Together Project supports its work through accessible, evidence-based, monitoring and evaluation research.
Integration is a dynamic process of adaptation between newcomers and destination societies. Integration has been a hallmark of Canadian multiculturalism, has made our cities some of the world’s most inclusive and vibrant, and most importantly, helps ensure the inter-generational well-being of all Canadians.
Unfortunately, recent research shows increased residential segregation among new immigrant groups, and some waning indicators for integration. Durable integration means far more than an open immigration policy. Integration requires the hospitality, friendship, and civic commitment of all Canadians.
Experience tells us that personal connections and contacts can have major impacts in all areas of life opportunities. Many newcomers struggle to develop the social capital necessary for durable integration and social mobility. Research shows that building social networks across ethnic, religious, and cultural groups helps with more rapid and durable integration.
Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) are resettled to Canada on the recommendation of the UNHCR. They tend to be selected for resettlement to Canada based on criteria of vulnerability. On average they have lower rates of education, literacy, and numeracy, and often do not have experience with Canada’s official languages. Whereas Privately-Sponsored Refugee newcomers arrive to established social networks, GAR newcomers tend to rely on case managers from settlement agencies with an average of approximately 45 cases each. GAR newcomers thus arrive in Canada with less social capital and fewer opportunities for growing social networks. These dual barriers have resulted in long term integration gaps between PSR and GAR newcomers. GARs not only start at a lower income bracket given that most initially rely on social support, but tend to stay at a lower average income over subsequent years, entrenching a gap between GAR’s and different categories of refugee newcomers.