Evidence of meeting #5 for Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was federal.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Rob Walsh  Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, House of Commons
  • Christine Nielsen  Executive Director, Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science
  • Jim McKee  Executive Director, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
  • Jill McCaw  Coordinator, Integration Project, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
  • Charles Shields  Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists
  • Giulia Nastase  Manager, Special Projects, Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Ed Komarnicki

You do. You have about a minute and a half.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Claude is going to ask you a question.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Claude Patry Jonquière—Alma, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Walsh, could you explain to me how that works with the Government of Quebec? The federal government provides the funding, and Quebec wants to have the funds and administer them. When people come for training, for instance, how do you discuss that with them? Is there room for improvement? Is there anything negative or positive in all that?

3:40 p.m.

Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, House of Commons

Rob Walsh

It's not up to me to say whether the government's actions are positive or negative.

Unless I have misunderstood, you are asking whether there is an agreement between the province and the federal government. An agreement is negotiated for spending funds or for beginning a program related to education or labour in the provinces. We are talking about a cooperative regime between the two levels of government.

Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Claude Patry Jonquière—Alma, QC

Okay, thank you.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Ed Komarnicki

From listening to you, I gather that the federal government can't legislate or regulate in provincial areas, but they can expend funds with respect to matters that would be under provincial jurisdictions under certain circumstances.

3:40 p.m.

Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, House of Commons

Rob Walsh

That's correct.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Ed Komarnicki

Does that then give way for various levels of government to deal with various issues on a collaborative basis?

3:40 p.m.

Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, House of Commons

Rob Walsh

That's correct.

It's not too often that I think a provincial government will spend money in an area of federal legislation. It can happen in the reverse from time to time, and it gives rise to some debates.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Ed Komarnicki

Mr. Shory, it's your turn to go ahead.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Calgary Northeast, AB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thank you, Mr. Walsh, for coming this afternoon.

I am certainly a lawyer by profession, but I'm nowhere close to being an expert on constitutional matters. Being a first-generation newcomer, I was a law graduate from India when I came to Canada, and I did have to live with it for a few years. It's very complicated, as you said. Jurisdictional issues are complicated and very hard to understand as well, especially for a new Canadian.

We all know that on a skilled worker basis, we have all kinds of professionals coming to Canada. Unfortunately, due to these complications, most of them have to go through very rough and tough times. Also, quite a few of them basically are unable to achieve their profession after coming to Canada. When we talk about jurisdiction, it is clear that education is under provincial jurisdiction. At the same time, I was curious to hear your views on whether the federal government has any jurisdiction to make changes to the credential recognition process.

3:40 p.m.

Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, House of Commons

Rob Walsh

If by changes you're talking about the regulations regarding the accreditation to be given for foreign qualifications, generally it does not.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Calgary Northeast, AB

Okay.

3:40 p.m.

Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, House of Commons

Rob Walsh

But it may happen in some cases. For example--and I'm not sure of this, but I'll offer it as a hypothetical--airlines are federally regulated. Can the federal government accept qualifications of an immigrant who claims to be qualified as a pilot? It could, possibly, as being incidental to the running of airlines. I'm not entirely sure about that. It's along the same thinking that the federal government can legislate labour for federally regulated enterprises, like airlines, although labour is a provincial area. They can do labour legislation for a federally regulated entity, such as the post office, for example, or airlines. In a similar fashion, it might be the case that they could allow for acceptance of foreign accreditation in those fields for which they are responsible, such as airlines.

I'm not entirely sure of that, sir, but I think that's a possibility. I'll check that when I get back to the office.

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Calgary Northeast, AB

Okay.

I have a quick comment on your presentation. In the second paragraph, you talked about some limited exceptions. Can you give some examples of those exceptions?