John Shields

JohnShields wb

Professor in the Department of Policy and Public Administration at Toronto Metropolitan University

Dr. John Shields joined the Department of Politics and Public Administration in September 1988, after teaching in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Shields received his PhD in Political Science from the University of British Columbia in 1989. His doctoral dissertation is entitled British Columbia's New Reality: The Politics of Neo-Conservatism and Defensive Defiance. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Master of Arts (MA) from the University of Windsor.

Dr Shields is a tenured Full Professor with over twenty five years of university teaching and research experience in the areas of public administration and public policy, Canadian politics, the political economy of labour market and welfare state restructuring, immigrant settlement and integration policy and practices, and nonprofit sector studies. He holds a number of student teaching awards, and has developed and delivered distance education courses and modules. He holds/held research affiliations with the Centre for Governance Studies at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby; the Centre for Voluntary Sector Studies, Faculty of Business, Ryerson University; the International Social Sciences Institute at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland; and CERIS - The Ontario Metropolis Centre (Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement) where he served as one of the Centre Directors from 2002 to 2008. He has served on various advisory bodies including most recently for the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN).

Professor Shields is also a member of the Yeates School of Graduate Studies at Ryerson. He is affiliated with the MA program in Public Policy and Administration (which he served as co-Director from 2005-2012); the MA program in Immigration and Settlement Studies; the Joint (with York University) Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, which offers both MA and PhD streams; and the PhD program in Policy Studies.

He has numerous academic distinctions including major academic awards, a Research Professorship from Ryerson University and was awarded the Sarwan Sahota Ryerson Distinguished Scholar Award for 2001. In 2010 he was named a CERIS Senior Scholar by the SSHRC Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement (CERIS - The Ontario Metropolis Centre). In 2013 he received the Yeates School of Graduate Studies Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Award. He was also named Ryerson Fellow at Massey College at the University of Toronto for 2013-14.  In May 2016, he received the Dean's Excellence Award for Research Impact.

Dr. Shields has published extensively, including the co-authoring of five books and over forty published articles and papers and an extensive number of policy papers and conference presentations. His most recent research explores issues related to the marketization of the nonprofit sector, immigration and settlement, public administration reform, labour market restructuring with a focus on precarious work and immigrant populations, and knowledge transfer in support of public policy and advocacy. He is co-author of a series of Analytical Reports, Research Snapshots, and Roundtable Background Primers published by the Toronto Immigrant Employment Data Initiative (TIEDI) at York University.

Dr. Shields was Managing Editor of the Journal of International Migration and Integration (JIMI) from 2009-2012 and continues to sit on its Editorial Board. JIMI is a peer reviewed, international journal focused on publishing policy-relevant articles related to immigration and is published by Springer from The Netherlands,

Professor Shields is regularly sought as a media commentator and has been interviewed by and appeared on/in CBC, OnTV, CTV, Montreal Gazette, London Free Press, Edmonton Journal, National Post, Hamilton Spectator, Maclean's, OMNI TV, among others.  He was one of the researchers chosen by Radio Canada International to provide in-depth analysis as part of their series, Immigration: Benefit or Burden?


Phone: (416) 979-5000 x 6167


Interview with John Shields on the radio show and Podcast on immigration and settlement in Canada, Beyond the Headlines, Monday, January 20, 2020 at 11:00am EST on CIUT 89.5FM

How immigration backlogs are impacting Canadian employers, July 2022 Chair and Facilitator, “Preparing Newcomers for Life in Canada”, Canadian Immigration Summit 2022: Driving Innovation, Resilience, and Responsiveness, Conference Board of Canada, May 24-26, 2022, (Virtual).

Public Administration and Public Policy, Canadian politics, the political economy of labour market and welfare state restructuring, immigrant settlement and integration policy and practices, and nonprofit sector studies.

  • The Precarity Penalty: The Impact of Employment Precarity on Individuals, Households and Communities – and what to do about it (with Wayne Lewchuk, Michelynn Lafleche, Stephanie Procyk, Charlene Cook, Dianne Dyson, Luin Goldring, Karen Lior, Alan Meisner, Anothony Tambureno and Peter Viduciois). Toronto and Hamilton: United Way of Greater Toronto; Poverty and Employment Precarity in Southern Ontario, McMaster University, May, 2015.  196 pages.
  • “Knowledge Mobilization/Transfer and Immigration Policy: Forging Space for NGOs – The Case of CERIS – The Ontario Metropolis Centre” (with Valerie Preston, Ted Richmond, Yuko Sorano, Erika Gasse-Gates, Debbie Douglas, John Campey, and Lesley Johnston).  Journal of International Migration and Integration 16:2 (May 2015): 265-278.
  • Immigrant Experience in North America (co-edited with Harald Bauder). Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press Inc., 2015.
    • “Introduction: Understanding Immigration, Settlement, and Integration in North America” (with Harald Bauder). In Immigrant Experiences in North America: Understanding Settlement and Integration, ed. Harald Bauder and John Shields, 11-33. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press Inc., 2015.
  • “Cities, Climate Change and the Green Economy” (with Stephen McBride and Stephanie Tombari). In Work in a Warm World, ed. Carla Lipsig-Mummé and Stephen McBride, 195-213. Montréal and Kingston: Queen’s School of Policy Studies Series, Queen’s University Press, 2015.
  • Settlement and Integration Research Synthesis 2009-2013 [with Adnan Türegün (with Research Assistance by Sophia Lowe)]. A CERIS Report.  Ottawa: Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2014.  Online publication January 2015.
    • Synthèse de la recherche sur l’établissement et l’intégration de 2009 à 2013 (avec Adnan Türegün et l’appui de Sophia Lowe à la recherché). Rapport du CERIS. Ottawa: Citoyenneté et Immigration Canada (CIC), 2014.  Online publication March 2015.
  • “Social Impact Bonds” / “Les obligations à impact social” (with Meghan Joy). Public Sector Management / Management Secteur Public 25:3 (2014): 10-13.
  • Discounting Immigrant Families: Neoliberalism and the Framing of Canadian Immigration Policy Change” (with Jesse Root, Erika Gates-Gases, and Harald Bauder). RCIS (Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement) Working Paper  2014:7 (October 2014).
  • Is Precarious Employment Low Income Employment? The Changing Labour Market in Southern Ontario” (with Wayne Lewchuk, Stephanie Procyk, Michelynn Laflèche, Dan Rosen, Diane Dyson, Luin Goldring, Peter Viducis, Alan Meisner and Sam Vrankulj). Just Labour: A Canadian Journal of Work and Society 22 (Autumn 2014): 51-73.
  • Not Profiting from Precarity: The Work of Nonprofit Service Delivery and the Creation of Precariousness” (with Donna Baines, Ian Cunningham, and John Campey). Just Labour: A Canadian Journal of Work and Society 22 (Autumn 2014): 74-93.
  • “Constructing and ‘Liberating’ Temporariness in the Canadian Nonprofit Sector: Neoliberalism and Nonprofit Service Providers.” In Liberating Temporariness? Migration, Work and Citizenship in an Age of Insecurity, ed. Robert Latham, Valerie Preston, and Leah Vosko, 255-281. Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014.
  • “Nonprofit engagement with provincial policy officials: The case of NGO policy voice in Canadian immigrant settlement services” (with Bryan Evans). Policy and Society 33:2 (2014):117-127.
  • Cities, Climate Change and the Green Economy: A Thematic Literature Survey” (with Stephen McBride, Stephanie Tombari and Kristina Sannuto). Work in a Warming World Working Paper #2014-01 (January 2014): 26 pages.
