News and Announcements

More immigrants may choose to leave London because of racism and discrimination, study finds - CBC | August 2023 
60 per cent of immigrants in southwestern Ontario have experienced racism and discrimination, study shows. Article

'Alarming': Study reveals hostility toward immigrants in London, region - The London Free Press | July 2023 
The study, funded by the London and Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership, surveyed the experiences of 30 London and Middlesex County immigrant and racialized people. Article

As Canada welcomes historic numbers of immigrants, how can communities be more welcoming? - The Conversation | July 2023 
Canada’s population has officially surpassed 40 million people, and immigration has significantly contributed to reaching this milestone. In 2021, immigrants made up almost one-quarter of the Canadian population. Article

Canada Hits Record Population Growth Through Immigration - New York Times | March 2023 
The country grew by over 1 million people last year, almost all newcomers, as the federal government pushes more immigration to plug labor shortages. Article

The government seeks that almost 1.5 million foreigners integrate into the territory:
Contrary to the current approach of several countries, Canada is determined to attract migrants | November 2022 Article

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada presents at the Pathways to Prosperity National Conference, led by MER Director Victoria Esses | November 2022

Discrimination can make smaller communities unappealing to immigrants, racialized and Indigenous people | June 2022
The populations of smaller communities in Canada have been shrinking because of low birth rates, youth and working professionals moving away and a failure to attract and retain new residents. Read More

How rural Canada can attract and retain international health-care providers: Address discrimination, provide support | May 2022
Smaller communities in Canada, particularly those located in rural areas, find it difficult to attract and especially retain health-care professionals, leading to poorer health outcomes. Read More

Legal woes for immigrants in London | January 2022                                                              
Dr. Victoria Esses joins Rebecca Zandbergen on London Morning to tell London Morning why immigrants need better access to justice and resources to navigate Canada's legal system. Listen Here

The Eighth Annual Journeys of Migration Event Focuses on Islamophobia in London and Canada | November 2021 
The horrific killing of the Afzaal family in London, Ontario in June of this year has reminded us about the reality of Islamophobia in Canada, and specifically in London. A Statistics Canada report released earlier this year found that the number of police-reported hate crimes in Canada increased by 37 per cent during the first year of the pandemic.
To consider how we can address Islamophobia in our community and in Canada, on Thursday, November 18, 2021, 4:00 – 6:00 PM EST, the Western Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations, in collaboration with its partners, will hold its Eighth Annual Journeys of Migration event as part of International Week.
Read More

Indigenous people in London experience more discrimination than other minorities, report finds | September 2021 
Report compared discrimination toward Indigenous people, immigrants and visible minorities. Indigenous people in London and Middlesex County experience more discrimination than immigrants and visible minorities, according to a report commissioned by London & Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership (LMLIP), which is associated with the City of London. Read More

Tracking discrimination in London | September 2021                                                             
Dr. Victoria Esses joins Rebecca Zandbergen on London Morning to talk about some of the findings in the Discrimination Report with London and Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership. Esses joins London Morning to talk about some of the findings. Listen Here

50th Anniversary Podcast Episode on Ugandan Asian Refugees in Canada | June 25, 2021
We hear Shezan Muhammedi's  motivation for doing a PhD on the resettlement, integration and identities of Ugandan Asian refugees in Canada. A structured question he asked was how people identify themselves. “Everyone described themselves as Canadian. Aside from the amount of time they had lived in the country, it was about Canadian values…” Listen here on Youtube

Newcomer Program Preps for Post-Pandemic Realities | May 31, 2020
New federal funding will help a Western-led program continue exploring welcoming environments for newcomers, even as Canada’s attitudes toward new immigrants will surely be tested by the economic and social uncertainty of a post-pandemic world. Read More

Analysis: Immigration to London Soars to Five-Year High – A Crucial Boost for Local Economy | March 7, 2020  
Some 3,330 immigrants arrived in London last year, the highest number in the last five years and a sign, some say, that efforts to attract more newcomers to London are paying off – and will need to in the years ahead, as well, to keep the city’s economy strong. Read More

