Canadian recognition of immigrants' professional credentials

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The leader of Canada's New Democratic Party (NDP), Jack Layton, says the federal government needs to do more to recognize foreign credentials of immigrants who come to Canada and want to make it their home.

He says that many immigrants have a hard time finding work in their fields after arriving in Canada."The tragic fact is that we lure people to come here, we give them points for their experience, and their professional credentials," said Layton. "They tell their families that Canada wants us as doctors, accountants, engineers, experts ... they come here and the doors are simply closed.""It's one of the great tragedies we see in all of our immigrant communities," he said.The NDP will put forward a seven-step plan intended to make it easier for immigrants to have their foreign credentials and degrees recognized.The plan calls for the creation of an agency responsible for recognition of foreign credentials, an establishment of uniform practices for recognition across Canada, websites to detail accreditation processes, and more training and guidance programs for migrants. However, Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, said the Conservative government has already started establishing such a plan."Canada's new government, through Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Human Resources and Social Development Canada, is committed to establishing an office that will help qualified foreign-trained professionals become accredited so they can practice in their chosen fields in Canada," Finley said.She also highlighted the need for all levels of government to cooperate in order to provide better working opportunities for newcomers.Currently, immigrants hoping to live in Canada are ranked by a points based system that takes into account their skills and professional background. Unfortunately, those skills go unrecognized when they arrive.

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