South Asian Focus
Wednesday March 4 2009

Nouman Khalil

The federal government has reaffirmed Canada still needs to attract more foreign professionals and recognize their credentials, even during the recession period.

Addressing the media in Mississauga last week, federal ministers Jason Kenney and Diane Finley jointly announced the $50 million Economic Action Plan spread across two years is on course to speed up the process of assessing and recognizing foreign qualifications.

“We compete in a global marketplace where the knowledge of our workforce is the key to our economy and prosperity,” said Finley, minister of human resources.

The government is focused on bringing more skilled immigrants from around the world by helping them enter the Canadian workforce smoothly, Finley said.

“Currently, more than 330 Service Canada centres in the country are helping foreign trained professionals get the information they need to have their credentials assessed as quickly as possible,” said Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

Kenney said the federal government has reduced the processing time for professionals in 38 different categories.

“Skilled professionals like doctors from across the world now come to Canada within anywhere from 10 to 12 months time period.

“This is a big achievement for us and now we are beginning to feel a drop in backlog of the wait times.”

According to the ministers, the Economic Action Plan will also help those who want to migrate to Canada begin the process of licensure and accreditation while they are still overseas.

The $50 million investment for the foreign credential recognition is part of Canada Skill Transition Strategy, a comprehensive $8.3 billion action plan for Canadian workers, the unemployed and their families.

The plan contains many other initiatives to help vulnerable Canadians, persons with disabilities, seniors and Aboriginal people, said the ministers.

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Reference: South Asian Focus