Recognition of Foreign Credentials Act

An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (recognition of foreign credentials)


Brad Redekopp  Conservative

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)


Outside the Order of Precedence (a private member's bill that hasn't yet won the draw that determines which private member's bills can be debated), as of June 15, 2022

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-286.


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to authorize the Governor in Council, after consultation with the provinces, to make regulations in relation to the recognition of foreign credentials.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1Government Orders

April 27th, 2023 / 1:30 p.m.
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Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

Madam Speaker, it is a great opportunity to stand up and speak in the House today.

If members will indulge me for a moment, I want to briefly mention two people who are very important in my life, my mother and father, Alvin and Irene Redekopp. They have been there for my whole life, a great life growing up, and are probably the most ardent watchers of the House out of all of us. They watch question period, they watch, of course, when I speak, and they probably watch random debates just for fun. They have been married 63 years, and it is my privilege and honour to still have a great relationship with them even though they are a few years older than me. I thank my mom and dad for all they have done.

One month ago, we listened to the budget in this place, and here we are now a month later. I think I would summarize the budget with the word “underwhelming”. There was a Global News story the following day in which Pamela George, a financial literacy counsellor who works with women, said that the 2023 spending plan was subpar. She said:

It’s nothing to write home about. I’m not shouting and celebrating anything...When I hear things like, “we’re going to do this,” or “we’re looking into this,” I just feel it’s stalling....

I think that summarizes my thoughts on the budget; it really was quite underwhelming. So, of course, the questions from the residents of Saskatoon West are: How does this budget affect me? What is going to change because of this budget? How is it is going to impact my life?

Of course, they are struggling, like all Canadians are, with pressures on meeting their monthly costs, whether it is to put groceries on the table, fuelling their cars, heating their homes or even their cost to own a home. Saskatoon is one of the cheaper places in the country to own a home, yet it is still very difficult. Many people in my riding struggle with paying their rent and paying their mortgage payments, especially as mortgage payments increase. So, many of them were looking for solutions.

It is fair to say that there were no long-term solutions in this budget at all. There were some band-aids, yes, but there were really no long-term solutions. Getting a few hundred dollars extra on a GST rebate might help in the very short term, but it does not help in the long term. We have heard the proverb, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” I think that is what we are seeing here with a few hundred dollars to a family. Okay, fine, they can buy groceries for a week, maybe two, but then the problem is there again.

We need permanent, long-term solutions that actually solve the problems that are out there, and I acknowledge that this is a hard thing. A master's level skill is required to achieve this. Unfortunately, what we have seen in so many things, and this budget is a good example of it, is a master's level of incompetence. We just cannot get the competence that we require out of this government. Of course, right now, we are in the middle of this strike and, as has been mentioned many times, this government has managed to spend 50% more on its workforce and still have the workforce go on strike. That takes a master's level of incompetence.

Conservatives had some very positive suggestions for this budget, and I just want to review those very quickly.

The first one was that we had suggested the government pursue an area of lower taxes for workers. People need to keep more of their paycheques so that they can spend the money they need to survive. The second thing we suggested was that the government end inflationary deficits that are driving up the cost of goods. This is fairly straightforward and was a very good suggestion that should not have been very difficult for this government. The third was to remove gatekeepers to increase home building for Canadians. This is something we hear of constantly in our ridings and across the country on the availability of affordable housing.

Did the government take us up on our constructive advice? Well, let us talk about taxes.

Several days after the budget was released, what happened to taxes? They went up. Why is that? It is because of the carbon tax. This is part of the plan to increase the carbon tax over the next months to ultimately triple it to where it is going to cost 40¢ a litre for fuel, for gasoline, and, of course, it adds a cost to everything else, whether it is fuel for homes, which, by the way, there is GST on top of the carbon tax, or whether it is for groceries. Basically, anything that moves on a truck is impacted by this. Of course, food is greatly impacted by this, because farmers end up bearing a huge cost of GST on their farms. So, did taxes go down? No, they went up.

What about the inflationary deficits? Did they go down? No, actually.

