McGuinty Government Introduces Legislation To Break Down Barriers For Newcomers - Proposed Legislation To Help More Newcomers Work In Regulated Professions
The McGuinty government is introducing legislation, the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act, 2006, which if passed, would break down barriers so that more internationally trained professionals can work in their field, Ontario Citizenship and Immigration Minister Mike Colle announced on June 8, 2006.
"We're on the side of hard working newcomers who want to work in their fields of expertise," said Premier McGuinty. "This legislation would break down barriers, increase fairness and make sure our newcomers have every opportunity to reach their full potential and contribute to our economy."
The proposed legislation, the first of its kind in Canada, would require Ontario's 34 regulated professions to ensure their licensing process is fair, clear and open. They would also be required to assess credentials more quickly.
The proposed legislation also includes:
- A Fair Registration Practices Commissioner who would assess the registration practices of regulated professions and monitor the regulatory bodies' compliance with the legislation.
- A new Access Centre for Internationally Trained Individuals, to help those trained outside Ontario get the information and referrals they need to work in their profession. It would also serve as a center for excellence on internships and mentorships for educational institutions, employers, and community agencies.
"We're making sure the skills and talents of thousands internationally trained professionals are a brain gain for Ontario, not a brain waste," said Colle. "We're demonstrating our commitment to breaking down the barriers for so many talented newcomers who chose Ontario."
"The Ontario government is to be commended for introducing legislation to help internationally trained professionals integrate into the workforce," said Brian Hunt, President and CEO of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario. "The Institute's experience has shown that providing a transparent career path for the internationally trained not only benefits those individuals personally but also the Province as a whole."
The Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act, 2006is the McGuinty government's latest step in helping newcomers succeed. Other initiatives include:
- Launching a six-month internship program in the Ontario Public Service and Crown Agencies for internationally trained professionals.
- Doubling the number of training and assessment positions for internationally trained medical graduates.
- Negotiating the first ever Canada-Ontario immigration agreement, which quadruples federal funding for language training and settlement programs to $920 million over five years for Ontario newcomers.
- Creating Ontarioimmigration.ca, which provides up-to-date information for newcomers on everything from Ontario communities to working in professions and trades.
As many as 140,000 newcomers arrive in Ontario each year. In the past two years, more than half were university educated. Within five years, newcomers will account for all of the province's net labour force growth.