Immigration and Citizenship: Canada in Comparative and International Perspective

As part of the Your Voice voter education campaign, the Canadian-Arab Institute, in partnership with the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations, hosted a webinar on Immigration and Citizenship in Canada.

Dr Yasmeen Abu-Laban analyzed Canadian developments over the past 15 years, and how these developments relate to international trends, national responses, and party positions.

What is happening with immigration and refugee policy in Canada today? How does it compare to the past, and to other countries? Is Canadian citizenship changing, and if so how?


Our Presenters

Yasmeen_Abu-LabanYasmeen Abu-Laban

Yasmeen is professor of Political Science at the University of Alberta.  Her research interests centre on the Canadian and comparative dimensions of ethnic and gender politics; nationalism, globalization and processes of racialization; immigration policies and politics; surveillance and border control; human rights, and citizenship theory.  Her work has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC), and she has also served on national SSHRC adjudication committees.

Dr. Abu-Laban sits on the editorial board of Canadian Ethnic Studies/Études ethniques au Canada, the Board of Directors of the Canadian Arab Institute, has served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA), and chaired the CPSA Diversity Task Force.  She has given numerous invited presentations across Canada and internationally, and regularly speaks and works with Canadian-government and community organizations.  In 2013 she was awarded a Killam Professorship on the basis of “outstanding scholarship and teaching [and] a record of substantial contributions to the community.”


Raja Khouri - fuze

Raja Khouri

Raja G. Khouri is co-founder of the Canadian Arab Institute. He is a commissioner with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, committee member of Human Rights Watch Canada, and co-founder of the Canadian Arab/Jewish Leadership Dialogue Group. Raja formerly served on several government and civil society bodies, such as Ontario’s Hate Crimes Community Working Group, the Minister of Education’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy Roundtable, Pride Toronto Community Advisory Panel, the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs, and as advocacy co-chair of Human Rights Watch Canada.

He also served as president of the Canadian Arab Federation in the period following the events of 9/11, authoring the book Arabs in Canada: Post 9/11. For many years Raja was an international consultant in organizational development and capacity building focusing on civil society and human rights work.


Rula Odeh

Rula Odeh 

Rula Odeh, the Executive Director of the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations (NCCAR), has served on the NCCAR board for the past five years including as President in 2009-2010. She has played a leadership role is in several organizations advocating for Canadian policies in the Middle East based on human rights, equality and freedom.

Her interest in Canadian media’s representation of Canada’s foreign policy in the Middle East has resulted in a CBC Ombudsman review of a biased news report, several published opinion pieces in Canadian media and numerous appearances on TV and radio. Rula has participated in regular interactions with parliamentarians and diverse community organizations.


Disclaimer: All opinions expressed by the webinar participants are solely their opinions and do not reflect the opinions of NCCAR, its board and or affiliates or the organizations or companies with which the webinar or the participants are affiliated, and may have been previously disseminated by them. The participants’ opinions are based upon information they consider reliable, but neither NCCAR nor its affiliates, nor the organizations or companies with which such participants are affiliated, warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such.


The event was organized by:

CAIThe Canadian-Arab Institute


NCCARThe National Council on Canada-Arab Relations