Last year, our virtual summit attracted more than 450 delegates from across Canada to talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the immigration system and the lives of newcomers.

Join us for the Canadian Immigration Summit 2022, where we will explore how to make Canada’s immigration system more innovative, resilient, and responsive to complex challenges and unique opportunities.

Father speaking with son Father speaking with son

Immigration to Canada is at a crossroads. The immigration system is facing new pressures, including application backlogs compounded by COVID-19 and challenges related to attracting and retaining immigrants in small and rural communities.

But opportunities have also emerged. There is renewed interest and commitment among stakeholders to recognize the contributions that temporary migrants and international students make to Canada and to address the vulnerabilities they face.

Canada’s response today will set the course for its future prosperity.

What to expect

  • Learn about and share innovative solutions to the challenges facing Canada’s immigration system.
  • Workshop strategies to build resilience against future shocks and to respond to the evolving needs of immigration system stakeholders.
  • Hear the latest qualitative and quantitative insights on immigration to drive data- and evidence-based decision-making.
  • Discuss how to sustain and accelerate the positive economic, demographic, social, and cultural impacts of immigration.
Masked woman on mobile phone

Leading insights with practical take-aways

The summit will explore the following themes, which reflect the key tenets of a successful immigration ecosystem:

Innovation

Building on Canada’s successful immigration system in a time of unprecedented change requires innovation to speed up the economic and social inclusion of newcomers and create more welcoming communities.

Resilience

The pandemic and the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan have tested the immigration system’s resilience. Canada must support temporary workers and refugees while ensuring workforce continuity in immigrant-intensive sectors.

Responsiveness

The immigration ecosystem must be responsive to the diverse needs of all stakeholders, from newcomers settling in small and rural communities to small and medium-sized enterprises seeking talent.

Read more

Featured speakers

All speakers

Mustafa Alio

Mustafa
Alio

Sara Asalya

Sara
Asalya

Jingle Ayupan

Jingle
Ayupan

Marie-Solange Evehe Bebandoue

Marie-Solange Evehe
Bebandoue

Mark Bigland-Pritchard

Mark
Bigland-Pritchard

John Biles

John
Biles

Fariborz Birjandian

Fariborz
Birjandian

Olivier Bourbeau

Olivier
Bourbeau

Ann Bowen

Ann
Bowen

Marco Campana

Marco
Campana

Beth Clarke

Beth
Clarke

Steph Cousins

Steph
Cousins

Lou Janssen Dangzalan

Lou Janssen
Dangzalan

Ranjan Datta

Ranjan
Datta

Kathryn Dennler

Kathryn
Dennler

Denis Desjardins

Denis
Desjardins

Yilmaz Dinc

Yilmaz
Dinc

Jeremy Ferwerda

Jeremy
Ferwerda

Stefan Fournier

Stefan
Fournier

Chad Friesen

Chad
Friesen

Sutama Ghosh

Sutama
Ghosh

Claudia Grill

Claudia
Grill

Murtaza Haider

Murtaza
Haider

Claudia Hepburn

Claudia
Hepburn

Mark Holthe

Mark
Holthe

Tom Kaneb

Tom
Kaneb

Nicholas Keung

Nicholas
Keung

Arif Khimani

Arif
Khimani

Ann H. Kim

Ann H.
Kim

Janet Krayden

Janet
Krayden

Lisa Lalande

Lisa
Lalande

Norm Leech

Norm
Leech

Patrick MacKenzie

Patrick
MacKenzie

Shamira Madhany

Shamira
Madhany

Scott Marsden

Scott
Marsden

Petra Molnar

Petra
Molnar

Philip Mondor

Philip
Mondor

Cosmina Morariu

Cosmina
Morariu

Cameron Moser

Cameron
Moser

Mohammad Mousa

Mohammad
Mousa

Adeena Niazi

Adeena
Niazi

Brendon Ogmundson

Brendon
Ogmundson

The Honourable Ratna Omidvar

The Honourable Ratna
Omidvar

Doug Piquette

Doug
Piquette

Iain Reeve

Iain
Reeve

Ben Rempel

Ben
Rempel

Damaris Rose

Damaris
Rose

Veronica Rossini

Veronica
Rossini

Sue Sadler

Sue
Sadler

Dr. Luca Salvador

Dr. Luca
Salvador

Iona Santos-Fresnoza

Iona
Santos-Fresnoza

John Ralston Saul

John Ralston
Saul

Brady Schnell

Brady
Schnell

Malini Sengupta

Malini
Sengupta

John Shields

John
Shields

Olga Stachova

Olga
Stachova

Elder: Vera Pawis Tabobondung

Elder: Vera Pawis
Tabobondung

Susan Tatoosh

Susan
Tatoosh

Birgit Umaigba

Birgit
Umaigba

Armine Yalnizyan

Armine
Yalnizyan

Dr. Zhixi C. Zhuang

Dr. Zhixi C
Zhuang

Zeynab Ziaie

Zeynab
Ziaie

Agenda

Please note: All agenda times are in Eastern Standard Time. See what time that is for you.

