Evidence of meeting #40 for Citizenship and Immigration in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was work.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Kim Allen  Chief Executive Officer, Engineers Canada
Kelly Pollack  Chief Executive Officer, Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia
Kristyn Frank  As an Individual
Robert Henderson  President and Chief Executive Officer, BioTalent Canada
Margaret Eaton  Executive Director, Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council

March 10th, 2015 / 8:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative David Tilson

We'll call the meeting to order.

This is the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, meeting number 40, Tuesday, March 10, 2015. The committee is studying the promotion of economic prosperity through settlement services.

We have three witnesses before us this morning.

I want to welcome all of you on behalf of the committee.

We have Kim Allen who is the chief executive officer of Engineers Canada. Good morning to you, sir.

We have Kelly Pollack who is the executive director of the Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia.

We have Kristyn Frank who is appearing on her own behalf.

Welcome to you all. You each have up to eight minutes to make a presentation. At the conclusion of those eight minutes, members of the committee will, I expect, have some questions for you.

Mr. Allen, you may start.

8:55 a.m.

Kim Allen Chief Executive Officer, Engineers Canada

Thank you very much for the opportunity to appear.

As mentioned, I am here in the capacity of chief executive officer of Engineers Canada. We're the national body of the provincial and territorial regulators of the engineering profession. I'm also here as a member of the panel on employment challenges of new Canadians.

Canada's success requires skilled immigrants. Ensuring that new Canadians reach their full potential is a complex social policy challenge. In our multicultural, democratic, market-driven country, addressing these challenges requires multi-stakeholder action to get the best outcomes for all involved.

We've all heard about a professional from abroad who comes to Canada and can only find work well below his or her economic potential. For the engineering profession, this is a particular tragedy. In most regions of the country we are experiencing a shortage of engineers with five to ten years of experience or specialized skills. By 2020 we expect about 70,000 new engineering grads to be entered into the workforce, and about 50,000 qualified newcomers. This is a significant number of engineers. We cannot let their skills and knowledge be underutilized.

Engineering is a very broad field offering a variety of career options. These skills are in high demand in many areas of our economy. While many engineering graduates practise engineering, even more become entrepreneurs and business executives and enter fields like information technology, marketing, banking, or consulting. In fact, by mid-career two-thirds of engineering graduates are applying their skills more broadly than practising engineering in traditional and emerging disciplines where public accountability is required.

Attention needs to be focused by the profession, employers, academia, and government now to address this problem.

For over a decade Engineers Canada and the engineering regulators have been working with government, immigrants, academia, and others to address the chronic problem of newcomers underutilizing their skills and knowledge. Much of what we have learned from international engineering grads, industry, and regulators is consistent with what my colleagues on the panel on employment challenges of new Canadians learned through our meetings with over 160 stakeholders last fall.

The good news is that there is a variety of programs and information sources available through many organizations that can help engineers and others find their way. The bad news is that it is still a very confusing landscape, especially for those who wish to work in a regulated profession.

Regulated professions such as engineering have improved the available information on how to navigate the licensure process. The federal government's express entry system and the requirements for assessment of academic educational credentials for certain economic classes of immigrants will help immigrants understand where their skills and knowledge fit into the Canadian economy.

Engineers Canada's road map to engineering in Canada provides guidance on the licensure process and provides potential immigrants with the sense of whether their academic qualifications will make them eligible to apply for licensure. It also provides some information on building resumés and on understanding the engineering job market.

We hope to be able to successfully link this rich information with the educational credential assessment process as part of the express entry system. But there is more to do beyond connecting regulated professions with immigration processes. We're continually working to improve the quality and detail of information to newcomers upon arrival and pre-arrival in the decision-making phase.

Immigrants need to have clear, concise, easily accessible information about the regulatory landscape and foreign credential recognition so they can plan for their success in Canada. Beyond licensure, immigrants need to know more about the economic landscape as well. Our labour market data shows that demand for engineers is higher in some parts of the country than in others. The jobs that can improve the economic outcomes for newcomers may not be in the communities they would intuitively want to immigrate to. Helping newcomers make realistic decisions about plans in Canada requires consistent detailed labour market information that is easily accessible and current. Immigrants and newcomers should not have to cobble together a picture of where best the opportunities in their fields exist.

