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Ontario to ban Canadian work experience requirement in job postings

In a bid to fill vacant jobs in healthcare and skilled trades, Ontario plans to ban employers from requiring Canadian work experience in job postings and application forms.

Labour Minister David Piccini announced the soon to be introduced legislation on Thursday.

"For far too long, too many people arriving in Canada have been funnelled toward dead-end jobs they’re overqualified for. We need to ensure these people can land well-paying and rewarding careers that help tackle the labour shortage,” said Piccini. “When newcomers to Ontario get a meaningful chance to contribute, everyone wins.”

He said the change would allow more qualified candidates to progress to the interview process.

The planned change is part of a larger piece of legislation being tabled next week that will also require employers to disclose salary ranges in job postings and increase injured worker benefits.

If passed, Ontario would be the first province in Canada to remove the hurdle for internationally-trained immigrants to work in their fields of study.

Two years ago, the provincial government passed legislation prohibiting certain regulated professions from requiring Canadian work experience requirements in licensing. At the time provincial officials called the practice "discriminatory".

"Canadian experience continues to be one the most prominent barriers faced by many newcomers in their search for meaningful employment," said Sara Asalya, the executive director of Newcomer Women's Services Toronto. "Introducing legislation to ban the Canadian experience requirements from job postings and ads is a big leap forward in the right direction to eliminate systemic barriers facing newcomers, and to facilitate pathways to their labour market inclusion."

The planned new legislation would also increase the number of international students in Ontario eligible to apply to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program by revising eligibility requirements for hundreds of one-year college graduate certificate programs. Additionally, the legislation, if approved, would change oversight and accountability of how regulated professions like accountants, architects and geoscientists, use third-party organizations to assess international qualifications to ensure assessments are done in a way that is fast, transparent, and fair.

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