Government restructuring and settlement agencies in Vancouver: bringing advocacy back in<sup>1</sup>

Gillian Creese

in Landscapes of voluntarism

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9781861346322
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302650 | DOI:
Government restructuring and settlement agencies in Vancouver: bringing advocacy back in1

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Welfare state restructuring during the 1990s changed the landscape of settlement services in Vancouver, creating a more uneven geography of provision, and increasing gaps between community needs and the services available. The voluntary sector faces a potential loss of autonomy, distortion of agency mandates, dangers of increased bureaucratisation and commercialisation, greater difficulty responding to community needs, and decreasing ability to undertake advocacy, all of which potentially result in a loss of legitimacy. This chapter discusses the creation of new and diverse landscapes in the major urban centres in Canada. It presents a case study of Vancouver, illustrating that welfare state restructuring in the late 1990s fundamentally reshaped settlement services in Canada. The study examines how settlement agencies negotiated this critical period of initial restructuring, focusing on three large non-profit agencies that dominated settlement service provision in the Vancouver area: the Immigrant Services Society, the Multilingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communities, and the United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society. It is argued that restructuring changed the landscape of settlement services in several important ways. The most significant change, however, was the growing importance of what one settlement worker referred to as ‘big advocacy’.

Keywords: legitimacy; Vancouver; advocacy; autonomy; bureaucratisation; settlement agencies

Chapter.  7793 words. 

Subjects: Organizations

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