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The internet opens doors for new Canadians

Funded by CIRA's Community Investment Program, the Université du Québec à Montréal's research revealed the role of the internet in integrating immigrants in Canadian society.
By Alison Gareau
Communications Manager

Funded by CIRA’s Community Investment Program, the Université du Québec à Montréal’s research revealed the role of the internet in integrating immigrants in Canadian society.

At CIRA we believe the internet is a vital part of people’s everyday lives. Whether for work or pleasure, the internet is the gateway to information, communication, education and so much more. With this in mind, we were pleased to support the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) in their research on the role of the internet in integrating immigrants in Canadian society.

Funded by CIRA’s Community Investment Program, UQAM’s research revealed how new Canadians access the internet and how they are using it. For example, the majority have home internet access and mostly use their smartphones to get online. Many use the internet to search for employment, take language training and learn more about Canadian culture.

According to Christian Agbobli, the director of the Social and Public Communication Department at UQAM, the results showed that although immigrants use the internet to stay connected to their country of origin, those who participated in the study also use the internet to integrate into Canadian society. As well, research revealed the value of online training in helping them integrate and enhance empowerment.

Researchers recommend that governments in Canada promote websites in both French and English and encourage immigrants to learn these languages. As well, governments should promote ways to learn about Canadian society and the specific characteristics of Canadian provinces, even before new immigrants arrive in Canada.

Researchers noted that training organizations who work with immigrants should focus on employment search strategies and helping immigrants gain autonomy in terms of getting around or language skills. As well, they recommend that trainers help immigrant parents develop and improve the skills required to keep up with technological changes.

For more information about this research, please visit UQAM’s project website, In-tegration or read the press release, which includes statistics and more information.

About the CIRA Community Investment Program

CIRA is building a better online Canada through the Community Investment Program by funding innovative projects led by charities, not-for-profits and academic institutions that are making the internet better for all Canadians. Every .CA domain name registered or renewed contributes to this program. To date, CIRA has supported 102 projects with over $4.2 million in contributions.

About the author
Alison Gareau

Alison Gareau manages corporate communications for CIRA. She has worked within non-profit organizations throughout her career and has expertise in business communications, branding, change management and public relations.