I am a regulated Canadian immigration consultant and a member in good standing with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).
My company, Matrixvisa Inc., is also involved with the recruitment of English-speaking skilled foreign workers from countries such as South Africa and the United Kingdom.
During the second half of last year, my immigration law and recruitment practice assisted two Saskatchewan employers in bringing two highly skilled foreign workers from South Africa to Saskatchewan.
We completed the recruitment, as well as the associated immigration law work.
On behalf of one of the applicants, we applied to the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) to have his credentials and experience recognized as an industrial electrician in order to enter the trade in Saskatchewan.
The SATCC refused his request, claiming that the SATCC can only accept the training and certification of “construction and maintenance electricians.”
It is important to note that the legislation, the website of the SATCC and other documents do not mention this policy at all.
It was mentioned to Premier Brad Wall that the policy are not very transparent and the source of authority of the decision difficult to understand. Followup requests to the SATCC did not have a positive result.
A letter was then written to Premier Wall.
Both Premier Wall and Employment and Immigration Minister Rob Norris wrote back to us, and within a few weeks the Electrical Trade Board came to a conclusion that the SATCC will accept the trade of industrial electrician. Foreign-trained industrial electricians may now enter the province of Saskatchewan, which is a historic event for foreign-trained journeyman.
It is interesting to note that neither the Electrical Inspection Act, the Electrical Licensing Act, the Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Act nor the Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Regulations had to be changed.
It seems as if it was only a matter of the incorrect interpretation of existing laws and regulations.
Premier Wall and Minister Norris should be commended for their swift action and leadership on this issue.
I have not yet seen that the SATCC has made this policy change available on their website — maybe I just missed it or maybe it will be announced in the future, although it has been more than two months since the meeting of the Electrical Trade Board.
This should be made public so that Saskatchewan employers can be made aware of the improved and sensible policy
The other good news is that democracy works: Citizens should just approach their representatives with well-argued requests.