I would like to read a quote, which says, “Our deficits must continue to be reduced. The pandemic debt we incurred to keep Canadians safe and solvent paid down. This is our fiscal anchor. ...a line we shall not cross.” Who said that? Of course, it was the illustrious finance minister, and it was said less than a year ago. Here we are, just months after making that statement, and what do we see in this budget? We see deficits forever. The idea of deficits being reduced and eliminated is just not there. The crazy thing is that in 2026, it would just take a 3% reduction to achieve a balanced budget, yet that is not something that this master's level of incompetence government was able to achieve, which I think is quite simple.

What about the third thing: home building? What I see in the budget are some things that are going to increase the supply. Let me take a moment and talk about supply and demand, because that is the most basic principle of everything that affects money in our country. When there is a lot of supply, there are low prices; when there is a lot of demand, prices go up. What we see in this budget are measures that would increase demand. What is the effect of that? It means there are more people chasing fewer things, which means the prices will go up. The master's level of competence approach to this budget would be to increase the supply of houses, and that is not something I see in here. We need to incentivize companies and cities to build houses and require cities to build more houses. They are the gatekeepers that are holding back the supply of houses that could be built in this country.

Another way to look at this is what is missing in this budget. One thing that struck me quite obviously was foreign credential recognition. As I have spoken with newcomers to Canada all across the country, this comes up inevitably as one of the first or second things they mention. They will say things like they are doctors and not able to work in this country or they are lawyers, engineers or in a certain profession and they cannot work in this country because it is too difficult for them to be licensed to practise in this country.

Health care is a huge problem. Canadians will say that in surveys, but yet, after eight years of the Liberal government, only 41% of foreign-trained doctors are able to work as doctors in our country. Only 37% of nurses are able to work as nurses in our country, and there countless others. That leaves us with the typical doctor driving a taxi. I am sure many of us in this room have been driven in taxis by doctors, and the reason is because they are unable to be licensed and work as doctors. This is a huge issue for our country because we need doctors.

That is why I introduced my private member's bill, Bill C-286, to help address this issue and allow foreign-trained professionals to have their credentials recognized more easily, and that is why the Conservative leader has introduced his system, which is the Blue Seal system. The Blue Seal is modelled after the Red Seal program. The Red Seal program is for professions like electricians and plumbers. It has been adopted for 50 years and is used in all of the provinces. The idea is that we would have a similar system where doctors or nurses could make sure they qualify by showing they have the knowledge through passing a national competence exam. They would then be given a Blue Seal and be able to work in the country, in provinces that choose to join the program. Why would they join the program? Because it would allow access to more staff, and that is what we need to do.

One other thing that surprised me that was not in this bill was the student direct stream. Bangladesh has been asking for the student direct stream for a long time. This allows students from other countries, which are part of the program, an easier and quicker way to come to Canada to get their post-secondary education in the country. It is good for our country because our post-secondary institutions benefit from having them. They are a great asset to our country in terms of their knowledge and skills. They create businesses and increase trade between the countries. Bangladesh has been trying to become part of the program. India and its neighbour Pakistan are part of this program. I have spoken about it many times with the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. There are many things we can gain in our country by having this done. We do not have it yet. It is something I wish had been in the budget and I am sad to see it was not. On behalf of Bangladeshi students who are trying to get to Canada, I am sad we did not see that.

We are seeing a budget from a tired and worn out NDP-Liberal coalition, a government that is full of scandals and cover-ups. Conservatives will bring relief. We will lower taxes, we will end inflationary deficits and we will remove the gatekeepers so that we can build more houses in this country.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2022 / 8:40 p.m.
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Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour to speak to this motion today.

I will be splitting my time with the member for Peace River—Westlock.

I am proud to speak to this motion on behalf of my constituents in Saskatoon West. It is a very important motion and I want to note that the motion came from the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, of which I am a proud member and have been since this Parliament resumed a little over a year ago.

I am also proud to say that last week I was elected by my colleagues as the vice-chair on the committee, which is new for me. Along with my work as the associate shadow minister for immigration, it is a very important role and I am thankful for the faith that the leader of my party and my constituents have put in me for that. My goal is to work with MPs from all parties to better our immigration system. This does not have to be a partisan issue, so I have some key priorities as I work with the immigration committee and immigration in general.

We need to hold the government to account when it makes errors that affect people. We all need to work together to improve the system and fix the problems. There are so many examples I see in my work of people who are stranded from their families. These are true life-and-death situations for them. We, as MPs, have to remember that the people we work with are not files but people and families with real issues. We need to always keep that in mind.

