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New government agency will recognize foreign credentials

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In his first public address as Immigration Minister, Monte Solberg announced that a federal agency will be developed to respond to the needs of Canada ‘s skilled immigrants. He also re-iterated his government’s plan to reduce the immigrant landing fee by half.

Speaking at the Public Policy Forum Convention held In Toronto recently, Solberg did not mention specifically when the new “credentials recognition” agency will be instituted, however has noted that it would require co-operation from various levels of government and business, as well as the academic establishment and various community groups.

He has also repeated his government’s promise to cut the Right of Permanent Residence landing fee by half. He believes that the reduced fee will make it “easier and more attractive for Newcomers to come to Canada”.

“Our efforts should be focused on welcoming Newcomers and helping them fit in, not taxing them to death,” he explained. According to Solberg, the reduction in the landing fee won’t translate into less money for his department.

Despite the lack of a specific procedural timeline for the changes, Solberg did mention that any further commitments to the projects announced will come after the throne speech. The announcements were good news to conference attendees, many of whom work closely with Canada ‘s immigrant community.

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