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  • MLA report October 10

    Hello Chestermere! As I write this another blast of winter weather is on the way so you may want to get those winter tires on sooner rather than later! Many professions, such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, and accountants are what is called “self-regulating”. This means their professional organization is responsible for certifying that applicants are qualified and enforces standards of practice. Immigrant professionals must apply to these bodies and have their qualifications examined and accepted before they are able to practice in Alberta. In many cases applicants must write exams, and in some cases may be required to take courses to round out their qualifications. This certification must not be used to create a “closed shop”, barring qualified professionals from working in Alberta. This past week we held a very successful and very engaged round table discussing Bill 11, The Fair Registrations Practices Act. During the election campaign we heard from a significant amount of people concerned that professional regulators were taking too long to evaluate the foreign training of professionals. Bill 11 was created to help speed up that process by working with these associations. The Premier has said on many occasions that he is prepared to take strong action if the accreditation process doesn’t improve: “If…we see that there are some professional bodies that are abusing their authority to erect unjustifiable barriers to registration and certification, then I will be prepared to remind them that we could de-designate them and create new regulatory bodies in their place,”. He added “it is immoral and unethical to encourage skilled immigrants to come to Canada only to face underemployment”, and promised to “make the process fair, fast and transparent.”

    Bill 11 empowers the Minister of Labour and Immigration to work with regulators and make sure that fairness is part of the process with consequences for non-compliance of up to $50,000. The Minister can perform audits and require reports as to how foreign credentials are processed, ensuring the process is fair and impartial.  There will be an office that will be used to help provide advice to those who have complaints and will work with professional and trade organizations.  There will be opportunities for training and the legislation covers 60 or more different bodies that regulate everything from nursing to architects.

    This will help speed up the process of newcomers getting their credentials recognized so they can work in the careers they trained for, reduces red tape and removes barriers, and it will help newcomers get family-supporting jobs that contribute to Alberta’s economy.

    Many newcomers are underemployed and unable to practice their skills because licensing procedures can be needlessly complex and can take years. Speeding up this process will maintain Alberta’s high professional standards while getting Albertans back to work and reigniting our economy.

    According to the Conference Board of Canada, Canadians would earn up to $17 billion more each year if their learning credentials were fully recognized. Provinces such as Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia already have similar legislation in place.

    I would like to chat about Justin Trudeau.  You may not know this about me, but I am a 1st generation Canadian on my Dad’s side, and a 3rd generation Canadian on my Mom’s side.  My mom is of Irish, English, Scottish and Scandinavian descent, while my father is from South India.  My mom is Caucasian and was an adorable red head with freckles (she now sports a fabulous silver-white mane), and my father is the most gorgeous colour of deep, dark chocolate with skin that looks much younger than his 80 years of age, skin that I longed desperately for when I was a young girl.  The grotesque pictures and film of our Prime Minister pretending to be an ape, dressed in Blackface, and then the attempt to wear brownface as Aladdin at a “black-tie” dinner have impacted me in a very personal way. Truthfully, we all make mistakes.  We have to give people the benefit of the doubt that they are able to evolve, change and become better people.  Part of that comes from acknowledging your mistakes, and taking responsibility for them.  Trudeau has spent the better part of 4 years pretending that he cared about people, preaching about racism and the vile nature of racists as part of his one man show, the feminist, the saviour that knew us better that we knew ourselves.  His so-called “blind spot” and “teachable moment” is nothing short of a betrayal of the people of Canada!  These racist images, or as he calls it “racist makeup” are a disgrace and an insult to the great country he represents.   We are all immigrants.  My father and my father in law have dealt with this their entire lives, and they have created friendships, trust, created inroads and shared food, culture and friendship with many different people from many different backgrounds.  They are both extremely grateful to have lived and raised their families in this great country, and I am embarrassed that Trudeau now represents a country that was built by women and men just like my mom and dad.  The Liberals are quick to jump on the scandal train when it comes to throwing people from any other party under that train, but apparently it does not apply to them at all.  As I write this Trudeau has refused to remove a candidate from Cape Breton whose posts reveal him to be a racist and misogynist. I mean the self-righteousness and hypocrisy is staggering, coming from a Prime Minister who has been found guilty of breaking the law not once but twice, who does not tolerate strong, principled women who stand up to him, and who blames his “privilege” for his racist behaviour.  As always we love to hear from you.