FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 24, 2007
FOREIGN CREDENTIAL RECOGNITION PLAN FALLS SHORT: NDP
More must be done to help professionals find suitable employment in Canada
OTTAWA - Immigrants in Canada are facing increased barriers after almost two decades of neglect from the federal government. While new immigrants to Canada have an increased education and experience level, this has not increased their prosperity.
"I am pleased that the government has taken many of the suggestions from the NDP's 7-point Creating Fair Opportunities plan, released in February," said NDP Deputy Immigration Critic Olivia Chow, MP (Trinity-Spadina). "This is a desperately needed first step towards integrating new Canadians into the economy."
The Conference Board of Canada has reported that underemployment of over 350,000 new immigrants in Canada is leaving our economy short-changed by $3-5 billion.
"In a country built by immigrants, it is unbelievable that it has taken this long for a recognition program to be put in place," said NDP MP Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre) who recently tabled a motion calling on the government to implement the NDP plan.
"Today's announcement unfortunately falls short," continued Chow. "The government is only taking baby steps to really provide new Canadians with the support they need to use their enormous talents. Much more needs to be done. We have long known that the federal government needs to standardize, streamline, and accelerate the accreditation processes across the country."
"Without an opportunity to gain Canadian experience through mentorship and bridging programs many new Canadians will have a very hard time establishing themselves," said NDP Immigration Critic, Bill Siksay (Burnaby-Douglas).
The NDP's 7-point Foreign Credential Recognition plan called for much of what was announced today including the integrated approach with Citizenship and Immigration, Human Resources and Service Canada, as well as the toll-free line, internet portal, and offering information to prospective new immigrants in their country of origin about recognition processes. More details can be found at: www.oliviachow.ca/page/130
For more information, please contact:
Sarah Dopp, Office of Olivia Chow: 613-698-7710
Rupinder Kaur, NDP Press Secretary, 613-222-5048