Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

August 04, 2009 11:45 ET

Government of Canada Supports Labour Mobility for Registered Massage Therapists

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 4, 2009) - The Government of Canada is helping registered massage therapists overcome labour mobility barriers across Canada. The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade, Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Regional Minister for British Columbia, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"In today's economic conditions, encouraging qualification and certification recognition across Canada is more important than ever," said Minister Day. "It offers workers a wider range of opportunities, and gives employers a larger and richer pool of qualified candidates."

The College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia will receive $87,226 from the Government of Canada to organize a series of consultations for the industry's regulators to develop a plan to create national standards for massage therapy.

While the main focus of this project is to help Canadian-trained registered massage therapists, full labour mobility will also apply to internationally trained workers who are certified to work in Canada.

The Government of Canada, the provinces and territories and regulatory authorities are working together to eliminate internal trade barriers and enhance labour mobility in Canada through amendments to Chapter 7 of the Agreement on Internal Trade. Developing national standards for regulated industries is consistent with new labour mobility commitments that aim to allow Canadians to work anywhere in the country without any additional training, examinations or assessment.

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.


The Agreement on Internal Trade, which was signed by all provinces and territories and the Government of Canada, came into effect in 1995 with the goal of facilitating the movement of people, investments and services across Canada. In December 2008, changes to Chapter 7, which addresses interprovincial labour mobility, were announced. These amendments ensure that any worker who is certified for a regulated occupation in one province or territory can be certified in any other province or territory.

Labour mobility refers to the freedom of workers to practice their occupation or trade wherever opportunities exist. Each year, approximately 200,000 Canadians relocate to a different province or territory, and look for work. Sometimes, barriers to labour mobility exist, and a certified worker in one province or territory may have to be re-assessed before they can be certified to work in another.

To facilitate labour mobility, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Canada's premiers and territorial leaders endorsed revisions to the Agreement on Internal Trade during the First Ministers' Meeting on the economy in January. The new provisions of the Agreement will eliminate internal trade barriers and enhance labour mobility in Canada. These provisions commit provincial and territorial governments and regulatory bodies to recognizing each other's licences and avoiding lengthy and costly re-certification processes.

The College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia's project will allow regulatory authorities that govern registered massage therapists to build and agree on strategies and next steps to enhance the mobility of registered massage therapists, consistent with Chapter 7 of the Agreement.

The specific objectives of the project are the following:

- to identify a level of complexity for each competency;

- to obtain buy-in from existing and future regulatory jurisdictions by involving them in the process and undertaking a national validation survey; and

- to finalize a new competency profile to serve as the national standard, and therefore a common standard for interprovincial licensing.

For more information on labour mobility, visit the following Web site:

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    National Media Relations Office