Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act (Bill-124), 2006

By: Zack Steel (Employment Services Manager, at the time of Publication)

Appeared in November 2006 Issue of La Guia Magazine, in Spanish

On Tuesday, October 3, 2006, the Honourable Mike Colle, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, addressed the provincial legislature, to present a second reading of the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act, 2006 (Bill-124). He directed his speech to the Acting Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Ted Arnott.

Minister Colle emphasized: “So there would an appointment of a Fairness Commissioner who would be the champion of Newcomers who apply to go through this regulatory process.”

Minister Colle continued:

…it’s really a reflection of their many years of trying to ensure that foreign-trained individuals and all Newcomers get a fair opportunity at working in their chosen profession, here in Ontario. As you know, Mr. Speaker, over 140,000 Newcomers come to this Province every year – about 60% of all of the Newcomers  to Canada come to Ontario.

Minister Colle concluded his support for passage of the Bill into law by saying:

So this Bill-124 is an effort to do something about fairness, transparency and accountability; so that these wonderful people will get to work, feed their familiars and contribute to Ontario’s economy; so that we can really celebrate our diversity and our multiculturalism, economically and socially. We really need to do this now more than ever, because we are in such a competitive world. We have to do this just out of equity and fairness.

One Member of Provincial Parliament demonstrated his support for the Bill, by saying:

Bill-124 – The Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act – is about ensuring that all of Ontario’s Newcomers have a fair opportunity at success. If passed, this Bill will see the implementation of a  comprehensive framework designed to assist foreign- trained professionals to reach their full potential, so they will permitted to contribute to the economic success of our Province.

What Bill-124 really means is that the confusing process of obtaining a professional designation will be made easier. The transition for a specialist will be more fluid, with barriers to employment being removed. New Canadians will no longer need to work in jobs unrelated to their profession, without the possibility of working in their field of expertise. New Canadians will now be able to follow-up on their applications for registration with regulatory boards to gain access to work in their profession. The doors of opportunity are now open, to professionals, in all disciplines.

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