OCASI at the 18th National Metropolis Conference


Debbie Douglas, Executive Director was Co-Chair of the 18th National Metropolis Conference held in Toronto from March 3-5, 2016. (Click here for Debbie’s welcome remarks).

OCASI also had a strong presence throughout the conference at plenary sessions, and as presenter and organizer at the following concurrent breakout sessions:

Large-Scale Refugee Resettlement: Challenges and Opportunities
Over the years, Canada has welcomed tens of thousands of refugees fleeing political instability and conflict. Their numbers, pace of settlement and integration varied. This workshop will examine the different influencing factors that led to different outcomes, and determine how to use our key learnings for future large-scale resettlements.
Presenters: Naomi Alboim, Debbie Douglas, Deborah Tunis, Michael Casasola, and Huda Bukhari.
Click here for the OCASI paper.

Envisioning LGBT Refugee Rights in Canada: Is Canada A Safe Haven?
This workshop will present the research findings and final report by Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights, which examines the experiences of LGBT refugee claimants and refugees living in the GTA and the experiences of community service providers working with these communities. A total of 92 asylum seekers and refugees participated in this study. The research for this report was conducted over the period from 2012 – 2014. The implementation of Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act in December 2012 resulted in significant impacts on refugees and immigrants. Our research indicates that these changes have also had a particular and disproportionately negative impact on LGBT claimants. The report makes 37 recommendations that point to a need for systemic change.
Presenters: Nancy Nicol, Nick Mulé, Kathleen Gamble, Craig A. Cromwell, Alexander Vadala. Moderator: Debbie Douglas
Click here for the OCASI Paper on Envisioning Policy Recommendations.
Click here for the OCASI Powerpoint.

Impact of ten years of Conservative rule on women’s political organizing
Changes in mandate of the Status of Women Canada and other related policies introduced by the Conservative Government since 2006 have affected women – particularly immigrant and racialized women – in many ways. The workshop explores impacts on women’s political organizing, including their ability to do research specific to their socio-economic conditions.
Presenters: Angela Robertson, Beverly Bain, Judy Rebick, and Rupaleem Bhuyan. Moderator: Debbie Douglas

Changing support to women’s organizations: implications for immigrant women.
In recent years, government funding and public support for specialized organizations – such as ethno-specific or women’s organizations – has waned. This roundtable examines how women’s organizations in the immigrant and refugee-serving sector are coping, including whether they have changed their mandate in response to reduced levels of funding and public support.
Panelists: Fatima Filippi and Sudip Minhas. Moderator: Debbie Douglas.

Note: OCASI does not have access to papers presented at these or other Metropolis sessions. Please contact conference organizers.