Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

May 22, 2009 11:30 ET

Minister Finley and Community Leaders Meet to Discuss the Important Role of Newcomers in the Economic Action Plan

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 22, 2009) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today met with Greater Toronto Area community leaders interested in foreign credential recognition to discuss issues surrounding Canada's response to the current economic situation. In particular, the discussion highlighted the recent commitments made by the Government of Canada through its Economic Action Plan to help newcomers get their education, skills and experience assessed and recognized in a timely fashion.

"During uncertain economic times, ensuring that all Canadians are fully participating in the labour force is critical to the country's long-term economic success and resiliency," said Minister Finley. "The Government recognizes the important role newcomers have to play in Canada's economic recovery. When newcomers succeed, we all succeed, and that is why I was pleased to have had an opportunity to meet with this diverse group of people to discuss the progress that is being made, through the Economic Action Plan, in addressing barriers to foreign credential recognition in Canada."

The Economic Action Plan invests $50 million over two years to develop a common approach to foreign credential recognition, with the ultimate objective of improving the process of assessing and recognizing foreign qualifications. This investment follows a meeting earlier this year, during which first ministers and territorial leaders agreed to take concerted action to develop a national framework for faster recognition of foreign credentials. Ministers were asked to develop the common framework by September 2009.

The $50-million investment under Canada's Economic Action Plan will do four things:

- Develop the principles that the federal, provincial and territorial governments agree will guide the recognition of foreign credentials;

- Develop standards for the timely treatment of those looking to have their qualifications recognized;

- Establish the specific occupations that will be the first priority in developing recognition standards; and

- Help people who want to come to Canada begin the process of licensure and accreditation while they are still overseas.

Recent announcements also highlight other actions taken by the federal government to improve credential recognition. In April, the Government of Canada announced three contribution agreements with the European Union that address labour mobility and foreign credential recognition. The signing of these agreements demonstrates Canada's commitment to achieving progress on foreign credential recognition and facilitating international labour mobility.

Together, these activities ensure that internationally educated professionals have their qualifications assessed and recognized in a manner that is fair, consistent, transparent and rigorous, and that newcomers can more swiftly pursue appropriate pathways to employment.

The $50-million investment for foreign credential recognition is part of the Canada Skills and Transition Strategy, a comprehensive $8.3-billion action plan for Canadian workers, the unemployed and their families. The Government will provide income assistance and training and skills development support to help those facing hardships in these difficult times. Canada's Economic Action Plan also contains many other important initiatives that will help vulnerable Canadians, persons with disabilities, seniors and Aboriginal people.

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.


The Foreign Credential Recognition Program aims to improve the integration of internationally trained workers into the workforce. It does this by working with key stakeholders to implement projects that will facilitate the assessment and recognition of qualifications acquired outside of Canada. The Program provides funding to and works with the provinces and territories and stakeholders, including regulatory bodies, post-secondary institutions, sector councils and employers, to implement projects that facilitate the assessment and recognition of qualifications acquired in other countries.

Contact Information

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