Publications archive

In this publications archive, find reports and policy papers on immigration and diversity including, immigration policy, settlement and integration, employer practices, and diversity in leadership published before 2013. The documents have been listed by year.

To see our current research and policy publications, please visit the publications page.


Shaping the future: Canada’s rapidly changing immigration policies
Authors: Naomi Alboim and Karen Cohl
From 2008 to July 1, 2012, the federal government has made changes to every aspect of immigration policy, including the way in which reform is undertaken, and more changes are proposed. While some of the recent changes are positive, many are problematic. The changes could have a dramatic impact on both the social and economic fabric of Canada and how the country is perceived by potential immigrants from around the world.

New Survey Research Reveals Canada’s Attitudes towards Citizenship
Canadians on Citizenship is the result of a collaboration between the Environics Institute, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), the Maytree Foundation, the CBC and RBC to further the national dialogue on citizenship.


Immigrant Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship in the GTA
Author: Dr. Sarah Wayland
The paper explores whether self-employment and entrepreneurship is a viable option for lifting new Canadians out of poverty in the Greater Toronto Area.

Good Ideas from Toronto: An Exchange of Immigrant Integration Practices
Author: Maytree

From November 28 to December 2, 2011, a delegation from Toronto, led by Maytree’s president Ratna Omidvar and chairman Alan Broadbent, visited four cities in Germany (Stuttgart, Hamburg, Berlin, and Cologne) to share good practices in immigrant integration.

Adjusting the Balance – Discussion Papers Series
This series provides updates and commentary on recent immigration policy developments, evaluating recent changes which relate to the recommendations presented in the 2009 paper Adjusting the Balance: Fixing Canada’s Economic Immigration Policies, by Naomi Alboim.

  1. Six Ways to Improve the Federal Skilled Worker Program
  2. The “Pilot” for recruiting temporary foreign workers for low-skilled jobs should be abolished
  3. Create a Pan-Canadian Framework for Provincial Nominee Programs
  4. Alternatives to the ‘Low-Skilled’ Pilot Program
  5. The role of postsecondary institutions and employers in two-step economic immigration


Evaluation of the Federal Skilled Worker Program Works
Author: Maytree

This short document summarizes the recent evaluation of the skilled worker program conducted by the federal government.

Policy in Focus, Issue 12: Diverse Leadership Fuels Organizational Effectiveness and Prosperity
Author: Maytree

This issue of Maytree Policy in Focus highlights the DiverseCity Counts report by The Diversity Institute at Ryerson University.


Policy in Focus, Issue 10: Abolish the Low-skilled Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Author: Maytree

This Policy in Focus features a proposal for reform by Naomi Alboim which would produce refocus immigration policies to ensure the skilled worker program remains at the heart of permanent economic immigration to Canada.

Fast, Fair and Final: Reforming Canada’s Refugee System
Author: Peter Showler

Making refugee decisions is an incredibly difficult task. To meet this challenge, a reformed system needs to be based on the following three pillars: (1) A good first decision; (2) a reliable appeal; and (3) the prompt removal of failed claimants.”

Policy in Focus, Issue 9: Reforms to the Refugee System Are Needed
Author: Maytree
In some ways, Canada’s inland refugee system is a model. It provides a route to permanent residence, gives most claimants a hearing, and is designed to provide a good first decision. But the system is also deeply flawed. Decision-makers are politically appointed rather than chosen solely on merit. European asylum systems screen asylum seekers at the border based primarily on country of origin and have been widely criticized by experts. They also focus on early and quick decisions by government officials that are not reliable and result either in unjust removals of refugees or high overturn rates at the appeal level. These systems often lead to various appeals and delays.

Making Their Mark: Canada’s Young Refugees
Author: Maytree
This publication celebrates the 10th year anniversary of the Maytree Scholarship Program, with profiles of 22 past scholarship recipients. It also features an essay by Peter Showler.

Adjusting the Balance: Fixing Canada’s Economic Immigration Policies
Author: Naomi Alboim

Canada needs a national vision for economic immigration. A strong, cohesive, long-term vision will help Canada to be competitive in attracting people with the human capital it needs for an innovative, productive and knowledge-based economy.

Policy in Focus, Issue 8: Canada is failing to reap benefits of diversity in leadership
Author: Maytree

Research on diversity in leadership has shown a link between diversity and increased social and economic prosperity. Yet research by the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University shows that visible minorities are underrepresented in leadership positions in the GTA, particularly in the corporate sector.

Diversity Matters: Changing the Face of Public Boards
Author: Maytree

Diversity Matters sets out the benefits of board diversity and provides practical ideas for promoting more transparent and inclusive board processes.

Evaluation of the Maytree Alterna-Savings Immigrant Employment Loan Program
Author: Maytree

The Maytree – Alterna Savings Immigrant Employment Loan Program provided loans up to $5000 to permanent residents and refugees who required short-term training, certification or registration in a profession in Ontario. This report examines the impact of these loans on the lives of skilled immigrants.


Policy in Focus, Issue 4: Renew and Expand Language Programs to Support Immigrant Children
Author: Maytree

Renew and Expand Language Programs to Support Immigrant Children discusses a report by Sheri Regier, Tam Goossen, Mirian DiGiuseppe and John Campey prepared for The Community Social Planning Council of Toronto, entitled Renewing Toronto’s ESL Programs…charting a course towards more effective ESL program delivery.


An Open Letter to the New Prime Minister of Canada
Author: Alan Broadbent
Maytree’s open letter to the next Prime Minister of Canada focuses on the key elements for an immigration policy that will serve Canada.

