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Engineer regulator drops Canadian experience qualification in Ontario

May 23, 2023
The Canadian Press

Monte McNaughton, Ontario's Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, makes an announcement in London, Ont., on March 15, 2023. Photo: Government of Ontario

Internationally trained engineers no longer require Canadian work experience to be licensed in Ontario.

Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton says the province’s regulator for professional engineers has dropped the requirement, which he calls a “game changer” for qualified immigrant engineers that will help fill roughly 7,000 vacant positions.

Professional Engineers Ontario says up to 60 per cent of the license applicants it reviews every year are internationally trained.

McNaughton says it’s the first regulatory association to make the change since the province introduced legislation in October 2021 that prevents more than 30 non-health-care-related professions and skilled trades from requiring Canadian experience qualifications.

McNaughton called the requirement for Canadian work experience the “single biggest barrier” to immigrants landing well-paying jobs.

He says he expects all regulators, from architects to land surveyors, to proactively drop the requirement before a deadline to do so by the end of the year.

Sara Asalya, executive director of Newcomer Women’s Service Toronto, applauded the change as a “huge win” for people advocating for the removal of unfair measures facing internationally trained professionals.

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