Up to 16,000 new engineering jobs will be created in Canada between now and 2020. Employers, regulators, academia, and governments have the responsibility to provide newcomers with information on where those jobs are most likely to be located and what skills and competencies are going to be most in demand.

As I said at the outset, the panel travelled across the country and received many submissions.

The good news is that there is a stakeholder community made up of immigrant-serving agencies—and we're going to hear from those a little later—regulators, academia, federal, provincial and municipal governments, and other community groups ready and willing to help newcomers succeed. The more we all can work together to provide the best information on guidance to new Canadians at all stages of their journey, the better outcomes immigrants and the engineering profession in Canada as a whole will have.

I thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today, and I'd be very happy to answer any of your questions.

8:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative David Tilson

Thank you for your presentation, Mr. Allen.

Ms. Pollack.

8:55 a.m.

Kelly Pollack Chief Executive Officer, Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It's a privilege to be here with you today.

Given that my colleague Mr. Allen was so succinct, I will try to be the same.

I've been in the business of helping immigrants attach to the labour market for longer than I usually care to admit publicly, almost 20 years. I helped to found the Immigrant Employment Council of B.C., and before that I was the director of employment and language programs for MOSAIC, which is one of the largest settlement agencies in B.C.

Our province predicts that 265,000 international workers will be necessary to meet its human capital needs by 2020, yet we continue to experience the ongoing issue of immigrant unemployment and underemployment, just as Mr. Allen mentioned. It's a complete waste of talent, a waste of the people who we bring to Canada.

In creating IEC-BC, our primary objective was and continues to be addressing this issue. Our mission is integrating immigrants into the labour force, which builds B.C.'s community and its economy. With that, we all win. Our role is to work directly with employers.

As our country moves and refines our immigration system to become more demand driven, so too must we refine our settlement services to engage more employers in the system. Express entry and the Canada jobs bank are key tools in the new system, but in order for employers to use these tools, they have to be informed, educated, and supported. Ultimately, they have to be willing to hire more immigrants into meaningful employment.

In my brief time with you today, I'll speak a little bit more about the Immigrant Employment Council and our work. I'll touch briefly on the ways we're making a difference. Finally, I'll conclude with talking about going forward.

I was going to use the story about a taxi cab being the best place to have a heart attack, but I think Mr. Allen pre-empted me on that one.

While part of this issue is about qualifications recognition, there's more to it. For me, a lot of the issue—and again, I date myself by going back to my many years in this field—is that Canada's employers are not hiring immigrants to the extent they could be. They're still not.

That's why the IEC-BC came into being. Our roots date back to 1997, when a group of us in the field recognized that many immigrants, many professionals, just weren't getting good jobs and that often when they got a job, they were radically underemployed. Upon closer examination, it was clear that a significant gap existed. While there were many organizations working directly with immigrants, there was no organization devoted solely to working with employers to help them connect with skilled immigrant talent and to build their capacity for an immigrant workforce.

Fast-forward to October 2008. At a summit on immigrant employment held in partnership with the Vancouver Foundation and the City of Vancouver, IEC-BC came into being.

Our first and immediate call to action was clear: we needed to engage employers.

We also knew three things from the outset. Our scope and reach needed to be provincial. Immigrants to B.C., as is true across Canada, tend to land and stay in the large urban areas, so labour and skill shortages are typically outside this region. Interestingly enough, in the work we've done, we've found far more appetite in the smaller communities to develop strategies to attract and retain immigrants than what we've often found within greater Vancouver.

We also knew that we needed to work with employers, industry, and business associations to develop initiatives that were employer focused, not just immigrant focused, and that were based on best practices. We also needed to continue to engage policy-makers on why this issue continued, why immigrant unemployment and underemployment remained, and that evidence-based strategies and programs were the way forward.

Our focus is threefold: ensuring that employers across B.C. understand the changes and opportunities available to them as Canada moves to a more demand-driven immigration system; working with smaller communities, as I mentioned, so they're ready to meet the needs of the businesses in their communities in finding skilled talent; and continuing to work with our partners, which is how we really focus our work. We work with those such as the BC Chamber of Commerce and the Human Resources Management Association to develop new strategic initiatives.

