Biographical Notes - Speakers
Growing Up at the Intersection of Challenges and Ambitions: What Does the Future Hold for Immigrant Youth?
Brigitte Chavez, Analyst, Centre for Ethnocultural, Language and Immigration Statistics, Statistics Canada
Brigitte Alejandra Chavez is an analyst at Statistics Canada’s Centre for Ethnocultural, Language and Immigration Statistics (CELIS). She received her master’s degree in Demography from the Université de Montréal in 2000 and joined Statistics Canada the following year. She started working on language-related research in 2010. She has co-authored portraits of Canadian official language minority communities that were published between 2010 and 2012. She has also collaborated on various studies and made several presentations related to official language groups and the official language minority immigrant population in Canada. She recently published a report titled, “Immigration and language in Canada, 2011 and 2016.”
Pablo Mhanna-Sandoval, Youth Activist, Ontario(Ontario)
Born in Montreal, Pablo Mhanna-Sandoval moved to Ottawa at the age of 9. The sometimes challenging adjustment to a new city made him appreciate the importance of community and language. While in Grade 9 at Ottawa’s École secondaire catholique Franco-Cité, he participated in the 2015 Jeux franco-ontariens in Penetanguishene, an event organized by the Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne (FESFO). The experience is what inspired his community engagement. Elected to FESFO’s Council of Representatives in 2015, he became President of the organization in 2017. His involvement in this organization that represents 25,000 young people was marked by a desire for the Franco-Ontarian community to more vigorously defend its rights. In particular, he participated in the Ottawa ville bilingue and Université de l’Ontario français campaigns. He also worked on the issue of linguistic insecurity among Franco-Ontarian youth. During his tenure, he had the opportunity to travel throughout Ontario and Canada to meet and exchange views with other young Francophones. Now a university student, Pablo hopes to eventually become involved in federal and international politics, with a focus on the global Francophonie and the role that Canada and especially Ontario can play within it.
Malanga-Georges Liboy, Associate Professor, Université Sainte-Anne, Nova Scotia
Malanga-Georges Liboy holds a PhD in Education from the Université de Sherbrooke. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Education at Université Sainte-Anne. His research deals with the education of young Francophones from cultural communities in Quebec and from minority Francophone communities, especially in Nova Scotia and Alberta. He is also interested in issues related to the recruitment and retention of immigrants in the Anglophone minority communities of Quebec, as well as issues affecting young LBGTQ immigrants at school.
Manon Gueno, Conseil jeunesse provincial (Manitoba)
Originally from Normandy, France, Manon Gueno arrived in Canada for a nine-month civic service program in 2016. Working with Manitoba’s Conseil jeunesse provincial, she developed the Plus1 twinning program. It aims to get French-speaking Manitoban youth involved in the integration of newcomers hoping to build a future within the Manitoba Francophonie. After briefly returning to France, Manon is back in Winnipeg to closely monitor the development of the program she established. As a young person active in Manitoba as well as in France, she has been a member of an association promoting international youth mobility.
Supporting, Strengthening and Promoting Francophone Expertise in the Settlement Sector to Provide Equitable Access for French-speaking Immigrants
Mariève Forest, President and Lead Researcher, Sociopol
Mariève Forest is President and Lead Researcher at Sociopol, an applied social research firm. She works with government agencies, community organizations and academic researchers on projects related to the Canadian Francophonie, immigration, public health and education, among other topics. She is also an associate researcher with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Citizenship and Minorities (CIRCEM) at the University of Ottawa and a co-investigator on a research project dealing with citizenship education experiences among youth. The project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Alongside Martin Normand and Clint Bruce, she guest edited the most recent issue of Linguistic Minorities and Society, on the theme of “Revisiting the Issue of Power in the Canadian Francophonie.” She holds a PhD in Sociology and occasionally teaches at the University of Ottawa.
Cyrille Simard, Mayor of Edmundston
Following his studies at the Université de Moncton’s Edmundston campus and at Université Laval, Cyrille Simard began his career at the Université de Moncton’s Edmundston campus as Director of Continuing Education. He later worked as an international project manager with the Organization internationale de la Francophonie in France. Upon returning to Edmundston, he became involved in the business community by co-founding an immigration and cultural diversity management consulting firm (Diversis.ca), among other activities. Mr. Simard has always been heavily involved in his community. He has successively served as president of the Société historique du Madawaska, the Salon du livre d’Edmundston, the Conseil scolaire des frontières and Entreprise Madawaska. He has also served on the boards of directors of many other organizations. He is currently serving his second term as Mayor of Edmundston.
