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Ensuring fairness for newcomers

Posted By nenette On July 25, 2019 @ 1:54 am In Alberta News | No Comments

Bill 11, the Fair Registration Practices Act, will help newcomers get their credentials recognized, so they can quickly get to work in their fields to help grow the economy and create jobs.

Premier Kenney and Minister Copping meet with newcomers and stakeholders to discuss their experiences with foreign credential recognition.

The act is a key part of the government’s Fairness for Newcomers Action Plan.

Highly trained immigrant professionals can sometimes spend years jumping through regulatory hoops while their skills atrophy.

This can result in a significant loss of economic productivity for the Alberta economy. If passed, the Fair Registration Practices Act would cut red tape, remove barriers, speed up the process where possible, hold professional bodies accountable, and increase fairness and transparency.

“Our goal is to get all Albertans back to work. Too often, we hear stories of ‘doctors driving cabs’ syndrome – and we are taking action to make sure newcomers’ credentials are evaluated and assessed objectively and in a timely manner.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“It’s important for Alberta’s professional bodies to maintain high professional standards while allowing qualified newcomers to fully contribute to our economy. And not only that, giving newcomers the chance to pursue the careers they’ve trained for is, simply put, the right thing to do.”

Jason Copping, Minister of Labour and Immigration

“The settlement sector in Alberta has been advocating for fair recognition of newcomer qualifications for decades. The proven detrimental impact of underemployment of newcomer professionals is felt not only within their own families, but throughout society as well. We are certain that fair recognition of credentials will improve the quality of life of all Albertans, and are grateful this legislation is being introduced so quickly by the new government.”

Anila Lee Yuen, president & CEO, Centre for Newcomers

The proposed bill would:

  • Provide the authority to create a Fair Registration Practices Office.
  • Reduce the red tape associated with the assessment of foreign credentials.
  • Work with regulators to ensure registration practices are transparent, objective, impartial and fair.
  • Maintain Alberta’s high professional standards.

Bill 11 would require regulatory bodies to:

  • Assess applications and communicate assessment decisions within specific time frames for interim registration decisions and within reasonable time frames for final registration decisions.
  • Submit reports regarding fair registration practices to the minister responsible for the act.

“ASET is the regulator of engineering and geoscience technology practice in Alberta, and is committed to fully objective criteria for certification, and a level playing field for all applicants. Having long since adopted high standards of fairness in our admissions practices, ASET applauds the initiative for fair assessment of all applicants.”

Barry Cavanaugh, CEO, Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta

If passed, the legislation would come into force on proclamation.

Quick facts:

  • According to the Conference Board of Canada, Canadians would earn up to $17 billion more annually if their learning credentials were fully recognized.

*Immigrants are the largest group, with an estimated 524,000 international

credential holders affected by a lack of learning recognition.

  • Provinces such as Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia already have fairness legislation to ensure that professional regulatory organizations have fair registration practices.

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