What are some of the ways we do this? Much of our work is about understanding immigrant employment through the employers' eyes. Only by understanding their needs can we connect them to skilled immigrant talent.

In 2012 we realized, as IEC-BC had first launched, that we needed to really get a better grasp of what was happening around our province. In partnership with local chambers, boards of trade, and economic development organizations, we embarked on what we call the B.C. employer consultation. This included 15 focus groups across seven communities and eight industry sectors with more than 150 participating employers. What did we learn?

We heard first-hand about the challenges that employers, particularly those in smaller regions, face in hiring immigrants. Many we knew, but some were new to us. We gained an understanding of the overall employment picture in B.C., and we achieved a clear understanding of the human resources practices and workplace culture that impact immigrant employment. We engaged industry and business associations. For us, those are key partners who remain champions of immigrant employment today. We discovered promising practices already being used by some employers, and those we're now sharing across the province.

The one thing we heard repeatedly from mostly small and medium-sized business owners, to which over 95% of B.C. businesses belong, is that small business feels overwhelmed when it comes to hiring immigrants. What we learned from this was critical in helping us move forward.

Over the years, another way we've come to better understand the needs of B.C. employers is by convening stakeholders. From 2012 to 2014, IEC-BC and its partner organizations in northern B.C. convened three community forums on immigrant employment. These were strategically targeted in communities facing skill shortages, communities that identified that they want to attract more people to live in their towns. There were also regions where major economic development initiatives were either proposed or already under way, including the B.C. government's plans to develop an LNG industry, B.C. Hydro's site C clean energy project, and other large resource projects.

There are many outcomes from the forums, but a key one that I'd like to share is the Prince George Chamber of Commerce, along with Initiatives Prince George, the city's economic development arm, that implemented an ongoing campaign to attract immigrants to their region, called Welcome PG. They combined this with engaging their business members in a virtual career fair targeted at unemployed immigrants in the Lower Mainland. Today these two business organizations remain champions for immigrant employment and continue to engage and influence their members.

These are the types of local place-based solutions that IEC-BC strives to influence.

Beyond consulting with and bringing stakeholders together in opportunities like these forums, we've been bridging connections and building partnerships to realize our work. How do we do this? We connect immigrants to employers in smaller communities. We build partnerships with business and industry associations and grow their capacity to work with their members. We engage in partnerships with settlement organizations and broker connections to the business community. We broaden the immigrant talent pool for employers by connecting them to professional immigrant networks, and we expand the professional networks of newcomers through our programs.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative David Tilson

Could you perhaps wind up, Ms. Pollack.

9:05 a.m.

Chief Executive Officer, Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia

Kelly Pollack

Absolutely.

In my perfect world there would be no need for immigrant employment councils. In my perfect world Canada would continue to attract skilled people from around the globe. These newcomers would bring their energy and their innovation to our provinces. Employers would have moved past their insistence for Canadian work experience and moved beyond screening out resumés because of an international education. They would easily hire these talented people. That's in my perfect world. We're not there yet.

IEC-BC believes that developing a B.C.-specific strategic immigrant talent plan to address our province's need for skilled workers is paramount. This plan should align with B.C.'s other human capital strategies. We're committed to supporting the Canadian government, the B.C. government, and other key stakeholders in developing and executing this plan.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative David Tilson

Thank you very much.

Ms. Frank, it's your turn.

9:05 a.m.

Kristyn Frank As an Individual

I'd like to thank the committee for inviting me to contribute to this discussion.

I've been conducting research on immigrant integration for about 10 years now, with a particular concentration on economic integration of immigrants. Today I'd like to expand on some of the findings from a study that I conducted at the University of Waterloo. I outlined the main results of this study in a brief that I submitted to the committee, so I'm just going to expand upon this and address five of the main issues that came up from that research.

