Thank you, Mr. Devinder Shory.
Just briefly, my life is a two-page book. It's very easy, it's not a long one. I graduated in 1996 in Nigeria. I wrote exams and I passed the exams and moved to South Africa because I wanted to be a very good doctor.
During that process I applied to immigrate to Canada. And luckily in 2007 my immigration came through, and I moved here. But prior to that I already took the Canadian evaluation exams, the QE1 and then the QE2.
But right off the bat most people told me that Canada is a dead end for a physician; it's extremely difficult to get licensed. But it's a country I've always loved, I've looked for, and it's something I've dreamed about and I want to settle. I look at obstacles as stepping stones. You don't need to shut the door, no matter what people say. So I said I'd put in my head and I would come in. But I wasn't told that by immigration; it was a personal decision and I am ready to face the consequences, and that's what is happening.
So back to the other question with regard to the pan-Canadian framework, we were extremely happy when we saw that the Canadian government decided to address it. It's very welcome.
Our members are a bit disillusioned, because I think it's the Canadian government, the political leaders, who have to make the decisions. We're a little disillusioned with the college, because we've lost faith in them. I come in.... Give me a licence and let me address the physician shortage. I want to contribute. This is my home. My kids will be born here. Where am I going to go? I can't go to the U.S. This is Canada. I love being in this country, but you're shutting the doors on us. You don't want to give us a pathway. Show us a pathway so we can go through. So the pan-Canadian framework is good.
Let it be an all-encompassing body that will bring together the college as well as the people whose lives are affected--that is us, the IMGs--and discuss a pathway. You cannot sit in the college in Edmonton and make a decision about people's lives without sitting with them, and that's what's happening.
We want the government to play an active role, because they are more neutral. And I believe, for this gathering today, they are not happy about what's going on. But the college has not deemed it fit to call the association and ask if they could sit and let's pool on that. We are close to 2,500 unlicensed physicians in Alberta, and that is a disaster. And 80% of us are family physicians.