Immigration Minister Jason Kenney during an interview with the London Free Press editorial board in London, Ont. on April 17, 2012 (Morris Lamont/QMI Agency)
In an interview in the London Health Sciences Centre on Tuesday, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced that the Canadian government is looking to fast-track foreign-trained doctors to help fill Canada’s shortage of physicians.
“It’s critical our immigration system respond to current and future shortages and across the spectrum of the labour market” Mr. Kenney said in the interview.
The reports of the possible fast-track program for physicians are being looked on favourably in the province of Saskatchewan, as provincial officials say it currently takes two years for foreign physicians immigrating to the province to have their application approved.
No details have been released about the fast-track program for physicians, so it is not known what qualifications foreign-trained doctors need to meet to be eligible, and how long a fast-tracked application would take to get approval.
A new international job bank for immigrants to be launched (BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS)
As part of the revamp to Canada’s immigration assessment system, the federal government has announced that it will create a ‘job bank’ in which all immigration skilled worker applicants will be placed, and from which Canadian employers and provinces will be able to recruit.
Those immigration applicants selected by a Canadian employer or province would then have their applications fast-tracked, making application processing times more dependent on the demand from provinces and Canadian employers for applicants’ skills, rather than the current criteria of time spent in the queue.
The job bank idea is modelled after New Zealand’s immigration system, which also pools applicants and allows employers to cherry-pick the most promising ones. The new immigration assessment system is expected to take at least two years to implement.
Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the Canadian government would also try to reduce the phenomenon of areas of high unemployment recruiting immigrants for labor. He said immigration authorities would require employers to prove they attempted and were unable to recruit Canadians before they are able to offer a job to an immigration applicant and nominate to have their application fast-tracked.