MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Horak, Martin

Geographical Areas

Ontario, Canada


Since the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) came into effect in 2002, Canada has stopped placing so much emphasis in the selection process on refugee skills and ability to integrate. Rather, emphasis is placed on resettling refugees who need protection. As a result, post-IRPA Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) arriving in Canada are younger and have higher needs than previous groups of GARs. In Canada the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) is responsible for providing GAR’s with their immediate needs. RAP came into effect in 1998. A key component of RAP saw a change in the service delivery method, with a shift from direct provision of services by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to the use of third-party contractors to provide the necessary services at the local level. The signing of the Canadian Ontario Immigration Agreement (COIA) and the subsequent signing of the Local Immigration Partnership has strengthened local settlement agencies and local government in the delivery of settlement programs for GAR’s in Ontario.

This research assesses the extent to which local settlement agencies can create programs at the local level for GARs in this new collaborative environment, using the federal government funding agreements with Ontario municipalities. The case studies selected include Hamilton, Waterloo region, Windsor, Ottawa and London. The Local Immigration Partnerships agreements (LIPS) is empowering these cities and they are making positive strides in providing services and programs for GARs such as healthcare, employment services counselling for victims of trauma, housing support, social protection among other services. However, there are capacity gaps in some cases which will be highlighted, coupled with fiscal constraints and challenges with policy coordination between different levels of government.