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Our Cities' Hidden Talents

Over at Tilting at Windmills, Kevin Brennan writes about Stephen Harper's intention to make it easier for skilled immigrants to work in professional occupations. Harper is quoted in his party's press release:

"Far too many new Canadians are working at jobs that do not allow them to realize their full potential because of roadblocks related to credentials recognition," said Harper. "This hurts every community but particularly those that need more doctors, engineers and diagnostic technicians."

The Conservatives promise "to work with the provinces to expedite the recognition of credentials held by Canadians educated and/or trained in foreign countries".

Like Kevin, I think that this is a good thing. On the other hand, it is easier said than done. I don't expect it will be a simple to sort out which foreign university programs and professional standings are equivalent to ours, and which will require some supplementing. The Cons do have some more specific information online, and candidate Tony Clement says he was working on this when he was Minister of Health for Ontario.

What's interesting about this announcement -- if the Conservatives really take it seriously -- is that this, too, would qualify as something good for cities. The greatest proportion of skilled immigrants are in places like Toronto and Vancouver. That's why David Miller and (if I remember correctly) John Tory both talked about this issue a lot during the mayoral campaign. As mayor, however, David Miller can't do much about it. It is up to the senior levels of government.



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