Barbara Neis: We have multiple universities that are involved as partners—for example, the Vanier Institute of the Family, the Construction Sector council, those kinds of partners—who basically are cross cutting, and who are interested in these issues at a national level. And then we are working in seven provinces. Within each of those provinces, we have field research components that will be happening. And each of those components has partners related to that field of research.
Many of the communities in the area where we’ll be doing research are basically in the situation where they have a tremendous influx of temporary workers.
We need those partners, I think, to do this work well. What we’re dealing with is very complex … it’s very topical. People want answers now.
When we first started thinking about this issue in a broad sense, we organized some on‑the‑ground workshops and we brought in some community groups and some researchers and we discussed, “We think this is an issue. What do you think?” and so on. There was those sort of large-scale or national‑level organizational partners that I built myself. But the other partners really came in with the co‑researchers, because they were already working on the ground in these communities.
It was a sort of multi‑prong strategy. Ideally you’re not starting, brand new—with a whole bunch of partnerships—to build something on this scale. We really are trying to build on what’s already there in terms of expertise and linkages and engagement with communities.
Robert Glossop: The question about “How does social science humanities research help Canadians?” is basically the broad question.
We want decisions to be made on the very best knowledge, information, evidence that’s available. The world that we live in is complex, to say the least, but [we want] to take advantage of this kind of opportunity, which is to partner with a whole bunch of people who are interested in—sometimes troubled by—the same overarching theme, in order to let us understand better how it affects the lives of individuals, and how it affects the mandates and responsibilities of organizations that hope to serve those individuals.