Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

2nd Session, 40th Parliament,
Volume 146, Issue 4

Thursday, January 29, 2009
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker

Citizenship and Immigration

Recognition of Foreign Credentials

Hon. Mobina S.B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, in the November 2008 Speech from the Throne, the government promised to break down barriers that prevent Canadians from reaching their potential, regardless of culture, background, gender, age, disability or official language. Within this theme, the government promised to make the recognition of foreign credentials a priority.

My question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate: Is this still one of the government priorities? What has been done so far?

Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government and Minister of State (Seniors)): I thank Senator Jaffer for the question. Indeed, the government has made the recognition of foreign credentials one of its priorities. The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, has done a considerable amount of work in this area in cooperation with his provincial and territorial counterparts. I would be happy to provide Senator Jaffer with a more detailed written response.

Senator Jaffer: I appreciate the leader’s gesture to provide further information. I ask that this information include how the government arrived at the amount of $50 million for the program and how much has been spent to date. It is important in these difficult economic times to ensure that people who are not fully integrated into our workforce have the assistance they require.

Senator LeBreton: I thank Senator Jaffer for the additional question. I would be happy to make inquiries about the actual amounts committed and spent.