RPD Thesis Defence: Behnaz Bahrefar

Date and Time


Via Videoconference


Behnaz Bahrefar, a Master of Science in Rural Planning and Development student, will defend their thesis research titled “Influence of a Global Pandemic for Ontario Newcomers: Challenges and Experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic”. A brief description of their thesis research is listed below:

Immigration and immigrants have always been significant to communities all around the world. Immigrants typically have direct and indirect influences on both their home, and destination communities. Canada is ranked first as the most welcoming country in 2021. At the same year, Ontario, has been the destination of most immigrants to Canada with the newcomers’ population of 198,530. Generally, newcomers might face several challenges and have different experiences in a new community. Moreover, these challenges can be boosted by many external factors, like the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic. This study is focused on identifying the challenges and experiences of newcomers who moved to Guelph or Toronto during the global pandemic. Results of this paper have revealed the new aspects of newcomers demands, challenges, and experiences by which the Canadian Immigration system can be improved both in federal and provincial scales.

Members of the examination committee will include: Prof. Ryan Gibson (advisor, SEDRD), Prof. Silvia Sarapura (Graduate Faculty, SEDRD), Prof. Sara Epp (Graduate Faculty, SEDRD), and Prof. Nic Brunet will serve as chair.  The thesis is open to the public and instructions for joining the video conference can be requested from rpd@uoguelph.ca.

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