On Monday, I had the opportunity to attend in person the announcement of the new fair credential recognition legislation at the BC Legislature's Hall of Honour. Premier David Eby and the Minister of State for Workforce Development, the Honourable Andrew Mercier, made the announcement with speeches from Shelly D'Mello (photo at right) from the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria and Alice Wong, a newly credentialled social worker from Hong Kong.
The legislation is intended to remove barriers to internationally trained professionals impacting 29 credentialling bodies. Here's a link to the news release and my blog post in a previous edition of Aspectives. I can also tell you that ASPECT, along with some of our members, were allowed to preview the legislation. I see that much work and interest-holder consultation went into developing this legislation within an alarmingly quick time frame. Kudos to my public service colleagues and the provincial government for your hard work and dedication to addressing this social justice issue.
Here are a few of my takeaways from the event:
- It was interesting to see beyond what makes the news, and I was impressed with the inclusive and multilingual aspects of the announcement. Alice Wong made an outstanding speech about her experiences in both English and Cantonese. Minister of Education and Child Care, Honourable Rachna Singh, answered media questions in what I think was Hindi.
- During the Q&A session, the media quickly asked many pointed questions about everything but the legislation. Both the Premier and Ministers did outstanding jobs answering them – not ducking them or deflecting them – but answering them.
- The announcement was quite clearly a celebration, and it genuinely felt like a celebration, especially for those in the room.
What I also find impressive is the rapid timeline for the legislation:
Source: BC Government website
One last comment that I want to make clear. ASPECT, in its advocacy work, endeavours to be apolitical in all matters. We will gladly work with any party on any issue related to the work of our members. I am acutely aware that this post can seem pro-NDP, but it is not. It is more about the government's action to address a long-term wicked problem that needs attention. The legislation has so many challenges ahead and opportunities for failure if it is not embraced by the credentialling bodies, but still, at this moment, I am happy to give credit where I think it's due.
Janet Morris-Reade, CEO