The first is with respect to the results regarding immigrants' education levels. Overall, I found that immigrants who held degrees at master's level or higher were more likely to obtain employment in their desired occupation than were those who held a bachelor's degree. This may be due to the hiring practices of employers. We've heard a bit about this already. To potential employers, a higher-level degree often acts as a market signal indicating the abilities of a potential employee. Immigrants with a level of education higher than a bachelor's degree may be more desirable because their credentials basically signify increased specialization, which may translate into a greater ability to learn certain technical or social requirements of a particular occupation. Even though a bachelor's degree may represent the skill level required for a particular occupation, immigrants with higher-level degrees may be given preference for these reasons. Previous research has also found that foreign bachelor's degrees are less recognized by employers than are higher-level degrees. Moreover, immigrants with higher-level degrees have less competition in the job market. Individuals with a bachelor's degree have more competition because of the increased supply of bachelor's degree holders who were educated in Canada and a preference among employers for Canadian degrees. This circumstance may contribute to some of the difficulties that immigrants with a bachelor's degree experience in the labour market.

Second, my findings support many previous studies that have found that greater proficiency in English or French leads to greater success in the Canadian labour market. The results show that higher proficiency in an official language is associated with a greater likelihood of obtaining employment in an immigrant's intended occupation, and a faster rate of doing so. Although official language training is a key focus of immigrant settlement services, previous research has indicated that there is a need for greater access to language education programs, particularly in smaller communities, and among certain types of immigrants. For example, a higher proportion of immigrant women than of immigrant men report language barriers as their greatest difficulty in finding a job. Immigrant women often have greater difficulty accessing these language services. Researchers have found that immigrant women are hindered by a number of factors with respect to this issue. They're hindered by their status as dependants, their household responsibilities, or even a lack of access to transportation to these programs. However, there have been some improvements in recent years in providing more flexible language training, particularly for immigrant women who do not immigrate under the skilled worker category.

Third, and similar to what we've heard already today, I found that immigrants living in the major census metropolitan areas, CMAs—those being Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver—experience less employment success than do those living in smaller communities. Previous research looking at differences in earnings among different communities has also found this. Although immigrants may move to major CMAs due to the large number of employment opportunities available, they may be at a disadvantage given the strong competition for jobs by new Canadian-born labour market entrants in these areas. It is also possible that immigrants integrate into less urbanized areas more quickly. There has been research suggesting that immigrants living in a smaller community may have greater opportunities to establish social networks within the local community and experience greater pressure to become more proficient in English or French. It's also possible that employers' responsiveness to immigrants varies among these areas. Smaller communities often voice concern about their economic survival, and because immigrants are typically identified as a source of new and highly educated workers, they may in fact be seen as a valuable resource for the economies of smaller cities. It is also possible that immigrants who migrate to non-CMAs may be more likely to have prearranged employment. When I tested for this in my research, I actually didn't find any significant results indicating this. There's obviously a more complex answer to these findings, and further research is needed, although I think we heard from both of the other speakers that this is an important issue.

My fourth point is with respect to the role of foreign work experience and immigrants' labour market integration. A lot of earlier studies have found that foreign work experience is not recognized in the Canadian labour market. Many researchers assess this by looking at the potential years of experience that immigrants had in their source countries as opposed to looking at the type of work experience they had. The results that I found indicated that immigrants whose jobs prior to migration matched their stated intended occupations in Canada had greater success in obtaining their desired employment following migration. While this doesn't necessarily indicate that employers formally recognize immigrants' foreign experience, it does indicate that this type of experience provides immigrants with some type of advantage in the Canadian labour market. This may be due to the type of knowledge that they develop with experience in their occupations, which they then may draw upon when identifying strategies to obtain employment they wish to pursue in a particular field. Immigrants with previous experience in the occupation may also have better familiarity with the types of companies or industries that are more likely to employ individuals in their fields of interest. Knowledge derived from previous experience may also help in the process of foreign credential recognition, or facilitate their retraining efforts.

Last, I want to talk about the finding that immigrants who were seeking higher-status occupations experienced less employment success than those seeking lower-status occupations. This suggests that immigrants looking for higher-status occupations may face more exclusionary practices than those seeking lower-status occupations. This type of closure may in part be due to the process of credential recognition or certification that is required for many higher-status occupations. Since the higher-status occupations typically require specific qualifications, training, or licensing within Canada, immigrants often have to undergo additional testing and training. Seeking employment in these types of occupations is likely to take longer. It will be a longer process than the employment process of immigrants who seek employment in lower-status occupations.

