Premier Rodney MacDonald spoke out in support of fair, transparent and accountable labour mobility within Canada at the 2008 Council of the Federation meeting which wrapped up today, July 18, in Quebec City. Quebec Premier Jean Charest chaired the meeting attended by all of Canada’s provincial and territorial leaders. “We want to make it easier and more attractive for externally trained professionals to live and work in Nova Scotia, and other areas of the country,” said Premier MacDonald. The premier pointed out that Nova Scotia has already taken steps to do that through legislation introduced this spring. The Fair Access to Regulated Professions Legislation, Bill 126, is at second reading and includes measures for: — establishing a common process for certification and licensing that is easily understood by the general public — ensuring a process is established to address the specific needs of internationally-educated professionals applying for registration — assessing qualifications in a manner that is compliant with the federal agreement on internal trade — expediting the decision-making process and response time to applicants — ensuring a process is in place for individuals to appeal registration decisions The premiers stressed that full labour market participation and unimpeded mobility of workers is vital to Canada’s economic growth. They agreed to amend the federal Agreement on Internal Trade by Jan. 1, 2009. The amendments will ensure that any worker certified for an occupation by a regulatory authority in one province or territory will be recognized as qualified to practice in that occupation by all other provinces and territories. The premiers further directed that exceptions to full labour market mobility will have to be clearly identified and justified as necessary to meet a legitimate objective, such as protection of public health or safety.