Seventh Annual Journeys of Migration – 2019: Did It Happen Here? Canadian Attitudes toward Immigration and Cultural Diversity in the Age of Trump and Brexit | November 15, 2019
On Thursday November 14, 2019, the Western Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations, in collaboration with its partners, held its Seventh Annual Journeys of Migration event. The event, entitled Did It Happen Here? Canadian Attitudes toward Immigration and Cultural Diversity in the Age of Trump and Brexit, included a keynote presentation by Michael Adams, President of the Environics Institute. Michael Adams discussed Canadians’ social attitudes and their potential susceptibility to populist anti-immigrant, prejudicial sentiment. The talk was followed by a spoken word poetry performance by Fauzia Agbonhin, an award-winning writer and performer. Fauzia is an 18-year-old Nigerian-Canadian slam poet and author, whose poetry focused on diversity and inclusion. The event was attended by more than 140 members of the community, and Western University faculty and students. Video recordings from the event will be available shortly. PowerPoint presentation can be accessed here.

Anti-immigrant populist government won't fly in Canada | November 15, 2019
While Canada has never been immune to xenophobia, the chance of an anti-immigrant, Trump-style government taking power nationally is unlikely, says an expert who has mined Canadian attitudes on immigration and cultural diversity for several decades. Read More

How do Canadians Feel about Immigration and Cultural Diversity in the Age of Trump, Brexit, and Cherry @ CBC London Morning with Rebecca Zandbergen | November 14, 2019
Victoria Esses is the director at Western University's centre for research on migration and ethnic relations. Today is the centre's annual Journeys of Migration event and Victoria joins London Morning with a preview of the event. Listen to the show

Canada's attitudes towards immigration @ The Craig Needles Show on 980 CFPL | November 14, 2019
Listen to the show

We Think of Them as Cash Cows.’ International Students Want to Immigrate, but Colleges, Employers Want to Boost Their Bottom Lines | September 27, 2019
For some, international education opens doors to jobs and a new life in Canada, for others, it leads to abuse and shattered dreams. In 2018, there were 570,000 study-permit holders in Canada — three-quarters enrolled in post-secondary education. The federal government estimated their spending, including tuition, amounted to $21.6 billion and supported 170,000 Canadian jobs. A joint investigation by the Toronto Star and the St. Catharines Standard looked at the exponential growth of international students in Canada, especially in colleges. This influx has prompted concerns about whether international education has become an immigration shortcut, a default migrant workers' program and a money-making business rather than primarily an opportunity for higher learning. Read More

No Wall to Prevent Trump's White-identity Politics from Crossing the Border into Canada | July 20, 2019
An expert in ethnic relations says the white-identity politics employed by U.S. President Donald Trump could gain traction here in Canada. "I hope it won't happen, but I think there is a potential," Victoria Esses, director of the Network for Economic and Social Trends and a psychology professor at Western University, told The House. Read More

Western Joins Push for Welcoming, Inclusive City | June 7, 2018
Under a program of that same name, a desire to amplify that message has brought together a number of local groups and organizations – including the International Student Centre, Equity and Human Rights Office and Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations, all of Western. Read More

Higher-education Should Do More To Help Students With Immigration: Study | May 18, 2018
Most international students get no immigration support from their Canadian college or university. That’s the finding of doctoral student Alexandra Bozheva, who decided to find out how much on-campus help international students get with things like study permits, temporary resident visas, post-graduation work permits and the transition to permanent residency. “The provision of service is very uneven,” she said. “Some universities have five or six (regulated Canadian immigration consultants) and some have none. What are students supposed to do, go to another school to find help?” Read More

If Immigration Was Slashed, Canada’s Economy Would Feel the Pinch: Report | May 16, 2018
Due to Canada’s small population and aging workforce, a new Conference Board of Canada report predicts that eliminating immigration would have a negative impact on the Canadian economy by 2040. “Immigration contributes to the economy in several ways,” explained Kareem El-Assal, senior research associate with the Conference Board. “They are going to contribute to our labour force, but they’re also going to contribute in terms of economic activity.” Victoria Esses, the head of the Esses Lab for the Study of Intergroup Relations at Western University, agrees with the findings of the report. “Without immigration, our labour force would shrink. Immigrants contribute significantly to the labour force because they come in at a fairly young age, and they have many years of work ahead of them,” Esses explained. Read More

