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Agenda and Speakers

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

Celebrating 150 Years of Canadian Immigration

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 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.

Innovating at 150 and Beyond

Throughout its history, Canada has turned towards innovative solutions in pursuit of its immigration objectives. In light of today’s domestic and international challenges, speakers will discuss how, through 21st century innovations, Canada can address these challenges to strengthen its immigration system. What can Canada learn from peer nations and how can their successes be applied at home?

Speed Networking

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

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.

Leveraging Diversity to Enhance Canada’s Prosperity

How can stakeholders work together, tapping into the skills, knowledge, and connections of diaspora communities to make the most of the diversity-trade opportunity? 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 temporary foreign workers.

Facilitating the Free Flow of People and Investment 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, temporary foreign workers, risk management, physical residency requirements, and maintaining an effective balance between the public and private interest.

Immigration in the Digital Age

Today, prospective immigrants, refugees, international students and temporary 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 much more to improve Canada’s immigration system and support newcomers. Speakers will discuss how this can be done—from pre-arrival, to selection, settlement, integration, and retention.

Feeling Welcome in Canada: Cases from Small, Medium and Large Communities

Looking at small, medium and large examples, 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?

Lessons from the Syrian Refugee Initiative

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—of all nationalities—succeed in Canada. What are effective and timely measures to provide refugees with health supports, language training, and human and social capital development?

“Canadian Experience Required”: Addressing the Challenges

Speakers will share innovative best practices to help improve the labour market outcomes of the foreign born. Areas of discussion will also include how employers can identify the right talent to meet their workforce needs. How can stakeholders work together to help foreign born talent find good jobs, including in regulated professions?

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 discuss innovative approaches to addressing these issues. For example, how can we effectively assess the competencies of refugees who arrive to Canada without their credentials? What are some domestic best practices that could be applied more widely across Canada? What lessons could Canada learn and adopt from peer nations?

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? How can female entrepreneurs be supported adequately? Speakers will share their personal examples and the keys to empowering the entrepreneurially-inclined.

Making the Most of a Shared Jurisdiction: 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? How big of a 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?

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. In wake of Canada’s 150th anniversary, this special keynote address will celebrate the exceptionalism of the Canadian immigrant experience.


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