UBC Graduate Research

Multicultural policy, programming, and planning : the collaborative future of Metro Vancouver's municipalities and settlement sector Mendoza, Maureen


Multiculturalism has been a way to both vision and reconcile Canadian ethnocultural diversity, particularly in response to changing immigration demographics. The way multiculturalism has served as a settlement framework alongside immigration policy has changed over the years. This project examines how settlement agencies respond to shifting conceptualizations of multiculturalism in their organization. A parallel narrative highlights how municipalities - directly or indirectly – take on responsibilities of settlement and immigration, and adopt policies in order to make their municipalities more attractive and accessible to immigrants and newcomers. Six case studies – three settlement agencies and three Metro Vancouver municipalities – seek to answer two primary questions: First, what are the specific roles, challenges and opportunities for growth that both immigrant service providers and municipalities face with respect to shaping multiculturalism services and policies? Second, what is the future of collaboration between the two with regards to immigrant settlement service delivery? What the case studies revealed was a complex and delicate understanding of the current and future of multiculturalism policy, one that transcends ethnocultural diversity as well as understanding that such policies primarily serve racialized minorities. It illuminated the desire of settlement agencies to be supported by municipal government, but also the constraint - and sometimes hesitation - of this level of government to respond to immigrant settlement services more directly. The case studies brought into focus the rise and popularity of diversity and inclusion initiatives, largely driven by intercultural understanding. The report concludes by examining the importance of recognizing multiculturalism policies as part of social sustainability more generally. The project discusses the promise of Local Immigration Partnerships as one model that may bring settlement agencies and municipalities in collaboration with one another towards coordinated settlement service delivery. Lastly, the report discusses future research regarding effective collaboration, including attention to the intersection of immigration policy, impact of funding changes, and targeted services.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada