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Consent Agreement
You are being invited to participate in a research study. Please read this consent form so that you understand what your participation will involve.  Before you consent to participate, please ask any questions to be sure you understand what your participation will involve. 

Virtual Bridge:
Delivering settlement services through social media 

My name is Stein Monteiro, a Senior Research Associate in the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration program (CERC Migration) at Toronto Metropolitan University. I am working on a team alongside Nevyn Pillai (social media researcher). We are conducting a research study on the use of social media to access information and services for settlement services in Canada among newcomers. We are also trying to study the usage of social media for gathering information and accessing settlement services among newcomers in rural areas and people with disabilities.

This study is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. 

If you have any questions or concerns about the research, please feel free to contact Stein Monteiro (steim@ryerson.ca). 

If you have any questions about your rights or treatment as a research participant in this study, please contact- Toronto Metropolitan University Research Ethics Board at  

Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation
(416) 979-5042.  

1 Dundas Street West, 11th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1Z3

The purpose of this study is to better understand the pre and post arrival social media usage patterns of newcomers to Canada. The responses to this survey will be used to improve the communications and service delivery of the settlement sector in Canada. 

What you will Be Asked to Do?
This survey includes questions about your usage of social media and its utility. This survey will take approximately 45 minutes of your time. We encourage you to select a location with visual privacy to complete this survey.

In order for all your answers to be collected, you must go to the end of the survey and click ‘submit survey’. This will demonstrate your full consent to participation.

The following is the eligibility criteria to participate in this research, only people who are
1. that are at least 22 years of age, 
2. that were not dependents when they became a landed immigrant,
3. arrived in Canada within the last 10 years.

We sincerely hope that you will be able to participate in this study. The research will not benefit you directly, however, the outcomes of this research study will give settlement service providers the knowledge they need to strategize their social media campaigns and become more accessible to people with disabilities and those who live in rural areas.
If a particular survey question makes you uncomfortable or upset or you may simply wish not to answer some questions, you are free to decline to answer any questions. In addition, if you prefer to not participate in the survey, you may choose to close your browser. If you close your browser before getting to the end of the survey and do not confirm your consent to participate at the end of the survey by clicking the ‘submit’ button, your information collected up to that point will not be used.

Some potential risks associate with participation include: Psychological risk: participants may revisit memories of the challenges they faced in adapting to life in Canada, especially questions that are related to their online  experiences of racism, discrimination, disinformation, misinformation or fraud. We have included sufficient response choices in the survey, including the option 'Prefer not to answer', ‘Do not know’, or ‘Not applicable’. Also, participation in the survey is voluntary. Participants can opt out of the survey by closing the browser and no part of their responses will be recorded.
Personal identity being revealed: migrants living in rural areas of Canada where population sizes within the Forward Sortation Area (first 3 characters of the postal code) are small, it is possible to identify individuals based on their responses. To ensure anonymity, we will remove the responses of individuals who indicated living in a Forward Sortation Area with a population of less than 5 people based on the most recent Canadian Census of Population. We will also code the unique identifiers (i.e. email addresses for the possibility of being contacted for a future focus group) being collected in the survey with alphanumeric codes. The concordance table between the codes and email addresses will be stored in a password-protected folder separate from their individual responses. 

The survey is anonymous if you choose not to enter the lottery draw to win a 100$ gift card as compensation. If you choose to enter the lottery draw to win a 100$ gift card as compensation at the end of the survey, we will request that you share your email address. Whether you choose to receive compensation or not, we will not be collecting information that will easily identify you, like your name, address, and telephone number. Although your Internet Protocol (IP) address can be tracked through the survey platform, the researchers will not be collecting this information. Your IP address may be observed only to ensure that one individual is not completing the survey multiple times. All your personal information remains confidential and will not be accessible to anyone outside of the research team. 
This survey uses Survey Monkey (TM), which is a United States of America (USA) company. Consequently, USA authorities under the provisions of the Freedom Act may access the survey data. Please visit this website for more information about Survey Monkey (TM) Privacy Notice
All information and data will be kept in a password-protected Google Drive account. Notes and any written documents will be kept in a locked cabinet to which only the CERC staff members Anna Triandafyllidou, Stein Monteiro, Masoud Kianpour and Nevyn Pillai will have access. To further protect your information, data stored by the researcher will be password protected and/or encrypted. Only the researchers named in this study will have access to the data as collected. Your individual responses (i.e. raw data) will not be shared with anyone outside of the CERC research team. The analyzed data will be available to the general public to view; however, your personal information will be kept confidential and anonymous. All responses will be anonymized by removing all identifying information, such as email addresses. The anonymized responses will be distributed through the project website. All identifying information (i.e., email addresses) will be destroyed after we have sent the winners of a lottery their gift cards and completed the recruitment for the focus groups.  Any future publications will include collective information (i.e., aggregated data). 
Once the study is complete, we will keep a record of the data, without identifying information, for a period of 2 years, after which it will also be destroyed.

At the end of the survey, before you click the ‘submit survey’ button, you will receive the opportunity to enter a lottery, for a chance to win 1 of 10 $100 gift cards as compensation for your participation in the survey. In this case, you must include your email address so a gift card can be sent to your inbox. 

Participation in this research study is completely voluntary and you can withdraw your consent at any point up to clicking the submit button at the end of the survey. Your withdrawal from the study will not influence future relations with the researchers at Toronto Metropolitan University. However, for those participants that DO NOT provide an email address at the end of the survey, your responses will be anonymous, and once you click the ‘submit survey’ button the researchers will not be able to determine which survey answers belong to you so your information cannot be withdrawn after that point.

The data collected will be available to the public, however, your personal information such as name and email addresses will be kept private. This survey is being conducted in compliance with the provisions of the Privacy Act. Participants are not giving up their legal rights by agreeing to participate in the study

You can contact me at steim@ryerson.ca to have your responses removed at any time before 31 March 2024.

We will not be providing participants with a copy of the final research paper.