July 21st, 2024

B.C. to remove barriers for internationally trained professionals: premier

By The Canadian Press on October 23, 2023.

The British Columbia government has introduced legislation Premier David Eby says should reduce barriers for internationally trained professionals in the province. Eby speaks at a press conference in the rotunda at the legislature in Victoria, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

VICTORIA – The British Columbia government has introduced legislation that is expected to add skilled workers into the labour force more quickly by reducing barriers for internationally trained professionals.

Premier David Eby says B.C. cannot leave people with skills and experience on the sidelines, given labour shortages the province is facing now and in the coming years.

He says the legislation would require regulatory bodies to remove “unfair barriers” for 29 different professions, including veterinarians, lawyers, teachers, paramedics, early childhood educators, architects, natural resource professionals and others.

Eby says the act introduced in the legislature today builds on work the B.C. government has been doing to support internationally trained health-care workers.

Andrew Mercier, the minister of state for workforce development, says international professionals face unnecessary barriers, such as redundant language testing and a “catch-22” requirement for work experience in Canada prior to getting accreditation.

He says the new law would remove those requirements and enhance transparency by mandating regulators to share details on their assessment processes.

If passed, Mercier says the legislation would also create a new superintendent responsible for promoting fair credential recognition and enforcing compliance.

The act would be set to take effect next summer.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2023.

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