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Why immigrant professionals are still driving cabs

posted Apr 21, 2012, 5:37 PM by Milorad Borota   [ updated Apr 21, 2012, 5:37 PM ]
Marni Soupcoff, National Post · Apr. 2, 2012 | Last Updated: Apr. 2, 2012 3:02 AM ET

The federal government's new plan to hire a private firm to assess the educational credentials of potential immigrants is wise.

The significance of degrees and professional certificates varies widely and wildly from place to place (country to country and sometimes even city to city) across the world and across disciplines and specialties.

The federal bureaucrats who work in visa offices have nowhere near the scope of knowledge or experience to make these sorts of assessments, so contracting the job out will help.

This is a far cry from a solution to Canada's problem with smoothly integrating immigrants into the labour market, however.

In some ways, it's beside the point, since it has little impact on the biggest challenge for new Canadians seeking work: the protectionist provincial, municipal and professional occupational licensing requirements that make entering a trade or profession an unnecessarily long, expensive and difficult (if not impossible) process.

These regulations are more about raising government revenues and coddling industry insiders from competition than they are about helping the public.

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