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News Briefs – Ontario Seeks More Cash to Help Newcomers

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The Ontario government has launched a new bid to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government to upgrade language and other services for immigrants in the province.

It would take an additional $1.5-billion to bring federal payments to Ontario for immigrants’ services up to the level of funding that Ottawa provides to Quebec.

Efforts Made to Integrate Foreign Doctors

Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia are expanding medical school programs this year in order to improve the integration of foreign trained doctors into the medical system. The Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons has been approached by 1,300 people from 92 countries in recent years who are waiting to practise in the province, Ms. Chambers said.

Provincial programs to assist and train immigrant doctors are being amalgamated this month into an Ontario International Medical Graduates Clearinghouse, which held a meeting in Toronto last night and will have another public meeting this evening in Hamilton.

Health Canada and three other federal ministries have pledged money to help implement the task force’s other recommendations — on licensing, verification of credentials and testing for competency and language proficiency. The funds come from $90-million allocated in the federal budget last year for health and human resources priority issues, said Robert Shearer, Health Canada’s director of human resources strategies.