Toronto should advocate further integration of new immigrants into society through strategies such as recognizing foreign credentials and professional experience.
Pros: Greater social inclusion, sudden increases in talented, local labour pool. Toronto needs to live up to its ‘Diversity, Our Strength’ Motto,
Cons: Concerns over veracity of foreign credentials and professional experience. There are processes for gaining Canadian accreditation in place, but it is not the responsibility of the city to determine employment qualifications.
More than ever, Toronto is a city of immigrants. Their foreign credentials and professional experience, however, often go unrecognized by institutions and employers in the city. Beyond the proverbial story of the foreign qualified doctor driving a taxicab in the downtown, not recognizing foreign experience is a wasted economic opportunity across many industries. As a result, highly qualified residents are often under-employed and many industries face skilled labour shortages with qualified workers living and working in close proximity.
Toronto should advocate for provincial recognition of foreign credentials and experience as well as work with the private sector to reduce barriers of hiring talented immigrants. Organizations will be stronger because they will truly be hiring "the best" and will benefit from the diverse talents that Toronto has to offer. There is the potential to decrease unemployment and under-employment, especially in low-income areas with high concentrations of new immigrants, and provide the resources to improve neighbourhood well being, social inclusion, and social-mobility.
Image credit: MaRS Discovery District, Flickr creative commons