British Journal of Canadian Studies

From group recognition to labour market insertion: civil society and Canada's changing immigrant settlement regime

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2012), 25, (2), 231–251.

Abstract

Canada has the second highest rate of immigration in the world and retains a very high rate of conversion of new immigrants into citizens. But naturalization rates are now beginning to fall at a time when the federal government approach both to the operation of multicultural policies and to the funding of civil society has been subject to a profound restructuring of welfare institutions that has downplayed group claims to civic entitlements and emphasized the insertion of immigrants into the labour market. This article draws on documentary evidence and interviews with chief executives of immigrant serving organizations in an Ontario city to show how these changes have affected the role of civil society in immigrant settlement. It argues that the Canadian case provides strong support for the view that the impact of civil society on immigrant political integration is governed by opportunities and constraints in the political environment in which it operates.

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Acheson, Nicholas