Federal Immigration Minister Denis Coderre said Monday Canada is facing a
shortage of skilled workers and companies are beginning to realize it’s
important to integrate immigrants into the workforce. Coderre said Ottawa
is now working with the provinces to devise a plan that would allow foreign
professionals to be accredited in Canada.
Quebec Social Affairs Minister Michelle Courchesne said the province wants
to implement a more personalized approach to help newcomers find work.
Dropping Immigration Numbers
The Chrétien government’s latest figures for immigration place it even farther behind its oft-repeated 1993 election promise to increase immigration to 1 per cent of the population.
The government reported that 229,091 people became landed immigrants in 2002, down from 250,484 the year before. Immigration in 2001 was higher than usual because the Immigration Department was given special funds to clear out its backlog.
The promise to increase immigration to 1 per cent of the population – which
would now be about 314,000 people a year – was the key to the Liberal
immigration policy in the 1993 Red Book election platform, co-authored by
Paul Martin, and on which Mr. Chrétien swept into office. The promise has
been repeated every year by successive Liberal immigration ministers, and
Mr. Martin has pledged to reach the goal when he becomes prime minister.
Quebec looks to Internet in MD quest
Quebec is looking to the south Asian subcontinent to recruit doctors and is considering French courses over the Internet so they can acclimatize before settling here.
In a bid to alleviate its doctor shortage, Quebec is offering to help physicians with foreign credentials pass the provincial medical exams. Health and Social Services Minister Philippe Couillard said as many as 450 foreign-trained doctors living in Quebec have been invited to take part in the new program.