The Jarislowsky Chair is dedicated to community outreach and working with our community to meet our immigration goals. Here are some of the events we have attended over the past few months.

The Immigration and Sustainable Development Conference took place on November 29 and 30, 2018 at Memorial University in St. John’s, NL. The conference was composed of two portions: a public keynote address by Dr. Ivan Emke (November 29) and an Immigration and Sustainable Development Symposium (November 30), featuring a range of panelists and speakers. The keynote address was free and open to public. The symposium was also free and by invitation.

The public keynote address by Dr. Ivan Emke was titled, “And Who Will Help Me Grow the Food: The Fable of the Little Red Hen in an Age of Food Insecurity and Labour Uncertainty.” The Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, Jennifer Simpson, gave opening remarks. In this talk, Dr. Emke explored issues of population growth, immigration, rural vitality and economic sustainability through the fable of the Little Red Hen. He sought to offer hope that there are workable solutions available that will grow communities - and food - in Newfoundland and Labrador but also discussed challenges, such as labour shortages and the low prices of food items as making it difficult for farmers to earn an income.

The Immigration and Sustainable Development Symposium was a day of informative panels, productive breakout sessions and networking. The Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour offered opening remarks, followed by Dr. Aimée Surprenant, the Associate Vice-President and Dean, Graduate Studies. The event was moderated by Michael Clair, a consultant and former Associate Director of Memorial University’s Leslie Harris Centre. The panels, Rural Development and Skills Training, featured a diverse group of experts who shared their insights into current challenges in their fields as well as innovative solutions that are being implemented across Newfoundland and Labrador and in Atlantic Canada. There has been significant policy conversation in the province about agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries and renewable energy over the past few years. These are sectors that have been identified as priorities for government and businesses as we all work together to explore opportunities for growth and sustainability in our communities and economy. Memorial University has also made these sectors a priority, particularly through some of the world-renowned programs at the Marine Institute. But Newfoundland and Labrador, like other provinces in Atlantic Canada, also faces human capital challenges as we require skilled labour to drive growth in these sectors and entrepreneurs to invest in innovative businesses that will allow the province to compete regionally, nationally and increasingly globally. Immigration offers several opportunities to address some of these challenges and the federal and provincial governments have been working together to attract and retain skilled workers and entrepreneurs.

For more insight into the day's discussions, you can watch the panels online!



Notes from the day based on presentations and group discussions have been synthesized into a report, which you can find here.

Dr. Tony Fang and Dr. Jane Zhu were pleased to attend the Minister’s Roundtable on Immigration in October. The roundtable included representatives from the federal, provincial and municipal governments, business community, labour, K-12 education system, post-secondary institutions, municipalities, community organizations, service providers, immigrants , international students, refugees. Presentations reviewed NL’s immigration programs, as well as changes and achievements for 2017-2018. The discussion included potential challenges for immigration in the province, such as how to retain international students and temporary foreign workers, as well as potential solutions such as improving access to information on immigration programs and arranging internship opportunities for international students.

Jane Zhu, Tony Fang and Al Hawkins

As a key stakeholder, Dr. Tony Fang had the opportunity to present at the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Reference Group meeting in October to provide feedback on the pilot program. During his presentation, Dr. Fang reviewed the challenges of immigration including the earnings gap between visible minorities and white Canadians. Economic integration is a key factor for newcomer recruitment and retention and therefore the role of employers is crucial. Dr. Fang also recommended some policy changes such as improving foreign credential recognition.

Tony Fang

Kerri Neil, along with Arif Abu and Dr. Yolande Pottie-Sherman, recently took part in a lunch’n’learn session with a local chapter of WUSC at MUN’s St. John’s campus. The panel discussed the role of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador in mitigating the global refugee crisis. Topics included the role of the federal and provincial government in refugee resettlement and explored ways to educate and involve youth in addressing the refugee crisis.

On December 6, 2017 we were pleased to host, the "Population Symposium: Impact of Population Aging and Immigration on Service Delivery, Labour Market and Economy in Newfoundland and Labrador.” Our event built on recent research from the Harris Centre's Population Project, in conjunction with Memorial's Stephen Jarislowsky Chair in Cultural and Economic Transformation and the Atlantic Research Group on Economics of Immigration, Aging and Diversity. Our aim was to examine how a declining and aging population, and increased diversity of an immigrant population will impact service delivery, labour market and the economy in NL. 

We were pleased to video record the day's discussions and these can be viewed online.

Morning session with keynote Herb Emery and panelists Deidre Ayre, Derek Messacar, Stephen Bornstein and John Abbott.


Herb Emery's PowerPoint presentation: Population Aging in NL: Impacts of Demographic Shift on a Small Open Economy

Afternoon session with keynote Richard Saillant and panelists Justin Campbell, Howard Lin, Lynn Gambin, and Kerry Murray.