I am also very excited to work on the student direct stream. That is important for us. We know the IRCC is broken when it comes to backlogs. MP offices are inundated with immigration cases every day. I am sure everyone is in the same boat. That is also very important to me.

Finally, foreign credential recognition is a huge issue for me. That is why I put forward my private member's bill, Bill C-286, to help improve that situation and work with the government to try to make that situation better so that new immigrants coming to our country can work in the jobs in which they are trained, rather than having the classic “doctor driving a taxicab” situation. That is very important.

About 20 months ago, the House adopted a different motion, declaring that China's treatment of Uighurs and Turkic minorities constitutes a genocide. This was a Conservative motion and it was unanimously agreed to by the House, but it is disappointing that the Liberal cabinet did not vote for it. In fact, it abstained. It has had no position on this. It is unfortunate because, as has been discussed tonight, this is a very important issue through which we can make a difference in people's lives in a huge way. I would encourage the Liberal cabinet to take a position and take some action on this.

The other interesting thing that happened just recently was that the United Nations officially recognized that horrific crimes are occurring in the Xinjiang province of China against the Uighur people. This is a very significant move. For the United Nations to recognize and mention this is very significant and will definitely raise the profile of this and allow for more work to be done.

In the report that the UN submitted in August, it said “serious human rights violations” have been happening, things like beatings, solitary confinement, waterboarding, forced sterilization and the destruction of mosques in communities. These are all terrible things for a government to be doing against its people. The report stopped short of using the word “genocide”, but it did say that reports of all of the things I just mentioned were credible reports and are real. China, of course, reacted very angrily to this and fought very hard to prevent the United Nations from actually publishing this report. However, in the end, it was published.

I want to also stress that, as I speak somewhat negatively about the Chinese Communist Party, it is so important to remember that I am not speaking negatively about Chinese people. There is a big difference between the Chinese people and the party that is running their country as a dictatorship. The issues that I am reacting to are with the Chinese Communist Party and not with the people of China. I have many good friends from China and many others that I have met. They are wonderful people. It is their government that I struggle with.

The Chinese government claims many things about the Uighurs. For example, when the world, the United Nations and others, see something that looks a lot like concentration camps, it says, no, they are just re-education camps. It has some very nice names for the atrocities that it is committing against the people. We can see through that. We know that is just not true.

We have to be very careful about the Chinese Communist Party. Members may be aware that on the weekend it had its congress, which it has once every five years. One thing I found particularly interesting was that former president Hu was forcibly removed, as a show of strength by the current president, Xi. We can see video of that, of his literally being picked up and taken away during the meeting as a way for the current president to show his power and strength. It is quite an amazing thing that has been heavily censored in China. The government does not want Chinese people to know about that, but it is quite interesting.

That is why I am concerned about our Prime Minister. He said he has admiration for China's basic dictatorship. I know that is not what we want in this place, and I am sure he has changed his position, or at least I hope he has.

I am concerned, though. We know there are Chinese police stations in Toronto now. We do not know exactly what they are doing, but I think we can probably safely assume they are harassing expats, among other things. I am hoping we can learn from this and maybe eliminate some of these things, like these police stations in Toronto.

I am hoping, also, to pass another motion at the immigration committee related to Hong Kong. We know there are special measures in place right now, but they expire in February. I am hoping we can not only extend those measures but waive the requirement for police certificates. It is quite silly, I think, that a Hong Kong resident who wants to come to Canada has to get a police certificate, which essentially means walking into a government office and saying, “Hi, I want to leave the country and go to Canada,” and then expecting to get good treatment. It is just not reasonable, and many Hong Kongers are not even trying to come to Canada because of that.

I want to look at the motion itself. Part of the reason for this motion, I think, as I indicated, is that we talked about this 20 months ago and nothing much has happened. Part of the purpose here is just to remind the government, again, of how important this issue is, to put it on the radar and make sure the government is aware of it. I think that is one of the really important reasons for bringing this motion forward today.

Another point I want to make is that in section a) it talks about some of the things we can do. It talks about special immigration measures for Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims.

The government might say that these people are totally free to claim asylum, and that is true, but we have a very congested system in Canada. As I mentioned already, it is backlogged. There are a lot of things going on. We have the ability to create special immigration measures, and we have done this, in fact. We did this for Syrians. We have done it for Afghans, and we have most recently done it in Ukraine, for Ukrainian people.

