Belonging and Inclusion Research


The main objective of the Immigrant Integration Research project was  to better understand newcomers’ and long-term residents’ perceptions related to immigration to Surrey and Surrey as an inclusive community and explore the sense of belonging among the residents.

Research & Community Consultations

CitySpaces Consulting (in partnership with the Mustel Group and Kari Huhtala + Associates) was commissioned by the City of Surrey to undertake community research and consultations, on behalf of the Surrey Local Immigration Partnership (LIP). This project is part of a larger research and consultation initiative led by the Surrey LIP, and serves as a foundational study to inform the strategic community planning process in Surrey.

To meet the objectives set for this project, the approach used a mixed methodology of literature review of selected studies and reports, a random telephone survey, focus groups, and public consultation. Additionally, a youth engagement advisory team was hired to help gain the perspectives of Surrey’s youth. It is estimated that over 500 residents and stakeholders have participated in this project. This project was conducted between November 2014 and March 2015. The final report was produced in the spring of 2015. Newsletter provided some reflections by local stakeholders on the findings and the fact sheet summarized key findings on two pages.

Stakeholder Consultation

In the fall of 2015, a series of stakeholder consultations were held, including one focused on identifying key priorities and actions to enhance immigrant and refugee community integration. All the relevant research and consultation reports are available to general public (see right column on this page).

The stated purpose for the Consultation was:

  • To share the findings from the Surrey LIP Immigrant Integration research
  • To obtain stakeholder and community input and insights related to the research findings
  • To identify key priorities and actions to enhance immigrant and refugee community integration.

The consultation took place on October 23rd, 2015 at Surrey City Hall and was attended by thirty three stakeholders (excluding presenters, consultants and staff members). The Consultation Summary Report provided an overview of the consultation and highlighted key directions and actions suggested during the day.

Youth Consultation

Surrey has the youngest population of all the Metro Vancouver municipalities. In Surrey, close to 40% of the population is aged 29 years or younger and over 25% are 19 years or younger. In comparison, in Vancouver this age group accounts for less than 20% of the total population. Hence, it was important to ensure that the newcomer youth voices were included in consultation processes.

The youth-focused consultation full day event took place on January 23rd, 2016 at the SFU-Surrey campus. Over 50 newcomer youth have participated (approximately 50% came to Canada as refugees). See photos from the event. The Consultation Summary Report is coming soon.