Dominique Pépin-Fillion, Researcher, Canadian Institute for Research on Linguistic Minorities (CIRLM), New Brunswick
Dominique Pépin-Filion is a researcher with the CIRLM at the Université de Moncton. His research on linguistic minorities focuses on linguistic demography, inequality and education. His current research projects deal with Francophone immigration in Atlantic Canada, rights holders and the educational choices of Francophone minority parents in Canada, language training in Acadian universities, and Francophone engagement in Canada. He recently co-authored publications dealing with migrations of young Francophones to Canada, poverty among Francophone minorities in the Maritimes, the language situation and the evolution of bilingualism in New Brunswick, and regional Francophone enrollment trends in the province’s schools. Currently, he is jointly editing a collective reference work that involves the participation of some one hundred researchers and that covers various sectors and issues shaping contemporary Acadia.
Guillaume Deschênes-Thériault, PhD Student, University of Ottawa
A native of Kedgwick, in northwestern New Brunswick, Guillaume Deschênes-Thériault holds a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Ottawa and a bachelor’s degree from the Université de Moncton. His research focuses on issues related to Francophone minority communities in Canada, including immigration, political representation and literacy. He has received a PhD fellowship from the Fondation Baxter et Alma Ricard. In addition to his studies, he works for the Chaire de recherche sur la francophonie et les politiques publiques at the University of Ottawa, under the direction of Professor Linda Cardinal. He is also a member of a research team on Francophone immigration at the Canadian Institute for Research on Linguistic Minorities (CIRLM).
Yves Saint-Germain, Director, Language Policy and Francophone Communities, Settlement and Integration Policy Branch, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Yves Saint-Germain is the Director, Language Policy and Francophone Communities, in the Settlement and Integration Policy Branch of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). He is responsible for establishing directions for IRCC’s Settlement Program in the areas of language policy and leading IRCC’s contributions to the Action Plan for Official Languages 2013-2018, and the newly created Francophone Immigration Policy Hub. His key priorities currently include: 1) implementing the Pan-Canadian Language Strategy to improve coordination in the design and delivery of language programming for adult immigrants across Canada; 2) consolidating a Francophone integration pathway to ensure that French Speaking Immigrants receive high-quality services along the entire immigration continuum and 3) developing a Francophone immigration strategy and Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Francophone Immigration Action Plan to help the Department increase the number of French-speaking immigrants coming to Canada. He is the federal co-chair of the FPT Language Forum, which is a working group of the Forum of FPT Ministers Responsible for Immigration. He is also a member of the FPT Settlement Working Group and the National Settlement Council. Yves holds an M.A. in Political Science from Université Laval and a B.A. from the University of Ottawa. Mr. Saint-Germain joined Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada in 2006.
Challenges, Strategies and Successes: An Overview of the Realities of French-speaking Immigrant Women
Fayza Abdallaoui, President, Mouvement ontarien des femmes immigrantes francophones (MOFIF)
An Algerian born in Switzerland and who lived in France for 15 years before immigrating to Canada at the age of 30, Fayza Abdallaoui has called the Toronto region home for the last decade. Committed to supporting the economic growth, health and civic engagement of Francophones in a minority context, she actively participates in the Francophone community as Chair of the Board of Directors of MOFIF and as a founding member of the all-new Algerian Association of Greater Toronto. The founder of Next Level-Impact Consulting, she is an entrepreneur, consultant, coach and speaker who spends her days working with partners, organizations and community members to develop services and projects that support the economic and social development of women, youth and immigrants through various initiatives involving social entrepreneurship and employment support, as well as personal finance and public speaking training programs. Together with her team, she also conducts research and develops projects on behalf of other organizations. Having served as President of MOFIF for the last four years, she recently initiated and oversaw the drafting of the organization’s first white paper addressing the civic engagement of Francophone immigrant women. Passionate and optimistic by nature, committed to providing the best for her 10-year-old Canadian-born son, her favourite saying is from Nelson Mandela: “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”
Jade Boivin, PhD Student, University of Ottawa
Jade Boivin is currently completing her PhD in Public Administration at the University of Ottawa. She specializes in migration and diversity management models. In terms of social engagement, Jade actively supports youth political participation. She also volunteers on behalf of several feminist causes.
Halimatou Ba, Associate Professor, Université de Saint-Boniface (USB), Manitoba
Halimatou Ba has been an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the USB, located in Winnipeg, since 2009. She teaches the fundamentals of social intervention. Her research focuses on a variety of social issues related to Francophone minority communities, including seniors’ health, immigration, and access to French-language health and social services in Winnipeg. She is the author of several publications dealing with a range of topics: housing-related issues faced by immigrants in Winnipeg (2011); access to French-language health services for seniors in Saint-Boniface and Saint-Vital (2012); the recruitment and retention of Francophone health professionals in Winnipeg (2014–2015); the integration of French-language health and social services for Francophone seniors in Manitoba (2012–2017); the report on health care in a minority language context by the USB’s Francophone students of African origin (2015–2016); the settlement and integration of French-speaking refugees in Winnipeg and Saint-Boniface (2017–2018); and the successful integration of Francophone immigrant women of African descent in Winnipeg (2018). Ms. Ba is a member of both the CNFS Manitoba’s inter-branch health and social services committee and the USB’s research ethics board.