Richard Saillant's PowerPoint presentation: Immigration and Newfoundland and Labrador's Labour Market Dynamic.

You can watch the full symposium here:

Notes from the day based on presentations and group discussions have been synthesized into a report, which you can find here.

The Fogo Process 2067 Conference was held Oct. 19-22 on Fogo Island. This event was co-organized by Dr. Tony Fang, Phil Barnes of the Fogo Island Fisheries Cooperative Society, Dr. Lisa Rankin of the Institute for Social Enterprise and Research, the Town of Fogo and the Shorefast Foundation. The conference opened on the theme “Where we we, and wither tending,” and explored Fogo’s successes of the past 50 years with consideration of how these can be applied in the future. Dr. Fang made a presentation on “International Migration and Global Talent Management: Making a Case for FOGO and NL.”

fogo process conference

Vital Signs 2017 was officially launched on Oct. 19 with great excitement. The report, whose project team included our team member Halina Sapeha, focused on a range of topics pertinent to Newfoundland and Labrador including income inequality, sense of belonging and mental health. Team member Kerri Neil also contributed to the report, drawing on work from our upcoming research project investigating municipal services in the province. You can find it on the Harris Centre’s website. Halina was also interviewed for CBC about the launch, where she explained, "I think this trend of economic uncertainty has its toll, but at the same time this is where communities could come together and help each other.”

Vital Signs Launch

On September 26, Dr. Fang was pleased to be invited to the Productivity Partnership Ottawa Meeting at the Bank of Canada. This was a great opportunity to meet with partners of the “Productivity, Firms and Incomes” Network led by Mike Veall and to present on research pertaining to “Linkages between Workplace Skill Training and Firm Productivity: Analysis Using WES.”

Tony Fang at Bank of Canada

Tony Fang, Opeyemi Jaunty-Aidamenbor and Kerri Neil presented on our recently completed and in-progress projects at the Small and Adaptive Cities Conference , organized by Memorial University’s Adaptive Cities and Engagement Space from Sept. 29 - Oct. 1. This was a great opportunity to present our research to a new audience and learn more about research happening on immigration in small cities abroad.

ACE Logo

As part of a workshop co-organized by Dr. Huiyao Wang, Dr. Fang presented at the Metropolis International Conference in Hague, September 18-22. The theme of the workshop was “The Effects of the Transnational Ties of Overseas Diaspora and Return Migrations.” This workshop drew on experts from the immigration and diaspora from Canada, China, and the UK to discuss diaspora networks and how they can help developing countries and external funding agencies share policy and technological and managerial knowledge.

In September 2017 Dr. Fang was invited to participate in the Atlantic Growth Advisory Group. This Advisory group will provide strategic advice to support the effective implementation of the Atlantic Growth Strategy and sustainable economic growth in Atlantic Canada. This is a great opportunity to consult with the federal ministers and Atlantic Premiers on this exciting new initiative that will enhance the economy of the region.

Tony at Atlantic Growth Strategy

Tony Fang Presents at 9th International Labor Relations Conference in Sichuan University. Sponsored by the China Human Resources Development Research Association Labor Relations Branch, the 9th International Labor Relations Conference was held in Sichuan University from July 10 - 14. The theme of the conference was to discuss the new problems, changes and trends in the field of labor relations and industrial transformation. Dr. Fang presented on his research on "Chinese Trade Union Research: the function of trade unions in transnational corporations and their impact on corporate performance.”

We would like to thank the Labrador Expo for inviting Kerri Neil to present on our recently completed project, “The Temporary Foreign Worker Program and Employers in Labrador.” Hosted by the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce, Expo Labrador provides a space for industry leaders to network and learn about economic opportunities in Labrador. This was a great opportunity to engage and meet with those most affected by our research findings.

Expo Labrador 2017

We were very excited to attend the first biennial Labrador Research Forum in Happy Valley-Goose Bay from May 1 to 3. This was a great opportunity to present the work we have been doing on Labrador with the Harris Centre's Population Project including our just published "Temporary Foreign Worker Program and Employers in Labrador" report and our work-in-progress "Public Service Delivery in Labrador" project. Thank you to all the organizers for putting together the event and to the Harris Centre for bringing together researchers from the Population Project for a collaborative session. We hope to get together again soon and continue sharing our work on these important topic.

Population Project researchers

We were pleased to be invited to the launch of "The Way Forward on Immigration in Newfoundland and Labrador" presented by Minister Gerry Byrne and hosted at Verafin. This new immigration strategy includes many exciting and innovative tactics on how our province will improve the attraction and retention of immigrants to our province.