11:30 a.m.
Welcome Remarks and Keynote

In recent years, the worldwide pandemic and humanitarian crises in Afghanistan, Ukraine, and elsewhere have forced Canada’s immigration system to change quickly and dramatically. Some of these changes will necessarily be temporary, but others may be instructive, helping to open our minds to new imaginings of immigrant selection and settlement systems. Iain Reeve will follow the threads from recent adaptations to future possibilities and outline the steps that will be required to realize a more innovative, resilient, and responsive immigration system.

Elder:

Vera Pawis Tabobondung

Senator, National Association of Friendship Centres

Speakers:

Claudia Hepburn

CEO, Windmill Microlending

Arif Khimani

President & COO, MobSquad

Lisa Lalande

CEO, Century Initiative

Iain Reeve

Associate Director, Immigration Research, The Conference Board of Canada

John Ralston Saul

Co-Chair, Institute for Canadian Citizenship

12:45 p.m.
Break
1:00 p.m.
Fireside Chat

The linkages and tensions between immigration and Indigenous reconciliation have not been sufficiently explored within Canada’s immigration system. This session examines opportunities to introduce newcomers to the histories and contemporary realities of Indigenous peoples in Canada and forge relationships between groups that advance Indigenous reconciliation.

Moderator:

Stefan Fournier

Director, Indigenous and Northern Communities, The Conference Board of Canada

Speakers:

Ranjan Datta

PhD, Canada Research Chair II, Community Disaster Research Indigenous Studies, Department of Humanities, Mount Royal University

Norm Leech

Executive Director, Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre

Susan Tatoosh

Executive Director, Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society

2:00 p.m.
Break
2:15 p.m.
Concurrent sessions—Set A (please select one)

A1: Enhancing International Student Education

Lack of alignment between the goals of international students, post-secondary institutions, and immigration policies may work against international student success. For example, students may not receive the support they need to integrate nto the labour market. Drawing on academic research and the lived experience of students, this session examines the immigration system for international students in Canada.

Moderator:

Olga Stachova

Chief Executive Officer, MOSAIC

Speakers:

Sutama Ghosh

Sutama Ghosh

Associate Professor, Ryerson University

Sara Asalya

Founder and Executive Director, Newcomer Students' Association

Ann H. Kim

Associate Professor of Sociology, York University

A2: Preparing Newcomers for Life in Canada

Pre-arrival services provide critical information to set newcomers up for success, including guidance on settlement destinations, employment advice, and help building community linkages. This session will explore how pre-arrival services operate for newcomers across all three immigration streams and examine how these services should evolve as Canada aims to broaden its potential pool of permanent residents.

Moderator:

John Shields

Professor, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Toronto Metropolitan University

Speakers:

Jeremy Ferwerda

Jeremy Ferwerda

Assistant Professor of Government at Dartmouth College

Cameron Moser

Director of Services and Program Development, ACCES Employment

Sue Sadler

SVP, Services & Program Innovation, ACCES Employment

Iona Santos-Fresnoza

Program Manager, FAST, Immigrant Employment Council of BC

3:15 p.m.
Break
3:45 p.m.
Plenary Panel

Temporary foreign workers play a prominent role in sectors such as agriculture, accommodation, and food services. Yet they also face vulnerabilities like low wages, which may discourage other workers in Canada . What role should immigration play in these sectors, and how does reliance on immigration shape working conditions and sector resiliency?

Moderator:

Patrick MacKenzie

CEO of the Immigrant Employment Council of BC

Speakers:

Olivier Bourbeau

Government Relations VP for Federal and Quebec at Restaurants Canada

Janet Krayden

Workforce Specialist, Crystal Clear Connections

Armine Yanlizyan

Atkinson Foundation Fellow, Future of Workers

4:45 p.m.
Adjourn
11:30 a.m.
Plenary Panel

With acute labour shortages in multiple sectors, Canada needs newcomers’ skills. New immigrants bring their knowledge, experience, and creativity to Canada, but too often their talent is overlooked. Business and workforce development leaders will talk about how we can effectively leverage immigration to meet labour needs and realize the full potential of the immigrant workforce.