  • “A Canada-wide Survey of Deputy and Assistant Deputy Ministers: A Descriptive Analysis” (with Bryan Evans and Janet Lum).  Ch. 12 in Deputy Ministers in Canada: Comparative and Jurisdictional Perspectives, ed. Jacques Bourgault and Christopher Dunn, 324 – 363.  IPAC Series in Public Management and Governance.  Toronto:  University of Toronto Press, 2014.
  • “Social Impact Bonds: The Next Phase of Third Sector Marketization?” (with Meghan Joy) Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research/Revue canadienne de recherche sur les OBSL et l’économie sociale 4:2 (Autumn 2013):  39-55.
  • CERIS – The Ontario Metropolis Centre: Knowledge Exchange” (with Valerie Preston, Ted Richmond, Yuko Sorano, Erika Gasse-Gates, Debbie Douglas, John Campey and Lesley Johnston). Research Snapshot (2013), 2 pages. Toronto: York University Knowledge Mobilization Unit.
  • “International Trade Agreements and the Ontario Green Energy Act: Opportunities and Obstacles” (with Stephen McBride). In Climate @ Work, ed. Carla Lipsig-Mummé, 41-56. Halifax:  Fernwood, 2013.
  • It’s More than Poverty: Precarity and Household Well-being in the GTA-Hamilton Region [with Wayne Lewchuk (McMaster University), Michelynn Lafleche (United Way Toronto), Dianne Dyson (WoodGreen Community Services), Luin Goldring (York University), Alan Meisner (QUANTACAN), Stephanie Procyk (United Way Toronto), Dan Rosen (City of Toronto), Sam Vrankulj (McMaster University)].  Toronto:  United Way Toronto, February 2013.
  • “Building a Policy-Oriented Research Partnership for Knowledge Mobilization and Knowledge Transfer: The Case of the Canadian Metropolis Project” (with Bryan Evans).  Administrative Sciences 2:4 (2012): 250-272.
  • “Delicate dances: Immigrant workers’ experiences of injury reporting and claim filing” (with Agnieszka Kosny, Ellen MacEachen, Marni Lifshen, Peter Smith, Gul Joya Jafri, Cynthia Neilson, and Diana Pugliese).  Ethnicity and Health 17:3 (June 2012): 267-290.
  • “Profiling Immigrant Poverty in Canada: A 2006 Census Statistical Portrait” (with Philip Kelly, Stella Park, Nathan Prier, and Tony Fang).  Canadian Review of Social Policy / Revue Canadienne de Politique Social 65/66 (2011): 92-111.
  • Industrial Strategies for Green Jobs: Opportunities and Obstacles in the Ontario Case” (with Stephen McBride).  Working Paper #2011-03 (May 2012): 17 pages. [Part of the Work in a Warming World Project (W3), a SSHRC-­CURA Research Programme.]
  • “Evaluation Challenges and the Settlement Sector.” Notes from the 2012 CERIS Community Research Symposium on Evaluation and the Community Sector.  (May 2012): 5 pages.
  • The Role of Multiculturalism Policy in Addressing Social Inclusion Processes in Canada (with Ilene Hyman and Agnes Meinhard).  Edmonton: Canadian Multicultural Education Foundation, June 2011.  35 pages.
  • Reflections on Resistance to Neoliberalism: Looking Back on Solidarity in 1983 British Columbia” (with Ted Richmond).  Socialist Studies: The Journal of the Society for Socialist Studies 7:1/2 (2011):  216-237.
  • Policy Opinions of Canada’s Top Public Service Leaders” (with Bryan Evans and Janet M. Lum).  Public Sector Digest (July 2011, “A Special Issue on Leadership”).
  • The Changing Profile of Canada’s Top Public Service Leaders” (with Bryan Evans and Janet Lum). Public Sector Digest, June 2011.



Academic Poster Presentations

  • Jessica Praznik and John Shields, “A Snap Shot of Immigrant Settlement Services”, Newcomers, Resilience and Settlement Knowledge Exchange, Building Migrant Resilience in Cities (BMRC), Toronto, June 5-6, 2018.