Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

February 10, 2010 12:00 ET

Government of Canada Taking Action to Increase Labour Mobility for Paramedics

SHERWOOD PARK, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Feb. 10, 2010) - The Government of Canada is working with its provincial and territorial partners to ensure that paramedics are free to practice their occupation wherever opportunities may exist. Mr. Tim Uppal, Member of Parliament for Edmonton–Sherwood Park, made the announcement today, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, our government is taking concrete action to make full labour mobility a reality," said Mr. Uppal. "It benefits workers and employers alike; workers have a wider range of opportunities and employers have a larger and richer pool of qualified candidates."

The Alberta College of Paramedics will receive, on behalf of paramedic regulatory authorities across Canada, over $1 million from the Government of Canada to develop, in collaboration with Canadian regulatory authorities, a single national standard and process for the qualification, assessment and certification of paramedics, leading to full labour mobility for practitioners. The paramedic regulatory authorities will also work towards developing a strategy for a common approach to assessing and recognizing the credentials of foreign-trained paramedics.

"We are excited to work together on this important initiative that will ultimately help shape the future of the paramedic profession in Canada," said Mr. Dale Broemeling, interim chair of the regulatory authorities working group. "We thank the Government of Canada for their important contribution to this endeavour."

Improving foreign credential recognition is a key commitment of the Government of Canada. The Government is working with partners and stakeholders to break down the barriers to labour market integration for internationally trained workers; this partnership directly contributed to the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, which was announced last November.

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. Initiatives are being undertaken across the country with the aim to allow Canadians to work anywhere in Canada, without any additional training, examinations or assessments.

Further information can be found in the attached backgrounder.

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 of the Agreement, 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 certified workers in one province or territory may have to be re-assessed before they can be certified to work in another.

While most Canadians can now benefit from full labour mobility, there are a small number of professions for which additional requirements are needed when moving to another province and/or territory. These exceptions have been established as necessary to meet a legitimate objective, such as the protection of public health or safety. More information on the additional requirements needed for these occupations can be found on the Internal Trade Secretariat's Web site (

The Economic Action Plan invested $50 million over two years to work with partners to develop a common approach to foreign qualification recognition, with the ultimate objective of improving the process of assessing and recognizing foreign qualifications. On November 30, 2009, the new Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications was announced. It will allow foreign-trained workers who submit a full application to be licensed or registered to work in their field to be informed within one year whether their qualifications will be recognized.

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

Contact Information

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