Ontario Newsroom

Full Labour Mobility For Professions And Trades In Ontario

Archived Backgrounder

Full Labour Mobility For Professions And Trades In Ontario

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

Full labour mobility will strengthen Canada's productivity and competitiveness, help meet changing labour market needs and support the ability of all Canadians to live and work where they want in Canada.

By introducing the Ontario Labour Mobility Act, 2009, the McGuinty government is meeting a commitment made last July by all premiers to eliminate the barriers that prevent workers from moving easily between provinces to find work.

Under the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), certified workers in professions and skilled trades will be able to move freely to work where opportunities exist or where they choose to live in Canada. Under the proposed legislation, workers who are already certified in another province or territory would be entitled to be certified in that occupation in Ontario. In the past, many qualified workers have faced lengthy delays before being able to work in Ontario.

Labour Mobility under the 2009 Agreement on Internal Trade

On January 16, 2009, Canada's premiers agreed to amend the AIT to remove labour mobility barriers for certified workers across the country.

In Ontario, changes to the AIT will apply to about 80 regulatory authorities and 300 occupations, including skilled trades. Doctors, dentists, architects, engineers, mechanics and plumbers are some of the professions and trades that will benefit from rules that make it easier to work in Ontario.

Provinces and territories can maintain additional requirements for those occupations where it is necessary to protect the public interest in areas such as health and safety or consumer protection. Exceptions will be posted at www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/ this summer and can be challenged by other provinces and territories.

Labour Mobility and the Skilled Trades

The AIT supports the Red Seal Program as a model for achieving full mobility and national standards of excellence for training and certification in the skilled trades. Ontario's commitment to the Red Seal program is confirmed in the proposed Ontario Labour Mobility Act, 2009.

The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program sets common standards across Canada for the skilled trades. These standards are developed and endorsed by industry. Workers with the Red Seal are highly employable because employers know they have the skills and knowledge to get the job done.

Under the AIT, workers with the Red Seal will continue to enjoy full labour mobility. Certified workers in non-Red Seal trades that have been matched across jurisdictions would also be entitled to full labour mobility.

Labour Mobility between Ontario and Quebec

Ontario is currently negotiating an economic partnership agreement with Quebec, reflecting the high level of commitment for greater co-operation in both provinces.

Under the proposed agreement, both provinces agree to improve labour mobility for certified workers, similar to the approach set out in the AIT. The agreement builds on the 2006 Construction Labour Mobility Agreement between the two provinces.

Additional Resources



Business and Economy Education and Training Jobs and Employment