Jarislowsky Chair research team and Minister Gerry Byrne

As part of the MUN Economics Department's Speakers Series, Dr. Tony Fang was invited to present his work on the "Socioeconomic Benefits of Immigration." This was a well attended event with lots of interest in how immigration will benefit the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Tony Fang

Dr. Tony Fang presented our new project "Syrian Refugee Arrival, Resettlement and Integration in NL" at the 19th National Metroplis Conference in Montreal, QC. This national immigration conference was a great opportunity to gain exposure for our work and hear about research and initiatives happening across the country.

Tony Fang at Metropolis

Our research team attended MP Seamus O'Regan's talk at the Board of Trade Luncheon on "Embracing Change and ‘Thinking Big’ in a Global Economy." Mr. O'Regan gave an inspiring speech on the importance of Newfoundland and Labrador welcoming more immigrants and tapping into the global market.

Left to Right: Kerri Neil, Halina Sapeha, David Brake, Tony Fang, Seamus O'Regan

Dr. Tony Fang presented at the Local Immigration Partnership Forum on "The Socioeconomic Benefits of Immigration to Newfoundland and Labrador". The LIP Forum was day-long series of workshops that provided opportunities to learn more about immigration to the city, how to promote diversity in your organization, and a chance to network and share with others seeking to create a welcoming community for all newcomers in St. John’s.

Themes include:
- Promoting diversity in your organization
- Immigration research in NL
- Newcomer health and education

Dr. Tony Fang

The Atlantic Research Group on Economics of Immigration, Aging and Diversity put together a riveting research symposium at St. Mary’s University on Nov. 17th and 18th, entitled "Transforming the Mainstream: Immigration in Atlantic Canada, Past, Present and Future." The event was filled with presentations by academics (including our Tony Fang), settlement agencies, community groups, and business on the work they are doing to improve the attraction and integration of immigrants in Eastern Canada. This was a really great chance to hear about all the great work being done and inspired us to bring some new ideas and innovations to this province. We encourage you to visit ARGEIAD’s website for photos and PowerPoints form the event. http://www.smu.ca/centres-and-institutes/atlantic-research-group.html

Tony Fang at ARGEIAD Symposium

Kerri Neil was pleased to present the teams’ work on Syrian refugee retention at the 5th Annual Migration With(Out) Boundaries Conference hosted in Lansing, MI. This interdisciplinary conference covered a range of issues affecting migration with a special panel on the Syrian refugee crisis that included speakers from such far-reaching countries as Turkey and Norway.

 Kerri Neil at Migrations With(Out) Boundaries conference

Pathways to Prosperity, in partnership with the Atlantic Region Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies and the Association for New Canadians, hosted a workshop in St. John’s on October 9. The workshop, Attraction, Retention, and Integration of Immigrants in Smaller Communities, covered a range of issues affecting immigrants and refugees in smaller communities including welcoming communities, economic, social, and political integration, and retention strategies. Our Tony Fang led a discussion on the integration of immigrants in smaller communities that included a lively discussion on strategies and challenges of integrations faced by these smaller areas. Population decline, aging, out-migration, labour and skills shortages are important demographic and economic issues guiding public policy formation in the province.

 Tony Fang at Pathways to Prosperity Workshop

On October 4, we were glad to attend the launch of the 2016 Vital Signs report which includes a variety of measurements that consider the health of our economy and the social well-being of our citizens. Topics on the report range from the thriving artist community in Nunatsiavut to the welcoming of refugees in Corner Brook. We congratulate Halina Sapeha on her hard work compiling the report and encourage our readers to check out the final report at


Karen Oldford, Keith Storey and Halina Sapeha at Vital Signs NL Panel

The 30th anniversary of Tamil refugees landing in Cape St. Mary's, Newfoundland and Labrador was a joyous occassion marked with several events across the province. We were thrilled to attend the "Public Symposium on Refugees, Migration and Arrival by Water" and to learn from academics and government officials alike on the history of refugees arriving by water in Canada and in our province.

Left to Right: James Baker, Alison Mountz, Dennis Hogan, Yolande Pottie Sherman, Harini Svalgingam, Gerry Weimer & Jennifer Hyndman

Lots of great discussion at the "Planning for the Future - Provincial Roundtables on a New Provincial Growth Strategy" on Aug. 12 at the ANC. We really enjoyed the opportunity to chat with other members of the community and government on ways to attract and retain more immigrants to our province.

Halina Sapeha & our round table discussing NL's Immigration Strategy

We were pleased to attend the "Forum on the History of Immigration in Newfoundland and Labrador" hosted by RIAC and Happy City. Great panelists and questions from the audience!

Halina Sapeha and Kerri Neil at the Forum

We were very honoured to have the delegation from the Shanghai Lixin University of Commerce come to Memorial University to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with our university and we look forward to future collaborations with them.


Members of Shangai Lixin University and Memorial University