Moderator:

Beth Clarke

Senior Director, Strategic Partnership, World Education Services

Speakers:

Philip Mondor

President & CEO, Tourism HR Canada

Corinne Pohlmann

Senior Vice-President, National Affairs and Partnerships, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)

Veronica Rossini

Director of Marketing and Communications at Tent

12:30 p.m.
Break
12:45 p.m.
Keynote

Please join the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, for a conversation about how welcoming more newcomers will help Canada’s pandemic recovery and address our labour shortage. He will also discuss the importance of a Team Canada approach in welcoming the world’s most vulnerable, particularly those from Afghanistan and Ukraine.

Moderator:

Iain Reeve

Associate Director, Immigration Research, The Conference Board of Canada

Speaker:

The Honourable Sean Fraser

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

1:45 p.m.
Break
2:15 p.m.
Plenary Panel

Right now, there are over 80 million displaced people in the world. While almost half of them are of working age, most are stuck in countries where they cannot legally work, making their futures uncertain. At the same time, the global economy is experiencing an acute worker shortage in some sectors and occupations, with vacancies at record levels.

Governments, employers, and refugee-serving organizations are working together to help forcibly displaced people find secure futures based on their skills. When they succeed, everyone benefits: displaced people develop sustainable livelihoods, employers gain talented employees, and countries can better meet their labour needs while helping to alleviate the global refugee crisis.

This panel discussion will focus on lessons learned and best practices in global displaced talent mobility. 

Moderator:

Steph Cousins

Steph Cousins

Global CEO at Talent Beyond Boundaries

Speakers:

Cosmina Morariu

Director, Fragomen

Mustafa Alio

Managing Director, Refugees Seeking Equal Access at the Table (R-SEAT)

Tom Kaneb

Entrepreneur and Investor in manufacturing and technology businesses in eastern Canada

3:15 p.m.
Break
3:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions—Set B (please select one)

B1: Immigrant Perspectives on Essential Work

The pandemic demonstrated that certain sectors are essential to ensuring the health and well-being of people in Canada. It also brought attention to the over-representation of immigrants in many of those sectors and their working conditions. This session is an opportunity for immigrants working in essential sectors to share their perspectives on Canada's immigration system and the role of immigrants in the workplace.

Moderator:

Marie-Solange Evehe Bebandoue

PhD, Coordinator, Retail Training Program, Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association

Speakers:

Jingle Ayupan

Jingle Ayupan

PSP - Personal Support Provider

Dr. Luca Salvador

Founder & President, Internationally Trained Dentists Association of Canada

Birgit Umaigba

ICU/ER Registered Nurse and Clinical Course Director, Centennial College

B2: Boosting Regionalization Through Retention

To realize the benefits of regionalization, communities must not only attract but also retain new immigrants. This session brings together research and experience about policies and practices that can support the retention of newcomers in small communities.

Moderator:

Marco Campana

Freelance Communications Consultant

Speakers:

Kathryn Dennler

Research Associate, The Conference Board of Canada

Mohammad Mousa

Programme Officer for Social Sciences, Humanities and Youth with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO

Brady Schnell

Economic Development Officer, Claresholm, Alberta

4:45 p.m.
Adjourn
11:30 a.m.
Plenary Panel

The Canadian government has committed to resettle Afghanis in need of protection after the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan. But resettlement has been fraught with challenges. This session examines the progress that has been made, the next steps, and how Canadian institutions have been supporting the refugee response.

Moderator:

Mark Bigland-Pritchard

Migration & Resettlement Coordinator, Mennonite Central Committee Saskatchewan

Speakers:

John Biles

Acting Senior Director, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Fariborz Birjandian

CEO, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society

Adeena Niazi

Founder and Executive Director of Afghan Women Organization

12:30 p.m.
Plenary Short Session
12:45 p.m.
Break
1:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions—Set C (please select one)

C1: Employer Champions in Small Centres

As small centres seek revitalization through immigration, it is important that local employers are engaged in welcoming immigrants as employees. In this session, early adopters discuss how they became engaged on the issue of immigration and the lessons they have learned along the way.

Moderator:

Doug Piquette

Executive Director, ERIEC

Speakers:

Beth Clarke

Senior Director, Strategic Partnership World Education Services

Denis Desjardins

Director of International Recruitment and Special Projects, Group Savoie

Chad Friesen

President & CEO, Friesens Corporation

Scott Marsden

Scott Marsden

Executive Director, Red Deer Museum

C2: Planning Housing for the Future of Immigration

Plans to increase Canada's population through immigration must be matched by investments in key infrastructure. With housing markets already under pressure, this session examines the steps that must be taken to ensure that Canadians are able to access appropriate and affordable housing in the future.

