Generation Next: How are the children of immigrants faring in Canada

Friday, October 28, 2011

Alison Hebbs, Director, Policy and Communications
Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

You’d think that many people take on the life-altering process of moving to a new country with a better life for their children in mind. Canada has worked hard to open its doors for families in search of a brighter future.

And how are these efforts translating? Well, in Canada, the pattern is one of upward mobility for second generation immigrants...overall. For example, the children of Chinese and South Asian immigrants outperform their parents when it comes to educational attainment and labour market outcomes. Actually, they outperform the general Canadian population too. However, as Dr. Philip Kelly, associate professor of geography at York University, explained to attendees of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ Big Thinking lecture on October 20th, this is not true across the board.

His work focuses on the Filipino community and in particular, he focuses his work on what is taking place in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Winnipeg. What his research has shown is that Filipino immigrants arrive to Canada very well educated, perhaps more so than some other immigrant populations, but that their children are not faring as well—except in Winnipeg.

He provided some astounding insights into why this might be the case by asking why are Filipino children less likely to earn a degree? Why are they doing worse than their peers? What’s going on in Winnipeg that it bucks the trend we see in the other major urban centres?

Given that Filipino immigrants are the number one source of immigrants and the largest source of temporary foreign workers, his work is of critical relevance. To learn more about Dr. Kelly’s work and how his work has provided us valuable insights into the processes behind the patterns, please check out the following resources:

Winnipeg a model for new immigrant integration: professor [iPolitics]

Mobilizing knowledge to parliamentarians [ResearchImpact]


Big Thinking