Canadian Municipalities and Services for Immigrants: A Toronto Case Study


  • Janine Rose Department of Geography York University
  • Valerie Preston Department of Geography York University


municipalities, immigrants, settlement, policy, intergovernmental relations, COIA


The formal role of municipal governments in decision-making about immigration and settlement policies is limited. The Canada Ontario Immigration Agreement (COIA) represented an important step toward more effective collaboration between federal, municipal and provincial governments in this policy area. We investigate the circumstances that led to the inclusion of the City of Toronto as a signatory to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in COIA as well as how this tripartite agreement affected intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder partnerships. Although the MOU encouraged interaction between federal, provincial and municipal governments; the municipal role remained consultative. Our analysis suggests that the incorporation of municipalities in decision-making about settlement policies is limited by the practices of Canadian federalism and planning ideologies that emphasize municipal responsibility for an undifferentiated public.