Moderator:

Dr. Zhixi C. Zhuang

Associate Professor, School of Urban and Regional Planning, Toronto Metropolitan University

Speaker:

Murtaza Haider

Professor, Data Science and Real Estate Management, Ryerson University

Brendon Ogmundson

Chief Economist, British Columbia Real Estate Association

Damaris Rose

Adjunct Professor of Urban Studies, INRS

2:00 p.m.
Break
2:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions—Set D (please select one)

D1: Immigration in the North

Canada’s North is an emerging destination for newcomer settlement. Immigration to the North offers unique opportunities and challenges. In this session, diverse stakeholders come together to discuss current efforts to attract and support immigrants in the North.

Moderator:

Iain Reeve

Associate Director, Immigration Research, The Conference Board of Canada

Speakers:

Ann Bowen

Labour Market Officer, Government of Yukon

Claudia Grill

Project Coordinator, Training to Employment

John Henderson

President & CEO Det’on Cho Management LP

Malini Sengupta

Coordinator, Yellowknife Immigration Partnership

D2: Using Technology to Manage Migration

Technology could help Canada tackle its immigration backlog and streamline and digitalize application processing. However, technologies such as artificial intelligence come with risks of bias and discrimination. Learn how technology is already being used or developed for immigration processing and what must be done to minimize the risks.

Moderator:

Nicholas Keung

Immigration Reporter, Toronto Star

Speakers:

Mark Holthe

Canadian Immigration Lawyer, Holthe Immigration Law

Petra Molnar

Migration and Tech Monitor Refugee Law Lab, Centre for Refugee Studies

Lou Janssen Dangzalan

Founder, LJD Law

Zeynab Ziaie

Immigration Lawyer, Visa Law Group

3:30 p.m.
Break
3:45 p.m.
Fireside Chat

How can Canada match its bold planned immigration levels with a bold vision for the future of admission and settlement? How can we advance economic and social inclusion and help immigrants thrive in their new home? In this session, thought leaders will share their perspectives on how immigration and settlement systems can be transformed through innovation, design thinking, and a renewed focus on equitable outcomes.

Moderator:

Yilmaz Dinc

Senior Research Associate, Immigration, The Conference Board of Canada

Speakers:

Debbie Douglas

Executive Director, OCASI

Shamira Madhany

Managing Director, Canada and Deputy Executive Director

Ben Rempel

Former Assistant Deputy Minister, Manitoba Immigration

4:45 p.m.

Elder:

Vera Pawis Tabobondung

Senator, National Association of Friendship Centres

Network via Braindate at the Canadian Immigration Summit

You are joining the Canadian Immigration Summit to meet great people and discuss how to make Canada’s immigration system more innovative, resilient, and responsive.

How do you spark those meaningful conversations? It all starts with a braindate.

What is a braindate?

Virtual braindates are knowledge-sharing conversations you can book with others, either one-on-one or in small groups, using the Braindate platform. They’re the best way to brainstorm, solve challenges, and share expertise or experiences while connecting with new people—all virtually. Watch this video to see how it works.

When and how to book your braindates:

Using the email you registered with and access code CIS22, the Braindate platform can be accessed here.

  • May 24–26 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST
  • May 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST

Top reasons to braindate during the Canadian Immigration Summit:

  • Take advantage of the collective knowledge of like-minded peers.
  • Engage in meaningful conversations about issues on your mind and in your heart.
  • Make it self-directe: Choose your meetings by identifying who may have the answers to your questions.
  • Use your own experience for good: Position yourself as a thought leader or a reliable source of information.

Past event

The Canadian Immigration Virtual Summit 2021 explored how COVID-19 was impacting the immigration system and the lives of newcomers and asked how Canada can leverage immigration to speed up economic recovery while continuing to offer a good quality of life for newcomers from around the world.

469

Attendees in 2021

Attendees by
job function

Services Public admin. Unknown Finance, insurance Manufacturing Retail trade

Attendees by
job title

CEO Vice-president Director Manager Technical Admin. Student Unknown

Some of our noteworthy speakers from our previous event

Adrienne Clarkson

The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson

Iain Reeve

Iain Reeve

Associate Director, Immigration, The Conference Board of Canada

Marco Mendicino

Minister Marco Mendicino

Register

Join us to help build the Canadian immigration ecosystem of the future.

$295

Council members, contact us for exclusive pricing.

Sponsors

Is your organization interested in being a sponsor? View our SPONSORSHIP PACKAGES and contact us to find out about the sponsorship opportunities and benefits.

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