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Ontario proposes a bill that would benefit foreign-trained professionals

  • October 27, 2021
  • BakerLaw

The Ontario government announced its intention to propose legislation that, if passed, would make it easier for foreign-trained professionals and tradespeople to work in their respective fields by removing some barriers that internationally-trained immigrants face. For example, such changes would include the removal of the requirement for Canadian work experience, in certain regulated professions and trades.

A notable exception from the proposed bill are professionals in the health-care sector.

Regulated professions refusal to recognize immigrants’ foreign education, training and experience, including medical residencies and articles for lawyers, has been a major barrier. In most cases these barriers are discriminatory and monopolistic. Such barriers should be removed unless their necessity can be clearly demonstrated.

This Bill is just the start to a process of examining and demanding justification for these arbitrary requirements. The Bill’s scope should be reviewed and expanded with consideration to the Charter and Human Rights Code. If discriminatory barriers remain they should be challenged using human rights legislation or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

By not recognizing the qualifications of foreign-trained professionals, Ontario is currently discriminating against many of its highly qualified newcomers and depriving itself of valuable expertise in the process. In 2013 the Ontario Human Rights Commission recognized the potential for discrimination when it called for the removal of Canadian experience (link).

For more information on the proposed legislation you can read the government of Ontario’s news release here (link).

Bakerlaw has represented clients in regulated professions in cases of discrimination based on place of origin, age and disability. Learn more about the work we have done with regulated professionals here (link) and bakerlaw’s legal services here (link).

If you are a regulated professional or tradesperson who is experiencing barriers due to Canadian work experience, or other forms of discrimination contact us (link) to see if we can assist you.

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