It is something we can definitely do, and it actually helps, because it creates a special program that gets them priority and gets them special treatment. Otherwise, it is very difficult for people who are fleeing something that is very significant for them.

The other thing I want to mention is that point c) talks about waiving the UNHCR refugee determination. That is an important thing, because right now the UNHCR is able to determine who is and who is not a refugee. It is an administrative process, but it is super important, because if one is designated as a refugee, it gives one access to a whole lot of different programs that one may not otherwise have been able to access. If one is not a refugee, then one is excluded from all those things.

We have heard a lot of testimony at our committee about this very issue, about how bias gets introduced into the system and the method for selecting who is and who is not a refugee. One can have racism and other things that enter into it, because, obviously, people are making these determinations.

One of the things that have come up in that is the persecution of minority religions, particularly Christians. Former London chief rabbi, Lord Sacks, said in 2014, “The persecution of Christians throughout much of the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and elsewhere is one of the crimes against humanity of our time, and I am appalled at the lack of protest it has evoked.”

This is a very important issue for me. I want to make sure that Christians who are persecuted all around the world have a safe haven in Canada, and that they are selected to be refugees by the UNHCR and other things.

It has been mentioned that this is a genocide. I was in Rwanda in April of this year, and I have been there a number of times. I had the privilege, a very holy privilege, to see what has happened in Rwanda and the aftermath of the genocide that happened there. Many of the same things that were mentioned here happened there. We all know the story of Rwanda.

Fortunately, Rwanda has managed to come out of that, but the genocide against the Tutsis was very significant. We said, “Never again,” and I just hope we can also say, “Never again,” about the Uighurs.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipStatements by Members

September 26th, 2022 / 2 p.m.
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Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

Madam Speaker, our new Conservative leader will put people first: their retirement, their paycheques, their homes and their country. That is why, this past June, I introduced my first private member's bill, Bill C-286, the recognition of foreign credentials act. This legislation will streamline the process of connecting skilled immigrants with jobs that our economy desperately needs. This is a vital step in making life more affordable for Canadians.

I spent the summer consulting with stakeholders and constituents to discuss this legislation. The feedback is overwhelming. Canada's foreign credentials system is broken. It is a 19th-century system governing a 21st-century labour market.

Having doctors drive taxis is unacceptable. The NDP-Liberal coalition is too busy fuelling the inflation fire and has not done anything to help newcomers work in their fields. Conservatives, under our new leader, are committed to helping newcomers get the jobs they were trained for.

I urge every single MP to lay down their instruments, get to work and pass this important legislation for our country.

Recognition of Foreign Credentials ActRoutine Proceedings

June 15th, 2022 / 5:20 p.m.
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Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-286, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (recognition of foreign credentials).

Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour for me to rise and present my very first private member's bill in this House, the recognition of foreign credentials bill.

I am bringing forward this legislation in my role as deputy shadow minister for immigration to help immigrant communities throughout Canada. This is an issue that I constantly hear about form newcomers to Canada, and it is something I want to improve. Many newcomers to Canada have qualifications to do a particular job in their home country, but a combination of red tape, confusing rules and licensing boards means they cannot practise their profession here in Canada. We all know the examples of doctors driving taxis, nurses working as nannies, or mechanics working as janitors. The system for foreign credential recognition is broken. When newcomers to our country are denied the opportunity to practise their profession, it hurts them and their families, and it negatively affects the Canadian economy, individual businesses and the welfare of all Canadians.

One way to fix this process is by reducing red tape. By giving government the tools to bypass the red tape, the process could be expedited. My proposed legislation would give the government expanded regulatory authority in assessing foreign credentials. It would allow the minister to designate certain foreign education credentials as equivalent to Canadian ones. This would speed up and simplify the ability of newcomers to work in their profession in Canada.

As I said, the largest barrier is red tape, and this bill would remove some of that complexity and confusion. My legislation is one piece of the puzzle. It is not the whole picture, but it is a solid start. When combined with funding announcements, such as the one proposed by my friend, the future leader of the Conservative Party, the member for Carleton, this legislation would go a long way to resolving the issue.

That said, I would ask all members of this House to support this legislation.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)