Well, my perspective is this: why is it that we haven't solved this? People have been working at this for years and years. We're not stupid people. Why is it that we still have a problem?
I think initially it had a lot to do with pointing fingers, i.e., whose responsibility was this? Some people said it was the federal government; they bring the people in. Some people said it was the provinces; they were responsible for the education. Other people, that is, the provinces, said no, no, it was really the regulators who determined that. But the regulators said they worked with the post-secondary institutions. It was nobody's problem.
I think we've solved that now. I think generally in Canada people are working together to try to solve this. I think we've tried to fix the immigrant part and we're now trying to fix the regulators.
In a way, I think we're just tinkering around the edges. I'm not sure we're really dealing with what is at the bottom of the issue. I want to put forward the notion that perhaps it's time to look at the regulatory model we have in Canada. My experience with regulators is that many of them are caught in this dual role that many of them play. One is responsible for regulating and deciding the standards for entry and the standards for conduct. On the other side is the profession, promoting the profession, advocating for the profession, etc.
Those two roles are not compatible. I think we have wanted people to really be able to work like that, and I think many of them try very hard, but because of the need for more work, need for more resources, etc., that's becoming more and more of an issue.
I have executive directors and registrars saying to me, you know, my board is really unhappy that I'm doing all of this work for international professionals; they want me to do work for the existing members.
My position is that I think the oversight of regulatory activity is not a bad thing. Fairness acts I think can be very helpful, but I don't think they are the solution, either. I can see how far we can go with that and I can see that we're not going to solve the problem.
I want to tell you that I think this may be a time that warrants looking at a model that was set up in the late 1800s and early 1900s. I think it's old for the times. We're in a different world; things are different right now. I think we need a better system.