How Can We Blunt Prejudice Against Immigrants? | May 17, 2017
As summer turned to fall in 2015, Ulrich Wagner was glued to the news, watching decades of his social psychology research play out on TV. Images beamed from Munich, Germany, more than 300 kilometers from Wagner's home north of Frankfurt, showed thousands of refugees flooding the city's train station. Their arrival marked the hopeful end of a journey begun in war-torn Syria and other Middle Eastern hot spots.[...] The influx also has morphed into a giant, ill-controlled social experiment. How much social support should the government provide? How can it find long-term housing for everyone who needs it? Will newcomers embrace the social norms of their adopted country, and what happens if they don't? These are among the most pressing questions, but in the background hovers another: How can individuals, civic groups, and governments manage prejudice against refugees? Read More

Hamilton City Hall More Diverse than Ottawa, London | November, 11 2016
A study led by Western University researchers Stelian Medianu and Victoria Esses has found that visible minorities are significantly under-represented in senior leadership positions at City Halls in London and Ottawa, with Hamilton faring better. In London, only 7.9 per cent of senior leaders in the non-profit and municipal public sectors were identified as visible minorities compared to 13.1 per cent of the general London population. 

Western University Study Finds Visible Minorities Underrepresented in Senior Leadership Positions | October 19, 2016
The times may be a-changin’, but London is still largely run by white men, a new study has found. Not one visible minority can be found in the 15 top-paying city of London management positions, according to the study conducted by Western University researchers in partnership with Pillar Nonprofit Network. And when it comes to gender balance, the city doesn’t fare much better — with only 21 per cent of senior manager roles filled by women. Read More

Study: Visible Minorities Missing from Landscape | October 19, 2016
London falls short when it comes to visible minorities holding senior leadership positions in the non-profit and municipal public sectors, according to a new study led by Western researchers Stelian Medianu and Victoria Esses. The study was initiated by Pillar Nonprofit Network, in partnership with the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion and Volunteer Ottawa, for a program called DiverseCity onBoard that looks at increasing representation of diverse groups on boards of directors. Read More

Western University-Led Study Finds Lack Of Visible Minorities In Local Leadership Positions | October 18, 2016
A study led by Western University researchers found that in the non-profit and municipal public sectors, visible minorities are significantly underrepresented in senior leadership in London and Ottawa. The study, released Tuesday, found that representation in Hamilton is more equitable. Read More

Most Senior London Leaders Are White Men | October 18, 2016
Visible minorities aren’t getting their fair share of senior leadership roles in London, according to a new study. The study led by Western University researchers found only 7.9% of senior leaders in the non-profit and public sectors were identified as visible minorities, despite making up 13.1% of London’s population. The figure indicates significant under-representation for the group and is even worse for visible minority women. Read More

Helping Refugees Find the Information They Need | August 25, 2016
Victoria Esses, Professor in the Department of Psychology at Western University, and three co-investigators have received a SSHRC-Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) grant to research refugee information needs and how refugees receive and use information. The research is part of SSHRC’s targeted research on Syrian refugee arrival, resettlement and integration. Co-investigators are Ajit Pyati, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies, and two professors from Mount Royal University, Leah Hamilton and Mohammed El Hazzouri. Read More

‘Long Journey’ Peacefully Ends in London | June 23, 2016
Led by the Faculty of Social Science, in partnership with the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre, fundraising began last summer in hopes of collecting $30,000 to bring a Syrian refugee family safely to London. Just this past month, mother Maha and her six children – Muntaha, Nour, Bushra, Mohamad, Sidra and Aya – landed at London International Airport to a warm welcome. Read More

On the Road Again | April 9, 2016 
From origins in Africa we’ve conquered the world. Can modern migration really be a crisis, wonders Debora MacKenzie. Read More

Western News Newsmakers 2015: The Syrian response | December 17, 2015
The human costs surrounding the Syrian conflict are staggering – an estimated quarter of a million people killed in the last four years; eight million people displaced within the country; and four million turned into international refugees. The situation has sparked a mass immigration crisis across the Middle East and Europe. Refugees are finding solace in London, Ont., with Western stepping up to do its part this fall. Read More

Syrian Refugees Greeted by Justin Trudeau in Canada | December 11, 2015
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greeted a planeload of weary Syrian refugees landing in Toronto early Friday, telling the first to disembark that “you’re safe at home now” as he handed them winter coats. “Tonight they step off the plane as refugees, but they walk out of this terminal as permanent residents of Canada,” Mr. Trudeau told government employees gathered at the airport. ... Victoria Esses, a professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario and the director of its Center for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations, said that while Canadians’ support for the admission of refugees sometimes wanes, earlier waves of refugees have built a positive reputation. “Many of them have become very successful people,” she said. “And they have been very successful in giving back to the country.” Read More

