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News Briefs – Hiring of foreign doctors recommended

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Hiring international medical graduates is a key to solving a doctor shortage in Ontario that has reached “unprecedented proportions,” a report by the College of Physicians and Surgeons says.

Over the past five years, the college representing Ontario doctors has registered 800 international medical graduates, but there needs to be more, says the 19-page discussion paper released Thursday.

“Decisive action is needed now to increase the number of physicians in Ontario,” said Dr. Barry Adams, an Ottawa pediatrician and president of the college. “We want to continue to reduce barriers to the recruitment, registration, training and education of doctors in this province.”

Municipalities to contribute to immigration agreement

The federal and Ontario governments have signed a letter of intent to give municipalities a voice as the two senior levels negotiate a new immigration agreement, provincial sources said Thursday.

The sources said Citizenship and Immigration Minister Judy Sgro and her Ontario counterpart, Marie Bountrogianni, signed the letter to recognize what the governments call the urban reality of immigration.

It calls for the establishment of several committees to oversee the negotiations on a Canada-Ontario immigration agreement, including one to develop protocols for municipal participation in the talks.

Visas required of Costa Ricans

In response to a dramatic surge in bogus refugee claimants from Costa Rica, Ottawa has imposed a visa requirement on visitors from Central America’s oldest continuous democracy.