Grande Prairie MLA Nolan Dyck is pushing for legislation for Alberta to better recognize foreign credentials.

He is proposing Bill 203, which would create a provincial Foreign Credential Advisory Committee if passed. He says this would be a more streamlined and efficient credential advisory system.

“We have a path forward that isn’t lowering the bar but it’s simply saying ‘is there anything obstructing how do we work together to actually allow people who are qualified from across the world or across Canada to be able to come to Alberta and be able to work’,” said Dyck.

Bill 203 would create a committee of up to 13 stakeholders to find the “obstructions.”

The committee would consist of up to four members from immigration and multiculturalism, up to four from advanced education, up to three from health, one member from technology and innovation and one from jobs, economy and trade. 

The bill’s mandate includes “reviewing legislation and other rules, including those established by professional regulatory organizations, that govern the recognition of foreign credentials in Alberta.”

Alberta NDP immigration and accreditation critic Sharif Haji said the bill excludes important voices such as professional regulatory bodies.

“This will make the committee a government-controlled platform that will push its agenda without considering what’s best for the people,” he said.

The committee would also look to other jurisdictions in Canada to find areas of success and then make recommendations to the Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism.

Haji says the committee will only create delays for professionals looking to get their credentials recognized.

“We know that we need a workforce; we know we have newcomers coming to Alberta, and we see them constantly coming,” said Dyck.

“I think it’s fantastic they’re choosing Alberta, we are the breadwinner of Canada, and I would love to welcome them here even quicker, so my bill is about that.”

He hopes the bill will pass in April; it was tabled in November.

Dyck says several key sectors, including health care, construction, manufacturing, and internet technology, are expected to have labour shortages of over 3,000 workers by 2030. 

A six-question survey is available on Dyck’s website for the bill, betterfornewcomers.ca, along with any updates. 

By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 14, 2024 at 08:51

This item reprinted with permission from   Town & Country News   Beaverlodge, Alberta

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