72nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG)

72nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG)
Hosted by the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at X* University (virtual)
May 30 to June 3, 2022

CAG 2022 Theme and Invitation:
Towards Canada 2050: Shaping the Future of Geographic and Spatial Analysis

This theme has a dual purpose: to promote exploration and debate on the issues and processes shaping Canada at all geographic scales; and to reflect on the diversity of ideas, tools, and approaches that we, as geographers, use to explore these phenomena.

The theme of the conference allows us to look ahead and consider how Canada will look in the future, as well as how contemporary and historical processes will help shape it. This can include (but is not limited to): effects of the ongoing climate crisis, environmental change, and government response (e.g., Canada’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2050); economic change (e.g., impacts of COVID-19, technology change, increased globalization); urban issues (e.g., urban environment and sustainability); addressing social issues and structural inequalities in society (e.g., antiracism, gender rights, and identity); and Indigenous rights and issues (e.g., issues of land tenure, community health, and the legacy of colonialism in Canada).

As geographers, we bring a multitude of interdisciplinary perspectives, knowledge, and methods to explore these big issues, provide practical and theoretical insights, and affect positive change. This conference will provide an opportunity to contemplate how geographers can continue to make an impact—both in our own research and in the training of future generations of scholars.

The CAG 2022 meeting is an opportunity to connect with fellow geographers on these and any other topics of interest!

Tentative Schedule:

Cheryl-lee Madden presentation:
Mapping Unchartered COVID-19 Evictions: Are Women Disproportionately Affected by Job Loss?

Research shows that women are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 job loss. COVID-19 focused our attention on front-line essential service retail workers, mainly women. They now experience dilemmas over belonging, safety, and power. Women could respond by expressing, as feminist Leslie Kern suggests, their “embodied experiences of city life, refusing to be taken for granted.” The emerging COVID-19 pandemic impacts are likely to have gendered consequences that have a relationship with Kain’s Spatial Mismatch hypothesis. Spatial mismatch could explain women’s labour market recovery within Vancouver’s transnational influence and indigenous diaspora. These components affect spatiality and polarization of wealth concentration. Furthermore, it has been suggested that among global cities, Vancouver’s spatial mismatch is unique. As well as being transnational and indigenous in scope, this striking disconnect between low-income housing and adequate employment opportunities is characterized by large numbers of working poor—primarily women—with inadequate access to educational opportunities and well-paid jobs (Sassen, 1991). During the COVID-19 pandemic, the social stressors of living and working in Vancouver have been further compounded due to pandemic-related job losses. Moreover, few affordable rental units remain available to renters. With the neoliberal global deindustrialization shift to service-dominated employment, women on the front lines of the service industry have very likely ended up being the most affected. However, to date there has been scant research into the long-term social effects of women’s job and income losses vis-à-vis their mobility (i.e., evictions or forced moves). In the present study, a small subset of the retail sector —Vancouver’s working poor women—is examined to explore in real time income/eviction data and thereby demonstrate that these women were disproportionately affected by COVID-19 job losses. These qualitative interviews will capitalize on the knowledge and experience of the targeted communities’ inhabitants as they contribute various pieces of information to the spatial mismatch discourse and, in the process, render it comprehensive. Gaining such reliable data from immigrant women is critical if we want to turn the tide and create adequate-wage employment and more socially responsible housing in Vancouver, the second least affordable city in the world after Hong Kong.

Keywords: gentrification, COVID-19, income disparity, evictions, housing affordability, women, spatial mismatch