Practical And Doable Ideas That Will Make A Difference: Integrating Skilled Immigrants into Ontario’s Labour Market
Author: Ratna Omidvar

In a speech to the Ontario Liberal Party Annual Policy Development Conference, Ratna Omidvar provided concrete policy recommendations that focus equally on the needs of the immigrant and the province of Ontario in improving access to employment for newcomers.


An Open Letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin
Author: Dominic D’Alessandro
Op-ed outlining six recommendations for the government of Canada to break down the barriers faced by skilled immigrants.


Immigrant Settlement and Social Inclusion in Canada
Authors: Ratna Omidvar and Ted Richmond
This paper poses the following questions: What does the concept of social inclusion offer for a better understanding and ultimately a better resolution of the problems of immigrant and refugee settlement in Canada today? More specifically, does the concept of social inclusion offer new perspectives and help us formulate improved policies in the vital area of immigrant settlement?

Immigrants in Canadian Cities: Census 2001 – What Do the Data Tell Us
Author: Elizabeth McIsaac

In the 1990’s immigrant’s did not integrate into the Canadian labour market as effectively as previous groups of immigrants. These indications of underemployment, the author argues, seem to be the result of shortcomings in the recognition of immigrants’ qualifications and other systemic barriers to employment. Since more than 90% of immigrants live in urban centres, the solutions to this problem need to correspond to local conditions.

Integrating Immigrant Skills into the Ontario Economy: A Ten Point Plan
Author: Naomi Alboim

This document identifies ten concrete initiatives the new Ontario government should take to allow the province to benefit from the wealth of immigrant skills and experience. The plan, a joint publication of Maytree and Ideas that Matter, has been developed by Naomi Alboim, a strategic partner of Maytree and a highly regarded commentator on immigration policy.

Looking for Leadership in Likely Places
Author: Ratna Omidvar
On April 15, 2003 Ratna Omidvar presented a keynote address Looking for Leadership in Likely Places to participants at the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy’s 2003 Symposium.


Brief to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration regarding Proposed Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations
Author: Maytree
Building on the Maytree’s earlier submissions to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (October, 2001 and May, 2001) this brief comments on the proposed Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Sharing the Benefits of Immigration…or Creating a Second Class of Immigrant
Author: Elizabeth McIsaac
Elizabeth McIsaac critiques the federal government’s 2002 dispersion strategy of skilled immigrants and proposes several policy alternatives. The strategy is intended to share the demographic and economic benefits that cities like Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver have enjoyed with other cities and communities across Canada.

Towards a Framework for Local Responsibility: Taking Action to End the Current Limbo in Immigrant Settlement –Toronto
Author: Mwarigha M.S.

This report was commissioned by Maytree to highlight the issues and challenges facing Toronto as the primary settlement destination of an increasing number of new immigrants.


Brief to the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology regarding Bill C-11, Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Author: Maytree
This brief is a focused statement of Maytree’s concerns regarding refugee protection, drawn from the foundation’s earlier submission to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (May 2001).

Brief to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration regarding Bill C-11, Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, (revised from August 18, 2000 brief re Bill C-31)
Author: Maytree

This Brief presents Maytree’s observations, concerns and recommendations with respect to the federal government’s proposed new immigration and refugee legislation, Bill C-11, and related regulations. The Brief is a revised version of our August 18, 2000 brief on Bill C-31, and builds on our published commentaries on that earlier bill (Don’t Slam the Door and The New Immigration Act: More Questions Than Answers). The Brief focuses specifically on issues related to access to professions and trades for immigrants and the landing of Convention refugees.

Competency Based Assessment Programs for Internationally Trained Professionals, session proceedings
Author: Catherine Laurier

At the invitation of Maytree, representatives from Ontario’s occupational regulatory bodies have been meeting to discuss areas of mutual interest around assessment and recognition of foreign qualifications. The objective of these meetings was to begin a dialogue among regulatory bodies around challenges, successes and possible strategies in access to professions and trades. The first workshop examined competency based assessment processes of foreign-trained professionals.

Who Should Get In? Rethinking Immigration Priorities on February 28, 2001 in Toronto and on Monday, October 29, 2001 in Halifax.




Brain Drain, Brain Gain
Author: Maytree
In order to bring some new and fresh thinking to immigration and employment policy and practice questions in Canada, Maytree and the St. Lawrence Centre Forum sponsored the session Brain Drain, Brain Gain on May 25, 2000, in Toronto.

Brief to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration regarding Bill C-31: Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Author: Maytree
Building on our May 2000 commentary on the proposed immigration overhaul, The New Immigration Act: More Questions Than Answers, this Brief to the Parliamentary committee studying Bill C-31 presents Maytree’s specific proposals for improvement to the bill and related regulations and policies. The Brief focuses specifically on issues related to access to professions and trades for immigrants and the landing of Convention refugees.

Economic Migrants or Refugees? Trends in Global Migration, session proceedings
Author: Maytree
In the summer of 1999, smuggled Chinese migrants arrived by boat on Canada’s West Coast. Canadians reacted in many different ways, expressing emotions ranging from consternation to compassion and from panic to ambivalence. In order to bring some new and fresh thinking to these issues, Maytree, in conjunction with the Caledon Institute of Social Policy and the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, sponsored the forum Economic Migrants or Refugees? Trends in Global Migration on January 12, 2000.

Towards A Greater Toronto Charter: Implications for Immigrant Settlement
Author: Laura Simich

With the release of the Greater Toronto Charter in April 2000, Maytree commissioned a background paper and convened a forum on Monday, September 18, 2000 at the Metro Central YMCA to discuss its applicability to the coordination and management of immigrant and refugee settlement services. The paper was an initial attempt to ask what greater local autonomy in Toronto could mean for the immigrant settlement sector in terms of policy and practice.

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