Turkey’s Showcase Refugee Camps Hide Truth about Worst Facilities, Canadian Visitor Says | December 9, 2015
Turkey has gained a reputation for building outstanding refugee camps, but it may be hiding the truth about its worst facilities, where residents must survive sub-zero winter weather without heat and don’t have enough food, says a York University professor who recently returned from the region. Read More

NewsTalk - 1290 CJBK Radio – London @ Lagre | November 18, 2015
Radio Interview with Dr. Victoria Esses on Journeys of Migration 2015. Click here to listen

AM980 – The Pulse with Devon Peacock | November 18, 2015
Radio Interview with Dr. Victoria Esses on Journeys of Migration 2015. Click here to listen

Pillar Launches the DiverseCity onBoard | September 28, 2015
London is diverse but our leadership is not. In response, Pillar Nonprofit Network held their public launch of the DiverseCity onBoard program on Tuesday, September 15th.   Pillar is the provincial lead on this national program that has been operating in Toronto since 2006. The Ontario collaborative partners include Hamilton, Ottawa and Toronto. Read More

AM980 London (The Pulse) | September 17, 2015
Radio Interview: Western's Response to Syrian Refugee Crisis - Interview with Dr. Victoria Esses. Click here to listen

Parlons de réfugiés | 05 septembre 2015
C'est un journaliste de la chaîne anglaise d'Al-Jazeera qui a lancé le débat, il y a une dizaine de jours, dans un texte expliquant pourquoi son réseau a décidé de ne plus décrire les centaines de milliers de désespérés qui se pressent aux portes de l'Europe comme des «migrants», mais bien comme des «réfugiés». Read More

Canada’s Complicated History of Refugee Reception | September 4, 2015
Separated by a mere five years, these two statements reveal much about the historic contradictions of the Canadian approach in dealing with refugee crises. In fact, remove the dates and these statements would not seem out of place in the current Canadian divide over the global refugee crisis in which there are more than 60 million people fleeing war, persecution, and danger. Read More

PhD Candidate Joshua Wright Receives the 2015 Bain-Sukemune Award for Research in International Psychology | August 18, 2015
Congratulations to MER PhD student Joshua Wright who recently received the 2015 Bain-Sukemune Award for Research in International Psychology for his contributions to the field of religion and violence. This award from the International Council of Psychologists recognizes outstanding early career contributions to scholarly endeavors addressing psychological issues of universal or multinational significance. It is designed to encourage research that systematically addresses the psychological dimensions affecting the quality of human life, and to enhance and reinforce the mission and goals of the Council.

Dr. Belinda Dodson Gives an Invited Expert Briefing to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office | May 7, 2015
As part of her sabbatical, Dr. Belinda Dodson (Geography and Migration and Ethnic Relations) is currently a Visiting Fellow at Oxford’s International Migration Institute. On May 7th, she gave an invited expert briefing to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London about the recent outbreak of xenophobic violence in South Africa. The talk was attended by about 20 people, including members of their Africa Research Department as well as FCO historians and migration analysts.

Odds Stacked Against Roma Refugees, Researchers Find | April 2, 2015
For Hungarian Roma hoping to be accepted by Canada as refugees, the outcome is pretty much a crap shoot. That’s the conclusion of a new study that identifies “institutional bias” in Canada’s asylum system against members of the often-persecuted minority and finds the result of Roma refugee claims amounts to “the luck of the draw.”  The authors say racist stereotypes about the Roma have become “enshrined” in the refugee determination process.  Researchers from Osgoode Hall Law School and Western University reviewed Immigration and Refugee Board decisions on 11,333 Hungarian refugees — a group highlighted by Ottawa for abuse of the system and as a cause for reforms — between 2008 and 2012, broken down by adjudicators and lawyers representing the claimants. … Read More

Siege Mentality: Hostility to Immigration has Deep Roots in Human Psychology That will be Difficult to Overcome, says Victoria Esses | March 7, 2015
More people live outside their country of birth than at any other time in history – 232 million in 2013 – and this number is expected to carry on rising. The swell in migration is the result of many global trends, including growing inequalities between nations, demand for labour in countries with a falling birth rate and a rise in the number of refugees and asylum seekers. Opposition to immigration is widespread in many Western nations. Anti-immigration activists, the media and political elites have created a crisis mentality in which immigrants are portrayed as “enemies at the gate”. … Read More

