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.
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.