Ford government to remove barriers for internationally trained workers

Not being able to work in the jobs they qualified for in their native countries is a common issue many immigrants face in Canada.

By Richard Southern

Not being able to work in the jobs they qualified for in their native countries is a common issue many immigrants face in Canada.

Only one-quarter of internationally trained immigrants in regulated professions are working in jobs that match their level of qualification in Ontario.

CityNews has learned the Ford government is planning to introduce legislation to help alleviate this issue.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton will table a bill that will remove barriers immigrants face, such as the requirement for Canadian work experience, when attempting to get licensed in regulated professions and trades such as law, accounting, architecture, engineering, electrical and plumbing.


“These are folks who have the training, experience, and qualifications to work in booming industries where Ontario desperately needs help, but are being denied a chance to contribute,” McNaughton said. “If these changes are approved and passed, Ontario would become the first province in Canada to level the playing field so that any person coming here has the opportunity to build a better life.”

The new legislation would eliminate Canadian work experience requirements for professional registration and licensing, unless an exemption is granted based on demonstrated public health or safety risk.

The government says it would also reduce duplication of language proficiency testing, so people do not have to complete multiple tests for purposes of immigration and professional licensing, and allow applicants to register faster in their professions when there are emergencies such as a pandemic. The bill would also see that the licensing process is completed in a timely manner so internationally-trained immigrants can start working in careers that match their skillset sooner rather than later.

The changes do not apply to the medical field, minister McNaughton says

“We are working with the Ministry of Health right now to push this forward and hopefully in the time ahead we’ll have more to say,” he said.

The government hopes to have the legislation passed before the end of the year, however it will take between 20 and 24 months to implement the changes.

The sectors that would ultimately be impacted by the legislation will be determined in regulation, however some are listed below:

  1. Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario
  2. Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario
  3. Association of Ontario Land Surveyors
  4. Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario
  5. College of Early Childhood Educators
  6. College of Veterinarians of Ontario
  7. Law Society of Ontario
  8. Ontario Association of Architects
  9. Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists
  10. Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers
  11. Ontario College of Teachers
  12. Ontario  Professional Foresters Association
  13. Human Resources Professionals Association
  14. Ontario College of Trades, which covers:
  • Electricians – Domestic and Rural
  • Hoisting Engineers – Mobile Crane Operator 1
  • Hoisting Engineers – Mobile Crane Operator 2
  • Hoisting Engineers – Tower Crane Operator
  • Plumbers
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanics
  • Residential (Low Rise) Sheet Metal Installers
  • Residential Air Conditioning Systems Mechanics
  • Sheet Metal Workers
  • Sprinkler and Fire Protection Installer
  • Steamfitters
  • Alignment and Brakes Technicians
  • Auto Body and Collision Damage Repairers
  • Auto Body Repairers
  • Automotive Electronic Accessory Technicians
  • Automotive Service Technicians
  • Fuel and Electrical Systems Technicians
  • Motorcycle Technicians
  • Transmission Technicians
  • Truck and Coach Technicians
  • Truck-Trailer Service Technicians
  • Hairstylist

Connect with Breakfast Television
Connect with @breakfasttelevision
live, weekday mornings
Subscribe or follow to watch live weekday mornings on Citytv, YouTube and Facebook. Connect with us on Instagram and Twitter for more news and entertainment