Phylomène Zangio, Conseil des personnes d'ascendance africaine du Nouveau-Brunswick
Phylomène Zangio was born in Kahemba, Democratic Republic of the Congo. She is an ascendant of the Lunda kingdom. She grew up in a polygamist family. Phylomène is well-known for her community involvement, her commitment to equality for women and to professional and social inclusion for men and women immigrating to New Brunswick. She was recognized as one of the Top 25 Immigrants in the Maritimes in 2018 and the winner of the Black Excellence Award for outstanding influence and leadership in 2015 & 2016. Phylomène was the first co-chair of the consensus-building forum Voice of New Brunswick Women, and has served on the Board of the following organizations: Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick (SANB), National Coalition of Provincial and Territorial Advisory Councils on the Status of Women, Community Advisory Board on Mental Health of the Vitalité Health Network, City of Moncton Social Inclusion and Poverty Committee, Multicultural Association of The Greater Moncton Area (MAGMA), Regroupement féministe du Nouveau-Brunswick (RFNB). She was an active participant in creating a support centre for francophone immigrants in Southeastern New Brunswick (CAFI). She was also active in the parent support committees in Moncton’s Champlain, Mascaret and Odyssée schools and served as judge for an annual public speaking competition for Canadian Parents for French.
Reinventing the Official Languages Act in the Era of a Pluralist Francophonie
Alain Dupuis, Executive Director, Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne (FCFA) du Canada
Originally from Sudbury, Alain Dupuis has been head of the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne (FCFA) of Canada since May 2017. His priorities include strengthening ties between organizations of the Canadian Francophonie, the growth of Francophone immigration and the increased participation of youth and diversity in Francophone and Acadian communities. He was previously the Executive Director of the Regroupement étudiant franco-ontarien (RÉFO), where he was instrumental in the creation of a Franco-Ontarian university. He also served as Vice President of the Association des communautés francophones d’Ottawa (ACFO) and was a member of the coordination group for the Bilingual Ottawa initiative. Alain Dupuis holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Ottawa and a master's degree in Public and International Affairs from the Université de Montréal.
Jack Jedwab, President and CEO, Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration (CIIM)
Jack Jedwab holds a PhD in Canadian History from Concordia University. He is the founding editor of Canadian Issues, Canadian Diversity and the Canadian Journal for Social Research. Prior to his term as Director of the CIIM (1987–1994), Mr. Jedwab served as Director of Community Relations and later Executive Director (1994–1998) of the Quebec Chapter of the Canadian Jewish Congress. Between 1983 and 2008, he taught at McGill University in the departments of Sociology and Political Science and at the McGill Institute for Canadian Studies. He also taught in the Department of History at the Université du Québec à Montréal. He currently teaches at the School of Community and Public Affairs at Concordia University. Thanks to his expertise and his extensive knowledge of Canadian history, demography, identity and public opinion, he has become one of the most cited social researchers in the national media. He has published more than 200 opinion pieces in major Canadian newspapers, including the Montreal Gazette, the Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Citizen, Le Devoir and La Presse.
Srilata Ravi, Full Professor, Faculté Saint-Jean, University of Alberta
A full professor at the University of Alberta’s Faculté Saint-Jean, Dr. Srilata Ravi is Director of the Institut Marcelle et Louis Desrochers pour le patrimoine et les recherches transdisciplinaires en francophonies. She is primarily interested in comparative research on the international Francophonie, and her work contributes to the interdisciplinary fields of Diaspora and Transnationalism Studies, Francophone Postcolonial Studies and Island Studies. Her work on Francophone communities in the Indian Ocean region, in Africa and in Canada has been released by such prestigious publishers as Cambridge University Press, Routledge, Palgrave and Presses de l’Université Laval. Her work has also been published in major international academic journals, including Postcolonial Studies, Essays in French Literature and Culture, International Journal for Canadian Studies, Interventions, International Journal of Francophone Studies and Esprit Créateur. Her books include Autour de l’œuvre d’Yvan Lamonde. Colonialisme et modernité au Canada depuis 1867 (2019, with Couture and Pageau); Sports, modernité et réseaux impériaux. Nap Lajoie et Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji : baseball et cricket au tournant du XXe siècle (2017, with Claude Couture); Translating the Postcolonial in Multilingual Contexts (2017, with Judith Misrahi-Barak); Autour de l’œuvre de Gérard Bouchard. Histoire sociale, sociologie historique, imaginaires collectifs et politiques publiques (2015, with Claude Couture) ; Rethinking Global Mauritius: Critical Essays on Mauritian Literatures and Cultures (2013) ; Écritures mauriciennes au féminin : penser l’altérité (2011, with Véronique Bragard) ; and Rainbow Colors: Literary Ethno-topographies of Mauritius (2007).