In conclusion I hope that the results I presented here are helpful in informing your study. I'd be happy to answer any questions regarding my research.

Thank you.

9:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative David Tilson

Thank you, Ms. Frank.

Now, we will have a dialogue with our members of the committee and yourselves.

We'll start with Mr. Menegakis.

9:15 a.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Conservative Richmond Hill, ON

Thank you to our panellists for appearing before us today. We appreciate the time you took to join us and share your experiences with us.

Our government has tripled settlement funding since we formed the government back in 2006. It's a very important aspect, as far as we're concerned, in assisting newcomers to our country to integrate into Canadian society, into the Canadian economy, and obviously have better, more successful outcomes. It's very important to continue this. That's why this committee and the government have brought forth this study.

I'm going to start my questions with you, Ms. Pollack.

I'm very pleased and somewhat surprised that you've been involved for 20 years in the field. Obviously things have changed over the 20 years. We've sustained the highest levels of immigration in this country over the last nine or ten years. Can you comment on how the labour market has changed for immigrants over those 20 years?

9:15 a.m.

Chief Executive Officer, Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia

Kelly Pollack

That's going back in my memory then, sir. Where I've seen a difference in my province...there are a couple of things.

One of the things is that unfortunately in British Columbia the numbers for immigration are dropping. From my perspective that is detrimental to British Columbia. That may be because of changes in the labour market. Unfortunately, the reasons why aren't really tested.

From the beginning I was in the area of employment and language, helping immigrants increase their ability to grow their language skills and to find jobs. What I have seen in my time in the field is that there is more appetite from the business community, there's more of an understanding of what we refer to as the business case for hiring immigrants, and yet at the same time we still don't see as many employers actively engaging in changing their hiring practices so that immigrants get through the door. It's often because they just don't know what they don't know. They don't realize that they're actively screening people out in their hiring process, or that continuing to only use traditional means of hiring such as ads on Workopolis, for example, may not be what will best get them to skilled people in immigrant communities.

The education of the business community, while I do believe it has changed and I do believe the appetite has grown, hasn't to the degree that I would have thought it would have in 20 years. One of the things I often say is that, unfortunately, employers don't change until their backs are against the wall, until there is absolutely a critical need for labour.

Thank you.

9:15 a.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Conservative Richmond Hill, ON

We're keenly aware of the good work that is being done by the Immigrant Employment Council of B.C., which you're representing today.

Of course, Vancouver is a major urban centre. Some of the phenomena that we see in Vancouver are very similar to what we see in other urban centres in the country, but you mentioned some partner organizations as part of your presentation to us today. I just want to confirm that you do work with partner organizations. If so, can you perhaps tell us what are some of those that you work with?

9:20 a.m.

Chief Executive Officer, Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia

Kelly Pollack

Absolutely, and as a matter of fact that is one of our key strategic focuses. We do all our work through partner organizations, whether that is some of the settlement agencies around the province, most of which are in the Lower Mainland, but there are a couple outside in the smaller regional areas, and we work with them to connect them to business organizations, employers, business, and industry.

Key partners for us are the BC Chamber of Commerce, the Human Resources Management Association of British Columbia, small chambers around the province that we use as partners in reaching out to their members. Frankly, we're a small organization and to get to scope and scale, I always knew that the only way we'd be able to do our work was through partnerships.

9:20 a.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Conservative Richmond Hill, ON

We certainly have the same objective; we like to work with partners as well. There's no way the government alone could provide these services, which is why we reach out to settlement service providers across the country and assist them to the degree that we do. The goal is the same, to assist newcomers in integrating and contributing fully to the Canadian economy, to their communities, and of course ultimately to their objective, to their families, and moving forward.

I'm wondering if you track some of the immigrants you provide services to.

9:20 a.m.

