Policy Insights

Research & Reference

Maytree has compiled background information, resources and statistics relating to issues of cities, diversity, poverty, board governance, immigration and Public Appointments Model and Studies.

Here is an overview of some relevant statistics.

  • In 2006, Canada’s population reached 31.2 million. Approximately 20% — 6.1 million people — were born outside of Canada. About 16% or – 5 million people are visible minorities. (Source: Statistics Canada. Immigration and Citizenship Highlight Tables, 2006 Census.)
  • More than 70% of the foreign-born population speak a mother tongue other than English or French. (Source: Statistics Canada, Immigration in Canada: A Portrait of the Foreign Born Population, Census 2006, (December 2007), 5.)
  • Roughly two-thirds of Canada’s population growth now comes from net international migration. Population projections show that net immigration may become the only source of population growth by about 2030 and could account for virtually all net labour force growth by 2011. (Source: Statistics Canada. “The Canadian Immigrant Labour Market in 2006: First Results from Canada’s Labour Force Survey.” The Daily, Monday, September 10, 2007.)
  • Immigrants aged 25 to 54 are more likely to have a university education than Canadian-born men and women. In 2006, while 36% of immigrants in this age group had at least a bachelor’s degree, the proportion was only 22% among those born in Canada. (Source: Statistic Canada. “Canada’s immigrant labour market.” The Daily, Monday, September 10, 2007.)
  • One in five (18.5%) of recent immigrants who arrived between 1992 and 2000 were in low income at least four years during their first five years in Canada. This was more than twice the corresponding rate of around 8% among Canadian-born people. (Source: Garnett Picot, Feng Hou and Simon Coulombe, Chronic Low Income and Low-income Dynamics Statistics Canada , Statistics Canada, January 2007.)
  • If all immigrants’ foreign learning and learning credentials were recognized, between $3.4 and $5.0 billion would be added to the Canadian economy every year. (Source: Conference Board of Canada. Performance and Potential 2004-2005: How can Canada prosper in Tomorrow’s World? (Ottawa 2004), 132.)
  • In 2001, the disposable income of employed working-age visible minorities in Canada was estimated at $78 billion. Minorities represent approximately 39 per cent of the consumer market in Vancouver, 48 per cent in Toronto and 20 per cent in Montréal. (Source: As cited in. The Conference Board of Canada. Business Critical: Maximizing the Talents of Visible Minorities (Ottawa, 2005.), 94.)
  • According to the 2006 Census, 60% of the foreign-born live in the regions of Toronto (60%), Montreal (20%) and Vancouver (21%).
  • Of the 5,072,075 people who lived in the Toronto CMA in 2006, almost half – 2,320,160 – were born outside the country. A bit under half are visible minorities – 2,174,070. (Source: Statistics Canada. Immigration and Citizenship Highlight Tables, 2006 Census.)


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Board Mentoring Handbook

Diversity Matters – An Action Plan for Inclusion in Public Appointments
A publication from DiverseCity onBoard. The action plan highlights nine practices aimed at dismantling barriers to potential applicants for public appointments. These candidates bring an increasingly diverse set of experiences, skills and perspectives to civic life.

According to research, civic diversity can improve organizational effectiveness to help seize opportunities for improved services and products, enhance decision-making and capitalize on public perception of social consciousness and progress. In fact, some of these recommendations are currently in practice, both locally in the GTA and abroad in other countries, and are seeing success.

For a full description of the practices and examples of how these have been implemented by public and private institutions, read Diversity Matters – An Action Plan for Inclusion in Public Appointments.

Read the Press Release
Backgrounder: Business Case for Diversity
Backgrounder: City of Toronto Diversity Survey

Diversity in Governance (NonProfit Diversity Toolkit)

Not a Rocking Chair!
How board chairs can provide strategic leadership to public purpose organizations
from the Institute on Governance

Public Appointments Models and Studies

Diversity Tools and Facts

Voluntary Sector Resources

  • National Study of Board Governance Practices in the Canadian Non-profit and Voluntary Sector
    Strategic Leverage Partners and the Centre for Voluntary Sector Research and Development, a joint initiative of Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, have developed a web-based survey that will form the base of a National Study of Board Governance Practices in the Canadian Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector. The study has been designed in response to shifts in the environment in which Canada’s nonprofits operate and a desire to share governance practices across sub-sectors and organizations. The survey, together with focus groups and key informant interviews, aims to gather information that will assist nonprofit and voluntary sector boards across the country become more effective in their governance roles. The results of the study will be made public and shared with nonprofit organizations across Canada in early 2006.