Petition Closed
Petitioning Federal Minister of Labour The Honourable Dr. Kellie Leitch, and 1 other

The Honourable Dr. Kellie Leitch, The Honourable Yasir Naqvi: “Canadian Experience” a systemic unfair employment barrier to new comers

Internationally educated new comer professionals to Canada are facing two common systemic unfair employment barriers, 1) credentials not recognized, 2) wealth of knowledge and experience they bring from the world is not valued by the employers in Canada. The irony is internationally educated professional were granted permanent resident status due to their credentials and experience along with their professional skills.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on Monday launched a new policy directive denouncing the requirement for so-called “Canadian experience” as discriminatory.

“Some employers are using the Canadian experience requirement as a proxy for discrimination, which they know is illegal. But even when hidden, discrimination in employment is still against the law,” OHRC Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall told a news conference.

“The policy we are launching can help remove these barriers and give employers and regulatory bodies the tools they need to respect human rights. The starting point . . . is a simple one: insisting on Canadian experience is discrimination under the Human Rights Code.”


An example of Thorncliffe Park in Toronto Canada, is presented here to understand the real picture of new comers socioeconomic problems to Canada. Thorncliffe Park is a home to more newcomers per square foot than anywhere else in Canada. It is the most densely populated neighborhood in Toronto. A population of 28,000 to 30,000 people live in Thorncliffe Park.

Sixty three percent (63%) of the entire population in Thorncliffe Park have a post-secondary education which is three times higher than the academic profile of any community in the GTA. Yet this community is facing over 27% unemployment or underemployment ratio, which is more than three times the average unemployment rate for the city of Toronto.

In fact, it is higher than the unemployment ratio recorded in 2012 for Spain 26% (2012), Greece 26% (2012) and Afghanistan 15% (Source: Trading Economics).

Most newcomers who experience unemployment and underemployment perceive the root cause to be racism and discrimination. Many newcomers, particularly those with an advanced level of education, feel frustrated and disenchanted because they cannot find commensurate employment, since their foreign credentials are not recognized.

When they cannot find desirable or suitable employment in accordance with their qualifications, they feel the loss of social status. They were once respected in the social circle of their country of origin and now become feel humiliated after receiving Canadian permanent status in the Canadian social fabric.

Despite these challenges, many newcomers have shown resilience in dealing with their economic problems in Canada. Some decided to go back to school to upgrade their education/training, or to acquire Canadian credentials. Some pick up survival jobs to feed their families.

In a new country, the cultural and environmental changes become daunting to some and in addition, the challenge of securing employment, becomes a daunting and often futile task for any newcomer. It takes a huge level of reserve and determination when foreign credentials are not recognized; world of experience is not valued; ethnic names on the resumes adds systemic discrimination in hiring and promotion opportunities.

How ethnic names negatively affect job search on the resumes, view this report “New Study Highlights Employment Barriers for Immigrants in Canada”

Internationally trained professionals can make a positive contributions to the Canadian labour market and society. They can strengthen inclusion and diversity in this country with the broad international expertise and diverse skills they bring with them. They can help Canadian businesses and non-profits leverage a diverse pool of talent to reflect their target market and connect them to new ethnic markets and demographic groups.

It’s about time for the Canadian Government to stop such discriminatory labor practices by employers against new comers .By introducing new legislation to binding the employers in Canada to consider new comers’ credentials and experience equally relevant to the job opportunity as they would consider it for any other Canadian.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states very clearly about reducing disparity in opportunities.




Marginal note: Commitment to promote equal opportunities
36. (1) Without altering the legislative authority of Parliament or of the provincial legislatures, or the rights of any of them with respect to the exercise of their legislative authority, Parliament and the legislatures, together with the government of Canada and the provincial governments, are committed to
(a) promoting equal opportunities for the well-being of Canadians;
(b) furthering economic development to reduce disparity in opportunities;

/ Unquote

Canadian employers are telling the new professional immigrants that their credentials are not recognized in Canada and their wealth of experience from the world have no value for them to be hired however Royal Bank of Canada is hiring cheap temp workers from India.

The irony is top talent from India and other South Asian countries are already in Canada however they are not being considered due to so called "No Canadian Experience". Yet temp cheap employees are being imported across Atlantic over new professional immigrants who are trying to make a living for their families and trying hard to contribute in the Canadian economy..

Read the recent news report of the Star and an apology letter from Royal Bank of Canada on the link below

As an internationally trained professional myself, I had faced many employment systemic barriers and discriminatory practices both in the corporate and in the not for profit sector. Time has come for new comers to take their destiny into their own hands. New comer socioeconomic systemic barriers will receive a vigorous voice from a community based organization formed by new comers in the name of One Voice Canada Employment and Community Services.

Through this online petition we are pleading to Canadian Minister of Labour, The Honourable Lisa Raitt and to the Ontario Minister of Labour, The Honourable Yasir Naqvi to introduce the needed legislation in both houses according to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and provide equal opportunities to new comers for economic development to reduce disparity in their socioeconomic life in Canada.

New comers are hoping through this petition, Canadian experience used regularly as a cliché by the employers, should be replaced with the relevant experience, and credentials after the professional evaluation from a recognized Canadian academic institute should be considered equal as local Canadians.

Most Sincerely,

Aamir Khawaja

This petition was delivered to:
  • Federal Minister of Labour
    The Honourable Dr. Kellie Leitch,
  • Ontario Minister of Labour
    The Honourable Yasir Naqvi

    One Voice Canada Employment and Community Services started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,388 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.

    Today: One Voice Canada Employment and Community Services is counting on you

    One Voice Canada Employment and Community Services needs your help with “The Honourable Dr. Kellie Leitch, The Honourable Yasir Naqvi: “Canadian Experience” a systemic unfair employment barrier to new comers”. Join One Voice Canada Employment and Community Services and 1,387 supporters today.