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)