Immigration: Does the path of opportunity lead toward or away from Canada?

UBC Dialogues: Vancouver - Immigration: Does the path of opportunity lead toward or away from Canada?

Immigration to Canada is painted in the rosiest of terms, the proverbial ‘land of milk and honey.’ But how are the needs of immigrants being met once they arrive? Is there truly a wealth of opportunity, or are their dreams curdling? Are there institutional biases acting against them, and what can be done to level the playing field?

Conversely, where are people from Canada going and why? Are they looking for opportunities they simply can’t find here?

On November 15, 2011, we held a provocative dialogue about immigration at UBC Robson Square in Vancouver.



Stephen Quinn – Host, On the Coast, CBC Radio


  • Jennifer Chun, PhD – Assistant Professor, UBC Department of Sociology; Faculty Fellow, Liu Institute for Global Issues
  • Cristian Strat, BA – Entrepreneur, Software Engineer; Co-Founder, Summify; Co-Founder,
  • Sarah Marsden – PhD student, Peter A. Allard School of Law



Panelist Biographies

Stephen Quinn

Jennifer Chun

Jennifer Chun is an Associate Professor in UBC’s Department of Sociology, and a Faculty fellow in the Liu Institute for Global Issues. Much of her research centres on people who work on the bottom rungs of the labour market, and how that weaves in race, inequality, and social change across transnational borders. Jennifer has also taken on interdisciplinary projects, like mapping migration along the Fraser and Yangzi Rivers.

Cristian Strat

Cristian Strat is an entrepreneur and software engineer based in Vancouver. He is the co-founder of Summify, a tech startup company that aggregates and ranks your social media feeds in one central place. Cristian is also the cofounder of, a job search engine for the Romanian market. Cristian twice interned for Google, and turned down an opportunity to work for the search engine.

Sarah Marsden

Sarah Marsden is a PhD student at UBC’s Peter A. Allard School of Law, and a Liu Scholar at the Liu Institute for Global Issues. Her studies focus on temporary and undocumented labour migration in Canada and as a global phenomenon. She has worked as an immigration and refugee lawyer in Vancouver, and has started an immigration and refugee clinic for low income clients through UBC’s Law Students Legal Advice Program.

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