Unifying licensing requirements across Canada to improve labour mobility

CIC News
Published: July 30, 2008

Presently, licensing requirements for many occupations differ across provinces and territories, making inter-provincial labour mobility challenging for some Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents.  With the goal of creating a stronger and more united national work force, the Premiers of Canada's provinces and territories have proposed a new labour mobility accord that will make it easier for workers to seek job opportunities outside of their home province/territory.

"There are serious mobility constraints in about 25% of jobs in Canada, so our task is to smooth away those last difficulties to create the most stimulating market," stated Quebec Premier Jean Charest after the two-day annual Council of the Federation meeting.  Physicians, nurses, and welders are among the regulated occupations in which labour mobility is restricted.

The proposed new Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) between Canadian provinces and territories is especially good news for Canadian immigrants, many of whom have already had to go through a credential recognition process.  Before beginning to work in certain occupations, it is necessary to verify that internationally-obtained education and work experience credentials are compatible with occupational standards in the province/territory where immigrants intend to work.

The catch is that occupational standards and what qualifies as a regulated occupation differ across provinces/territories.  This means that although a person could be cleared to work in one province, if he/she wishes to move to another, it is possible that more training or a different accreditation process would be required.  This applies not only to workers trained abroad but to Canadian-born citizens alike.

The AIT seeks to remove this hurdle to cross-provincial/territorial mobility.

"No matter where a Canadian lives in this great country, they can move to a different province, take their skills with them, their profession, and be able to work within the country of Canada without any barriers," stated Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach.

The Premiers plan to amend the internal trade agreement by January 1, 2009 in order to have full labour mobility by April 1, 2009.  At that time they will also implement an agreement to accept credentials from other provinces/territories.  Certain professions, however, will be exempted at the discretion of provincial labour ministers.

Labour mobility was one of the top priorities of this year's Council of the Federation meeting, along with combating climate change.  Immigration issues were also discussed as the Premiers called on the federal government to commit more resources to dealing with the backlog of immigration applicants who are waiting to get into Canada.

"It is unacceptable as it is right now," Mr. Charest stated, noting that many of those waiting for a visa to come to Canada are workers who are badly needed in labour-tight industries.

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at media@canadavisa.com
Top Stories
8 Tips for the Listening Component of your CELPIP Test
IRCC proposes amendments that require students to re-apply for a study permit if they change schools in Canada
New data suggests growing demand for temporary foreign workers in several Canadian industries
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe
More in Work
New data suggests growing demand for temporary foreign workers in several Canadian industries
This illustrates the continuation of an upward trend – save for 2020, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic – that has persisted since at least 2016.
Finding your first job as an international graduate in Canada 
candidate's waiting for a job interview in an office.
Six frequently asked questions about Canadian work permits
A group of working professionals, in an office building.
Why IRCC may refuse your application for a post-graduation work permit
Female entrepreneur working using laptop looking at camera.
Link copied to clipboard