Many immigrants who apply for migration from their country of origin expect a better life when they arrive in Canada. Unfortunately, it is not always the case. In fact, Canada has a lot of doctors with foreign credentials driving taxis for a living.
This very talented pool of immigrants is underemployed because Canadian businesses and professional licensing bodies won’t recognize their degrees, credential or experience. Because of this existing problem, many professionals turn to ordinary jobs in order to survive.
In their 2015 report, The Conference Board of Canada stated that 524,000 immigrants in Canada would earn as much as $12.7 billion more and pay more taxes, if their learning credentials were fully recognized.
Recently, Alberta Conservatives leader Jason Kenney announced that if he gets elected, he will fast track the credential recognition of immigrants. If Kenney delivers on his promise, it will definitely help a lot of immigrants integrate into Alberta faster.
But the problem of accreditation is not as simple as it is and Mr. Kenney knows it because he was the Federal Immigration Minister during Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s time.
The longer the Canadian Government delays this process of proper integration, the more money it will lose and it is in the billions of dollars. But there is another way of doing this that will favour both the Federal and Provincial Governments. When a person applies for the status of Immigrant from the Country of Origin, they should do a Pre-Qualification Skill Test to determine their skill set and experience. So if the person is a doctor, he has to take a doctor’s pre-qualification exam.
If they do not qualify for the Canadian standard, there should already be an option for them to take courses administered by a Canadian University. With today’s technology, there should be no problem completing this certification online. Once the immigrant has done this, then this is the only time they can continue the process of their migration into Canada or at least make it an option. Doing this from their Country of Origin will be beneficial to the candidate because the person does not have to adjust to weather, the Canadian lifestyle, food, etc. and they will also have support from relatives and peers. This way, when they arrive, they can start working in their profession of choice like they did in their Country of Origin. By establishing this, they will pay more income tax, which will be beneficial to Canada.
The longer they are not accredited to start working in their profession of choice, the lesser the Federal Government earns. One more important factor is that when they pass the exams it should be mandatory for the Associations and businesses to recognize them.
A few years back, I was able to talk to a Canadian professor teaching nursing in the Philippines. And during that time, I asked the professor about the accreditation problem.
I was surprised to learn that he himself was trying to bridge the gap but the Association and the Unions were making it hard to make the integration and accreditation happen.
As Canadians, we should not be threatened by immigrants coming into the Country if they have proper qualifications. They have the same right we have and we should not be in the way of their dream of a better life.
A very reliable source told me that I was labelled by another Filipino as biased towards a certain political party when I showed up at the invitation of another political party. While I might be lenient with certain policies of a party, this does not mean I am favouring that party.
As President of the Philippine Media Association of Alberta (PMAA), I know where I stand and I have always encouraged my members to stay neutral when it comes to politics. We are journalists and we strive to help people make the right choices by basing our reporting on truth and facts. Let us not cloud our judgement.