social cohesion in communities across Canada. How can we support the integration of Francophone minorities? What existing and emerging innovative best practices promote newcomer inclusion?

2:30 PM Plenary Session 8
Keynote Address: The Canadian Dream

A land of opportunity, Canada has welcomed 19 million immigrants since 1867. Seeking to fulfil their hopes and aspirations in Canada, immigrants have made substantial economic, social and cultural contributions to the country. As Canadians celebrate the country’s 150th anniversary, this special keynote address will pay tribute to the exceptionalism of the Canadian immigrant experience.

3:00 PM Closing Remarks

The details of this event are subject to change. Please revisit this page periodically for updated information.