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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
December 5, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Margaret Walton-Roberts
Margaret Walton-Roberts

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Faculty of Arts

Grant helps Laurier researchers bring migration research to public

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Sep 12/13| For Immediate Release


Abby Goodrum, Vice-President, Research
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3601 or


Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or

WATERLOO – Laurier Associate Professor Margaret Walton-Roberts has been awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Knowledge Synthesis Grant to disseminate her work on migrant transition programs and the implication for labour market planning for the nursing sector. 

On Sept. 9, the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State for Science and Technology and Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, announced investments in 16 Knowledge Synthesis Grants to researchers at postsecondary institutions across Canada. With a focus on helping expand understanding of labour market issues in Canada, the goal of the grants is to combine or “synthesize” new and existing academic knowledge, and to make that information accessible to a broader audience.
Walton-Roberts, founding director of Laurier’s International Migration Research Centre (IMRC), applied for the grant with current IMRC director and Laurier Associate Professor Jenna Hennebry.

“This grant highlights the important research being done at Laurier, not only by Margaret Walton-Roberts and her co-applicant, Jenna Hennebry, but by all of our interdisciplinary researchers associated with the IMRC,” said Abby Goodrum, vice-president: research. “The project’s focus on the migrant nurse labour force is part of our larger work in global health care, an area of strategic research strength at Laurier.” 

Walton-Roberts and Hennebry will work with research assistants Jennifer Guo and Keegan Williams to look at two forms of immigration status transition that have increased in Canada – temporary-skilled migrant workers converting to permanent status, and international students converting from student visas to working visas – and will focus specifically on how these developments influence the nursing sector. 

The researchers will prepare two public reports analyzing information on immigration and labour market planning and policies. The first will identify trends in visa transitions for temporary skilled workers and international students. The second will address the implications of visa transitions for Canada’s nursing workforce. Three short videos on the key findings and recommendations will also be released.

”Nursing presents one case where training lags, retirements, enhanced technological change, and skilled labour exit from the sector are evident,” said Walton-Roberts. “We have selected the nursing sector for detailed analysis because in Ontario alone it is the third largest profession with internationally trained members; we also suspect that nursing is one of the most heavily impacted professions by those transitioning from Live-in Caregiver temporary visas and international student visas.”

Walton-Roberts and Hennebry will be working with community partners, the Conestoga College School of Health and Life Sciences and Community Services, the Ontario Office of the Fairness Commissioner, the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), and the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.

For information on the IMRC, visit: For the SSHRC news release, visit the newsroom at


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