NEWS & EVENTS | October 1, 2018

Major Research Grant To Better Serve Newcomers

Faïçal Zellama, chercheur

Faïçal Zellama, researcher and professor at Université de Saint-Boniface 

Université de Saint-Boniface (USB), represented by a team of researchers, has just formalized an agreement following a call for proposals from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to conduct a research project entitled  “L’établissement et l’intégration des nouveaux arrivants au Manitoba : l’amélioration de la prestation des services en matière de formation linguistique, d’emploi et de bienêtre” (establishment and integration of newcomers to Manitoba: improving service delivery for language training, employment and well‑being).

A major grant of $489,418 for the period leading up to March 31, 2021 was awarded to the multidisciplinary team comprised of Faïçal Zellama, lead researcher and economist specializing in public policy, who is managing the project; Anne Sechin, professor at the School of Translation; Patrick Noël, a historian interested in the historical relations between language and immigration policies in Canada; and Étienne Rivard, professor of human and cultural geography.

“The goal of the project is to better understand why a large number of newcomers do not make use of the services offered by IRCC-funded organizations,” explained Faïçal Zellama. “Ultimately, the study will help improve service delivery in order to better meet the true needs of newcomers and facilitate their integration. The entire community stands to gain from this project.”

This research proposal builds on previous research, begun in January 2017, on the unique issues associated with the establishment and integration of French-speaking refugees, who have a “double minority” status within the official language minority community of Winnipeg. “Given the importance of immigration for the development and vitality of the Francophonie in Manitoba, USB is proud to contribute to a better understanding of the issues surrounding this phenomenon through community-university research,” stated Peter Dorrington, Vice-President (Academic and Research) at USB. “The project will help the federal government in continuing to improve establishment services offered by IRCC, which should improve the integration of newcomers within Manitoba’s French-speaking community and Canadian society.”

The research project will focus on three distinct priorities: language training, employment, and well‑being. The researchers will therefore be studying the impact of the use of language acquisition services, employment services and economic integration services, as well as services promoting well-being that are offered by IRCC-funded organizations with the aim of facilitating newcomer integration. Through quantitative questionnaires as well as qualitative individual and group interviews, the researchers will measure the congruence of needs identified by newcomers and services offered, and determine the impact of such services on newcomer integration. Ultimately, these results will help streamline and improve service delivery by organizations that fall under IRCC.

Research professors from the Université de Montréal and Concordia University will be collaborating on the project. The team of researchers is also being supported by community partners, including Immigration Partnership Winnipeg, Accueil francophone, the Réseau en immigration francophone and USB’s Continuing Education Division.

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