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Temporary Migrant Workers in Canada: A State of Permanent Temporariness

March 4, 2017 at 11:15 AM to 12:30 PM

Location:Second Floor Conference Rooms Richcraft Hall

Canada’s immigration system is increasingly relying on temporariness to achieve a number of distinct policy goals. Temporary status operates in different ways depending on the categorization of the migrant: in the case of highly-skilled migrants, as a so-called ‘audition model’ for determining suitability for long-term integration; in the case of lower-skilled migrants, as a system of exclusion for separating ‘labour’ from ‘people.’ While these operate in different respects, both strategies have emerged as a result of the repositioning of Canada’s immigration system to conform to the now global archetype of a ‘competition state,’ which increasing devolves government functions to employers.


Christina Gabriel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University. Gabriel’s research interests focus on citizenship and migration, gender and politics, regional integration, and globalization. She has contributed chapters and articles, as well as co-edited and co-authored two books, on issues such as migration, border control, transnational care labour, and North American regional integration.

Laura Macdonald is a Professor in the Department of Political Science and former Director of the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University. Her areas of research cover a range of issues related to global civil society, citizenship struggles, Canada-Latin American relations, and immigration and border control policies.

Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood is an alumnus of the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University, completing his Master of Arts in Political Economy in 2014. He now works for the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, and has written and published several reports related to trade issues, particularly related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and migrant workers.

Christopher Miller is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University. He is interested in issues related to migration politics and temporary migrant labour in Canada.

This panel will be chaired by Dr. Martin Geiger of the Department of Political Science, Carleton University. Dr. Geiger’s teaching and research focuses on the politics of mobility and migration; global governance; population, development, demographic and climate change; and European & North American integration (migration & border politics). His work has appeared in journals like Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and Population, Space and Place.