Chief Executive Officer, Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia

Kelly Pollack

That's always a more difficult question for us, because we don't provide services to immigrants. We provide services to employers. How we track is through our partner organizations in B.C. such as S.U.C.C.E.S.S., MOSAIC, and ISS. They track specifically through programs that they deliver in partnership with us, a mentoring program, a connector program that we've developed. That's how numbers get tracked.

What I can tell you is how many business partners we have, how many employers we work with, and how many of them we have tried to influence to change their hiring practices in hiring immigrants.

9:20 a.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Conservative Richmond Hill, ON

In your experience, what has been the outcome of the services that you work with, that you're partners with, to provide to immigrants?

9:20 a.m.

Chief Executive Officer, Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia

Kelly Pollack

The outcomes in terms of—

9:20 a.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Conservative Richmond Hill, ON

In terms of the success rate for the actual newcomers, the immigrants.

9:20 a.m.

Chief Executive Officer, Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia

Kelly Pollack

It is incredibly high. I'll speak to one, and again what I'd like to preface that with is I'm not taking complete attribution because when your work is done in partnership, everyone plays a role.

I'll give the example of the mentoring program that we have had under way now for three years. The mentoring program is done across the country through immigrant employment councils and settlement agencies. Later today I believe you're going to be meeting with Margaret Eaton with TRIEC. Her organization in Toronto originally started the program. There is an over 85% success rate of the immigrants who go through the mentoring program who work directly with a British Columba professional and who find employment in their field. That's the key. It's the meaningful employment in their field or directly related to their field that's important. There's a very high success rate.

9:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative David Tilson

Thank you. We have to move on.

Ms. Blanchette-Lamothe, go ahead.

9:25 a.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

I would like to sincerely thank the witnesses for accepting our invitation to be here.

My question is for all three of you, but I'll start with Ms. Frank.

Ms. Frank, you spoke specifically about the challenges that women face when they arrive in Canada and want to enter the labour market. I would like to give you an opportunity to speak further about the challenges, but also about the solutions and things that can be put in place.

What else can we do to help more women enter the labour market successfully?

9:25 a.m.

As an Individual

Kristyn Frank

I am in a position where, in terms of specific policy advice, I feel that I haven't really done policy evaluation, but I can give you some ideas of what's been discussed by immigrants themselves within different contexts in the literature and research.

A lot of times with immigrant women what we see is that they have skills. They come to Canada with education and skills, but they aren't able to access the same kinds of services that others access due to their status often as family members, dependants. Some of what immigrant women have talked about in terms of accessing these services is quite different from what immigrant men would say.

One example is that they feel they don't have access to services at the times when they would most likely be able to go to take courses, for example. Some women would prefer programs that are available on the weekends. Some women have suggested that they'd prefer language training within schools their children go to, during school hours, so they don't have to worry about child care issues. Transportation comes up relatively frequently, both in terms of accessibility and affordability, to get to these programs.

In that context with immigrant women, a lot of times their situations are very different in terms of accessing these programs. Part of the issue overall is there is such heterogeneity within our immigrant population that there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed for different groups. Of course, it's hard to have an umbrella program that helps everyone in the same way, but I think greater flexibility of programs in terms of accessibility and programs offered might be helpful.

With respect to language programs in particular, a lot of times there is discussion about more specific programs, maybe directed at learning technical languages for specific occupations or even softer skills, in terms of communicating with team members if they're working in groups and that sort of thing. There are a lot of different dynamics as well that immigrants are interested in learning, particularly with respect to language, and also in terms of just going to an interview, how that interaction happens, and what they need to communicate to the employer.

9:25 a.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

You spoke briefly about child care services.

Could having access to better child care services at a low cost help immigrant women enter the labour market?

9:25 a.m.

As an Individual

Kristyn Frank

Often that is one of the main things immigrant women cite when they talk about difficulties in accessing programs and services, so based on what immigrant women themselves have said, I would imagine that would be helpful.

Obviously, their main priority is within the household in terms of taking care of their children, and often that's prioritized over other things. Family decisions that are made are sometimes detrimental, in terms of immigrant women being more focused on maintaining the household and trying to create stability in that realm, so they aren't necessarily able to access services due to their other responsibilities.

So the answer is yes.

9:30 a.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Ms. Pollack, do you have anything to add about women entering the labour market?