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2006 Recasting Equity Metropolis Conference
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2006 Recasting Equity Metropolis Conference

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  • 1. PROMPT Policy Roundtable Mobilizing Professions and Trades ‘Recasting Equity’ Presented by Nikhat Rasheed National Metropolis Conference Vancouver, March 23 - 26 2006 Recasting Equity Presentation for National Metropolis 2006
  • 2. PROMPT PROMPT is the collective voice of Internationally Educated Persons (IEPs) represented by associations of immigrant professionals and community organizations. Funded by Canadian Heritage, Multiculturalism Program, Voluntary Sector Initiative Recasting Equity Presentation for National Metropolis 2006
  • 3. Key Objectives  To develop policy alternatives and recommendations to increase access to professions and trades for IEPs such that they can maximize their contributions to Canada  To develop the concept of equity and eliminate systemic inequities and the assumed deficiency of IEPs  To promote the role of immigrants in creating innovation Recasting Equity Presentation for National Metropolis 2006
  • 4. Traditional Framework of Equity in Canada Background to equity legislation  Focus on Equal opportunity/ Access for employment opportunities  Employment equity 1984: “a strategy to obliterate the present and residual effects of discrimination…. Open equitably the competition for employment opportunities to those arbitrarily excluded.”  Legislation to increased access for women, visible minorities, the disabled and aboriginals Recasting Equity Presentation for National Metropolis 2006
  • 5. Legislation affecting IEPs  Constitution of Canada – BNA „immigration: provincial‟; provinces gave responsibility to FG  Charter of rights did not include discrimination against “place of education or training” as included in UN Charters – thus did not protect skilled immigrants (1982)  Federal government instituted employment equity (1984-86)  Province of Ontario (receiving most immigrants) repealed employment equity after just two years (1993-1995) retaining only pay equity for women Recasting Equity Presentation for National Metropolis 2006
  • 6. Immigration & Globalization  1986 points system ensured skilled immigrants were highly qualified for transition into the “knowledge economy”  Skilled immigrants from non-traditional source countries, in particular racialized communities  Employment equity legislation had paradoxical effect of removing skilled immigrants out of the mainstream by terming them “visible minority”  Legislation to protect access might have contributed to reducing it “an applicant is an applicant” Recasting Equity Presentation for National Metropolis 2006
  • 7. Problems faced by IEPs  De-legitimization of experience, skills and education  Denial or delays of licensure to practice  Under-selling qualifications recommended  Issue of Canadian experience vs. Relevant experience vs. International experience Recasting Equity Presentation for National Metropolis 2006
  • 8. Why are these problems occurring?  Current system: poor flow of principle of equality from federal to provincial to local  Assumption of deficiency: Lack of knowledge, historical inequities result in constructing difference as negative  Equivalency vs. Complementarity  This lens informs our policy and programming e.g. bridge training Recasting Equity Presentation for National Metropolis 2006
  • 9. Governance  Governance is capital focused not human focused  Institutional rigidity – lack of capacity of institutions to recognize and acknowledge social, intellectual and experiential knowledge different from theirs  Need to “think outside the box” and focus on “innovation” Recasting Equity Presentation for National Metropolis 2006
  • 10. Canada today  Canada, through its experiment in diversity through immigration, has arrived at a new plateau of development.  To takes its place of pride on the global stage, it needs to take into account new international realities  Realities that have arrived through immigrants, seeking their place of equality within a human-centred governance for the globalized world. Recasting Equity Presentation for National Metropolis 2006
  • 11. Recasting equity  Our definition of equity is a vigilant, on- going, dynamic process that recognizes:  Diversity of peoples, their common humanity, intrinsic worth and dignity, and;  Differential relations of power and material circumstances between groups in society whether through historical, present or evolving circumstances that require interventions to rebalance. Recasting Equity Presentation for National Metropolis 2006
  • 12. Recasting equity – practically?  IEPs are Canadians; we must restore equality for all through continuing mainstreaming IEPs in all processes  We must focus on institutional change and move towards human-centred governance; the protection of the human being must reign supreme Recasting Equity Presentation for National Metropolis 2006
  • 13. If anyone in the world can achieve this new vision… ………Canada can! Recasting Equity Presentation for National Metropolis 2006
  • 14. Contact Nikhat Rasheed PROMPT Coordinator 820 – 2 Carlton Street Toronto, ON M5B 1J3 nikhat@cassa.on.ca (416) 979-8611 ext. 4310 Recasting Equity Presentation for National Metropolis 2006

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