The Conservatives are promising to make it easier for those trained abroad to have their credentials recognized in Canada so they can find work in their field. Created in 2011, the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans program aims to standardize provincial recognition of professionals educated abroad and help newcomers navigate licensing related challenges.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is pledging new funding for the program, which also offers financial support to new Canadians while they complete the foreign credential recognition process.
Harper claims that if re-elected, his government would provide $40-million for the program over five years, on top of the $35-million already allotted for it in this year’s budget.
The money is expected to cover 20,000 new loans.
Harper asserts the Conservatives would also work with the provinces and territories to accelerate accreditation decisions for high-demand occupations, such as physicians, teachers and welders.
If the government’s previous track record is any indication, the latest promises will have minimal effect in this ongoing dilemma facing foreign professionals. No less than 3 former immigration ministers under Harper have promised to make advances in this area with minimal success. In all likelihood this is a sugar coated promise for which the conservative government has low appetite. In the world of federal elections, talk is cheap.