Today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced new measures to help recent immigrants strengthen their families’ financial security by getting their foreign credentials recognized in Canada faster and more easily.
At a campaign event at NOVO Plastics, the Prime Minister welcomed and praised the contributions that immigrants have made to Canada’s growth, and discussed the measures his Government has taken to help new Canadians put their skills to work.
“We understand the importance of credential recognition to the financial security and well-being of new Canadians and their families, as well as the Canadian economy,” said Harper. “Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, our Government has invested $50 million over two years in the development and implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications.”
This program has already helped thousands of internationally-trained workers integrate into the workforce.
Today, the Prime Minister announced that a Conservative Government would build on its achievements by providing new loans to help recent immigrants pay for skills training or upgrading required before their credentials can be recognized here in Canada.
“Some foreign-trained workers have difficulty paying for the tuition and other training costs associated with the foreign credential recognition process. These bridge loans will make it easier for new Canadians to find jobs that take full advantage of their experience and expertise,” Harper said. “The loans will enable them to participate in and contribute fully to the growth of the Canadian economy.”
The Prime Minister expressed solidarity with new Canadians, explaining that “the Conservative Party has a proven record of welcoming new Canadians and giving them the tools they need to contribute to the Canadian economy and build a better future for their families.”
- Stephen Harper’s Government understands the importance of credential recognition to the financial security and well-being of new Canadians and their families, as well as the Canadian economy.
- Stephen Harper’s Government has made speeding up foreign credential recognition a top priority.
- Stephen Harper’s Government established the Foreign Credentials Referral Office in 2007 to help internationally-trained workers get their credentials assessed and recognized more quickly.
- As part of this initiative, we have increased in-person and online services for internationally-trained workers to provide them with labour market information and help them connect with the appropriate regulatory body.
- Stephen Harper also improved the immigration process by identifying 29 high-demand occupations for priority processing to ensure that immigrants’ skills are put to work and the needs of our economy are met faster than ever before.
- We have introduced new overseas orientation sessions, called the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program, for skilled immigrants from India, China, the Philippines and the United Kingdom. These sessions offer training for prospective immigrants on how to have their credentials recognized in Canada and help them start the credential recognition program even before they arrive in Canada.
- We have introduced websites for career seekers, including the “Working in Canada” website and the “Foreign Credentials Referral Office” website. These sites, along with our Workbook for Newcomers, called Planning to Work in Canada?, provide valuable information about getting foreign credentials recognized.
- As part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, Stephen Harper’s Government invested $50 million over two years for the development and implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the assessment and recognition of foreign qualifications.
- The Pan-Canadian Framework helps to integrate internationally-trained workers into the workforce by ensuring that foreign qualifications are recognized faster and in a more consistent way.
- To date, we have sped up foreign credential recognition in eight occupations, including engineers, medical laboratory technologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, accountants, architects and registered nurses.
- And we are on track to add six more occupations to this fast-track process in 2012, including engineering technicians, licensed practical nurses, medical radiation technologists, dentists, teachers and doctors.
- But there is still more work to do in the area of foreign credential recognition.
- Some foreign-trained workers encounter difficulty paying for tuition and training costs associated with the foreign credential recognition process.
- New Canadians may not have the credit history to receive private loans and their accreditation program or training upgrades may not meet the eligibility criteria for the Canada Student Loans Program.
- The cost of training, exams, licensing and recertification can range anywhere from $100 to over $25,000.
- The lack of financial assistance can, in some cases, be an obstacle for new Canadians to complete the necessary training to have their foreign credentials recognized here in Canada.
- Those who find themselves in this situation may not be able to complete the training required for them to take full advantage of their experience and expertise.
- The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, which was opposed by Michael Ignatieff and his Coalition partners, the NDP and the Bloc Québécois, proposed a plan to help new Canadians pay for the training and skills upgrading needed to have their foreign credentials recognized here in Canada.
- A re-elected Stephen Harper Government will follow through on this plan.
- Loans will cover expenses associated with training and training materials, exams, administration and registration fees, and other costs associated with the foreign credential recognition process.
- The program is projected to cost $6 million per year.
- Stephen Harper’s low-tax plan is helping to ensure that new Canadians can use their skills and expertise in the occupation of their choice.
- The Ignatieff-led Coalition opposed this low-tax measure when they rejected The Next Phase of Canada’s Action Plan to provoke an unnecessary and opportunistic election.
- Canadians have a clear choice.
- Canadians can choose between Stephen Harper’s low-tax plan for jobs and growth and Michael Ignatieff’s high-tax agenda that will stall the recovery, kill jobs, harm Canadians’ financial security and set Canadian families back.