Non-Governmental Regimes? Immigration and the Process of Coalition Formation in Hamilton, Ontario

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Immigration and regional economic growth are closely tied in Canada. Cities which are struggling economically and demographically are turning to immigration as a way to address their skilled labor shortages. This paper addresses the following question: how has the collaboration of business, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local government tried to address the problem of immigrants’ exclusion from the skilled labor market in Hamilton, Ontario? Using an urban regime theory framework, this paper examines agenda setting, coalition formation, resource sharing and regime structuring for this process. The paper finds that unlike most regimes where the public or private sector takes a lead role in the regime, in Hamilton the NGO sector has been central to this process. The private and public sectors play the role of an interested participant. This finding responds to Clarence Stone’s queries regarding the potential for opportunity expansion agendas of low status groups to affect the direction of a regime.


Keywords: Immigrant, Employment, Settlement Services, Regime Theory, Public-Private Partnership
Stream: Immigration, Refugees
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: ,


Elisa Penn

London School of Economics
Vancouver, BC, Canada

I am a recent graduate from the London School of Economics' (LSE) Regional and Urban Planning Studies Masters. Prior to attending the LSE, I studied in the Arts and Science Program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. I have volunteered extensively with Immigrants in both London and Hamilton. In London, I worked for the legal charity Bail for Immigrant Detainees. My work with Settlement Immigration Services Ontario in Hamilton led to my Undergraduate thesis looking at immigrants access to health services in Hamilton and my Masters dissertation on immigrants in the labour force in Hamilton. I am interested in identifying and understanding the barriers to immigrants access to Canadian society and how bridging organizations can overcome these barriers. I am also interested in how marginalized groups can gain better access to political and planning systems.

Ref: D08P0061