Mr. Donald, we bring 300,000 immigrants to Canada every year. On average, they tend to be more educated than the Canadian-born population. They're more likely to have masters and Ph.D. degrees. However, they're less likely to work in the fields for which they were trained.
We also have veterans who leave the armed forces with immense skills but not licensed qualifications. They do all kinds of trades work on military equipment, and then they don't have, for example, licensing to do work as mechanics or other tradespeople.
Finally, we have other people who pick up skills throughout their lives that are very real. Farm kids are the best possible example. They learn how to work on all kinds of equipment. They're obviously qualified. They use these extremely complicated mechanical apparatuses on their farms. However, if they ever leave the farm and try to get into these trades, they're not licensed.
The licensing in this country is based on, as you say, hours and hoop-jumping rather than on what people can actually do.
I'll give you the example of a constituent of mine. He came here to work as a heart surgeon. He'd been doing heart surgeries in Singapore, a country that's more advanced than Canada. He got licensed by the college of physicians, but guess what? Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada wouldn't give him a work permit because they had not independently done a forensic analysis of his life. The college of physicians thought he was qualified. The Singaporeans thought he was qualified. I might add that the human heart in Singapore is biologically the same as the heart here in Canada. They almost stripped him of his work permit, and he was ready to go home because, frankly, he can get a job anywhere in the world. Thank God we intervened and got him his practice back. There are probably hundreds of Ottawa residents whose lives have been saved by him since.
What do you suggest we do across the entire system to remove this bureaucratic gatekeeping that prevents people who can demonstrate they have the skill set to do the job from getting licensed to do it?