Discrimination Through Ambiguity: Reducing Workplace Bias Against Minority Immigrants | January 12, 2015
Skilled ethnic and religious minority immigrants are under-employed in Western nations, not only costing these economies billions of dollars but potentially complicating inter-group relations, according to a new study published in the journal Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences. In the United States, 1.3 million college-educated immigrants are unemployed or underemployed. In Canada, the under-employment of immigrants is perceived to be a public policy failing. Study authors Victoria M. Esses, Caroline Bennett-AbuAyyash, and Natalia Lapshina suspect discrimination may be at work. ... Read More

Graduate Program Migrates Across Disciplines | November 13, 2014
“I defy anybody to look through any random newspaper these days without reading something to do about migration, immigration or integration. It’s a daily lived experience.” For Stephanie Bangarth, director of Western’s Collaborative Graduate Program in Migration and Ethnic Relations (MER), bringing together graduate students and faculty from various social science disciplines to study questions of ethnic relations, cultural diversity, conflict, acculturation and more, allows for intriguing and collaborative perspectives to be born. ... Read More

Tune-up for Canada’s Welcome Wagon: Studying the Country’s Immigration Services to Develop Ways to Help New Arrivals Find their Footing | May 23, 1014
Every year, more than 250,000 people leave distant homelands and immigrate to Canada. For many of them — particularly those who come from the top three countries of origin, the Philippines, India and China — Canada can be a baffling and bewildering place. “Immigrants very often don’t get enough information or adequate services to help them settle effectively,” says Victoria Esses, a psychologist and the director of the Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations at Western University in London, Ont. “If we can improve the information and the services available to immigrants, we will go a long way toward helping them settle and integrate.” ... Read More

Bringing New Opportunity to the Community | February 27, 2014
Victoria Esses has been researching discrimination, immigration and prejudice for more than 20 years. She’s taught psychology, published papers and won awards. She has been named a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo and a SSHRC research fellow at the University of Toronto. ... Read More

New Pathways to Prosperity Partnership Awarded $2.5-Million Grant to Support Settlement and Integration of Immigrants across Canada | May 30, 2012
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada has awarded a 2012 Partnership Grant to Victoria Esses and a pan-Canadian team of thirteen co-investigators. The project - Pathways to Prosperity: New Policy Directions and Innovative Local Practices for Newcomer Integration and Attraction - will equip local institutions with the analytic capacity to address challenges related to migration, integration, local development, and economic and social sustainability ... Read More

PhD Candidates Earn Africa Research Support | April 25, 2012
MER PhD student Riley Dillon was named among 10 Africa-based and 10 Canada-based graduate students receiving funding from the Africa Initiative Graduate Research to confront critical issues facing Africa

MER Faculty and Student Receive Award | April 2011
Congratulations to Melissa Stachel, Victoria Esses, and Gillian King, who have just received a University of Western Ontario Autism Centre Of Excellence Award for their project, "A qualitative, cross-national analysis of the experiences of Somali parents raising children with and without autism.

IOM-Funded Training Workshop in Senegal | April 11, 2011
MER graduate Dr. Abel Chikanda will be conducting an IOM-funded training workshop in Senegal on diasporas and development. 

Taking Stock of a Turbulent Decade and Looking Ahead: Immigration to North America in 2000-2010 | April  2011
The Western Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations, in partnership with the Canada-U.S. Institute, held a conference in London, Ontario, on April 28-30, 2011. The conference is titled: "Taking Stock of a Turbulent Decade and Looking Ahead: Immigration to North America in 2000-2010". Read More

Christopher Taylor, MER PhD Student on an Internship in Mwanza, Tanzania | 2011
In coordination with the Western Heads East Project, Christopher Stuart Taylor is doing research and travel in Africa. To check out the details of his research travel and internship agenda, Chris invites you to read more on his blog "Christopher Stuart Heads East"

Harold Crabtree Foundation Award in Public Policy | 2010
Congratulations to Professor Vicki Esses and PhD Candidate Caroline Bennett-AbuAyyash, who are the 2010-2011 recipients of this award.