General Information


Established in January, 2004, the Atlantic Metropolis Centre is a catalyst for inter-jurisdictional and inter-sectoral cooperation in Atlantic Canada. Building on the strength of the region's universities, the Centre's five regionally distributed research clusters or “domains” bring together researchers, community organizations, immigrant service providers and federal, provincial and municipal policy makers.

Collectively, the domains are investigating “pull” and “push” factors that influence population migrations to and from the region, including cultural and family networks; economic opportunities; educational and linguistic barriers; access to culturally sensitive health and legal services; security, safe community, and human rights issues; gender and immigrant women; political structures; international refugee flows; and the increasingly complex nature of citizenship and national identity in a period of accelerating globalization.

Through its affiliations with four other national Metropolis Centres (established in 1996), the Atlantic Metropolis Centre brings the perspectives and concerns of the Atlantic region into play in addressing the national policy priorities of the Metropolis Project. Facilitated by these networks and the transnational linkages arising out of the international arm of the Metropolis Project, Centre research teams contribute to new knowledge concerning population migrations, investigate models for influencing migration of particular relevance to Atlantic Canada, and contribute to effective policy development and practices in the region.

Attraction And Retention Of Immigrants

The overarching research priorities of the AMC are focused on the at­traction of new immigrants to Atlantic Canada, and the retention of immigrants within welcoming communities. Given the distribution of population as well as patterns of outmigration, attraction and retention are key policy issues for government policy workers, the private sector, and community organizations in the region. The small sizes of Atlantic Canadian immigrant communities open up opportunities for research on cultural and social integration policies. They also underscore the need for development of better infrastructure to serve immigrant and minority populations. The AMC places emphasis on immigrant integra­tion, population migration and multicultural diversity within towns and rural areas, as well as research focusing on the region's urban centres.

Both Official Languages

The Atlantic Metropolis Centre pursues the research agendas of the national Metropolis Project in both official languages. While research­ers are free to choose their language of publication and presentation, official documents from the Centre are produced in both French and English. All activities organized by the Centre allow for both official languages of Canada to be employed. The management of the Centre from two administrative sites, one in Halifax and the other in Moncton, reflects this linguistic diversity as well as the geographic distribution of research domains across three universities: Saint Mary's University (Halifax), Dalhousie University (Halifax), and l'Université de Moncton (Moncton).

A Rich And Diverse Cultural Heritage

The Atlantic Metropolis Centre draws upon the region's long and rich history of population migration and cultural diversity in pursuing its research agendas. Following First Nations peoples, several groups such as Acadians, African Canadians, and people of Scottish, Irish and English origin settled in the region. There is much to be learned from the historical and contemporary experience of these communities in investigating issues of immigration, social and economic integration, cultural heritage and population migration.

From Regional To Transnational

Facing the challenges of building networks across the boundaries of four provinces, many municipalities, and seventeen universities and colleges, the Atlantic Metropolis Centre acts as a catalyst for greater integration within the region. Drawing on national and international networks within participating universities, it connects regional research on immigration and cultural diversity to national and transnational per­spectives.

Background Information

The Metropolis Project: An Overview

Media and publications

  • Minister Coderre visits Metropolis Partners in Newfoundland (jpeg image)
  • Atlantic Report Volume 36, number 2 - Summer 2001 (pdf document)
  • Comings and Goings in Atlantic Canada - Ather Akbari - April 2005 (pdf document)

Reference Material

  • Letter from Meyer Burstein to University Presidents in Atlantic Canada (November 2001) (MS Word)
  • Letter from Meyer Burstein to University Presidents in Atlantic Canada (May 2001) (MS Word)
  • Letter of support from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (MS Word)
  • Evaluation of the Metropolis Joint Initiative Program of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada