Bill introduced to ease job access for foreign-trained health workers in Ontario
Member of Ontario’s Provincial Parliament introduced a bill to ease credential and employment barriers for internationally trained professionals, especially nurses, doctors, and other health care workers.
MPP Doly Begum (Scarborough Southwest) introduced Bill 98, the “Fairness for Ontario’s Internationally Trained Workers Act, 2022.”
Begum is the New Democratic Party’s (NDP) critic for Citizenship, Foreign Credentials Recognition, and Immigration. She also authored Bill 217 proclaiming the month of “June as Filipino Heritage Month” in Ontario on May 13, 2021, in recognition of Filipinos’ contributions to society.
According to Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath, if the Bill is passed it will “force the government to finally take action to fix the foreign credentials system in Ontario, so people can get to work in their field quicker.”
The credential system would cover “people with the right university degrees, relevant work experience, training, and professional credentials, to be certified faster in Ontario,” and this includes Filipino newcomers, immigrants and permanent residents who are considered internationally-trained professionals or ITPs.
The Begum Bill, once it becomes law, specifically “would compel the government to address accreditation barriers faced by internationally trained professionals.” For example, to provide a job-matching program to guarantee internationally trained physicians can get local experience that counts towards their accreditation; and “to make it easier for internationally educated nurses to gain recognition of their international clinical experiences so they can apply for clinical placements in Ontario.
The bill calls for the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and the Minister of Health to “establish advisory committees for credential recognition as well as employment access and experience recognition for internationally educated non-regulated professionals.
Within 90 days of passing, the relevant ministries must appoint and publicly name members to each advisory group. They must also make a detailed plan in consultation with internationally trained professionals, regulatory bodies, professional associations, settlement organizations, and employment organizations.
The proposed bill has passed through its First Reading and Second Reading and is now referred to the appropriate Committee in the Ontario Legislature for final reading.