We're finally making it easier for people to work in their field

Canada has become pretty good at growing by attracting newcomers from abroad: The population is increasing by nearly 3% per year and recently crossed the 40 million threshold.

Yes, but: When it comes to making it easy for people to work in their field, it’s been a different story, with many professionals trained overseas unable to get credentials to work in Canada.

Thankfully, that’s starting to change. 

Catch up: The federal government and some provinces are finally abandoning rules and roadblocks that make it difficult and time-consuming for in-demand workers to find jobs in their field.

  • Earlier this month, the federal government announced an express entry immigration stream for healthcare professionals and set a target of doubling the number of health workers admitted every year.
  • Nova Scotia, Alberta, and Ontario all now allow doctors trained in the US to practice in Canada without re-taking local exams and have streamlined the process for doctors from Ireland, Australia, and the UK to start practicing here.
  • Saskatchewan recently passed a law requiring professional bodies—the third-party institutions that issue credentials for professions—to make a decision on recognizing a worker’s out-of-province credentials within 50 days.
  • Ontario dropped a requirement that skilled tradespeople and professionals, including engineers, needed Canadian work experience to get a licence to work here—a rule that led to a Kafka-esque chicken-and-egg problem for many skilled workers.

Why it matters: It doesn’t make a lot of sense to invite millions of people to immigrate to Canada and then stop them from working in their profession—particularly when we’re in such desperate need of skilled workers in sectors like healthcare. It’s a promising sign that politicians of all stripes can agree that it’s time to remove those barriers.