The Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT)
The Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) is an intergovernmental trade agreement between Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments to remove inter-provincial barriers to the free movement of workers, goods, services and investments. The agreement came into force on July 1, 1995.
The Labour Mobility Chapter of the AIT (Chapter 7) aims to ensure that any worker certified to perform a profession or occupation by a regulator in any Canadian province or territory will be granted certification, upon application, for the same profession or occupation in any other province, without the need for additional training, work experience or examinations.
Changes to the Labour Mobility Chapter of the AIT
In January 2009, First Ministers endorsed amendments to Chapter 7 of the AIT in order to help resolve labour mobility challenges in Canada within regulated occupations. These changes came into effect on August 11, 2009.
Saskatchewan supports the changes to the Labour Mobility Chapter.
- They strengthen the agreement to ensure workers have greater access to employment opportunities across Canada, and
- Registration and licensing requirements are more transparent throughout the country.
This will benefit all licensed workers moving from one jurisdiction to another including (but not limited to):
- health professionals,
- accountants and
- people working in the skilled trades.
Exceptions to Labour Mobility
Some additional requirements for certified workers are automatically allowed under the agreement such as criminal record checks or paying an application fee. Other additional requirements must be approved by the respective government as an exception to the Chapter.
Exceptions may be approved when there is a significant difference in occupational standards and the exception is based on reasons such as the protection of public security, health and safety.
Exceptions Specific to Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan has approved seven exceptions. In the case of these seven occupations, professionals moving to Saskatchewan will need to demonstrate they meet Saskatchewan standards as follows:
- Dental Hygienists from all jurisdictions except Alberta and British Columbia – administration of local anesthesia;
- Lawyers from Quebec – common law knowledge;
- Emergency Medical Responders (EMR) as listed on the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics website – administration of epinephrine pen and patient assist medications. See the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics website below.
- Emergency Medical Technician Paramedics/Advanced Care Paramedics (EMT-P/ACP) as listed on the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics website – administration of blood and blood products and urinary catheterization;
- Emergency Medical Technicians, Primary Care Paramedics (EMT-PCP) as listed on the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics website – administration of blood and blood products and urinary catheterization.
- Licensed Practical Nurses – administration of medications (effective December 2010) and performing health assessments (effective December 2013). Jurisdictions affected are listed on the Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses website.
These exceptions have been implemented in consultation with Saskatchewan regulatory bodies. Additional exceptions may be identified in the future as ministries continue to work with regulatory bodies and other partners.
The Miscellaneous Statutes (Labour Mobility) Amendment Act
The Miscellaneous Statutes (Labour Mobility) Amendment Act, 2009 provides the necessary amendments to Saskatchewan professional regulatory legislation to ensure compliance with Chapter 7. The Act was proclaimed on May 20, 2010, and achieves three goals:
- Provides regulatory bodies with a more flexible framework to recognize credentials from other jurisdictions;
- Ensures that residency is no longer an issue where labour mobility is concerned; and
- Ensures consistency of language in each of the statutes affected.