“Immigration and Multi-level Governance in Canada and Europe: The role of municipalities as integration ‘policy innovators'”

“Immigration and Multi-level Governance in Canada and Europe: The role of municipalities as integration ‘policy innovators'”

Policy Paper by Alexander Gunn, University of Victoria

Cities are increasingly identified in Canadian academic and policy literature as being an integral support structure for the settlement and integration of immigrants to Canada – often serving as the “first point of contact” between newcomers and government due to the day-to-day dependence of immigrants on various local public services. The ability of municipal governments to assist in the immigrant settlement process, however, is continually challenged by their weak fiscal capacities and their limited (or non-existent) role in the development of immigration policy – a field that has traditionally been dominated by the federal and provincial levels of government. This paper will examine how various Canadian cities are overcoming these challenges in order to become “policy innovators” in the fields of immigrant settlement and integration, often working in collaboration with their federal and provincial counterparts as well as with local businesses and civil society organizations. 

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