Labour Mobility

Reducing unnecessary barriers to labour mobility and establishing an open, efficient and stable domestic labour market is essential to Canada’s economic prosperity. The free movement of workers contributes to sustaining economic growth, innovation, productivity and the improvement of Canada’s overall competitiveness.

To achieve a more efficient labour market, the Government of Canada and provincial and territorial governments are addressing inter-provincial barriers to the movement of regulated workers and thereby improving the ability of Canadians to work in their occupation anywhere in the country.

The federal government, with the provinces and territories, has signed the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), a trade agreement designed to reduce and eliminate barriers to the free movement of goods, services, investment and labour within Canada, and to establish an open, efficient and stable domestic market.

Objectives

Governments are addressing inter-provincial barriers to the movement of regulated workers between provinces in order to provide:

  • workers with a wider range of opportunities;
  • employers with a broader selection of candidates; and
  • greater balance in the supply and demand of workers in the Canadian labour market.

Agreement on Internal Trade

The Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) is an intergovernmental trade agreement signed in 1994 by federal, provincial, and territorial First Ministers. It is designed to reduce and eliminate, to the extent possible, barriers to the free movement of goods, services, investment and labour within Canada, and to establish an open, efficient and stable domestic market.

The Chapter 7 (Labour Mobility) of the AIT is the agreement to achieve labour mobility for workers in regulated occupations (trades and professions) in Canada. Chapter 7, amended in 2009, states that any worker certified for an occupation by a regulatory authority of one province or territory will, upon application, be certified for that occupation by each other province and territory that regulates that occupation, without any requirements for additional training, experience, examinations or assessments.

Where significant differences in skills, areas of knowledge or abilities exist, a government may approve an exception to full labour mobility for an occupation, provided the exception is justified to achieve a legitimate objective, such as the maintenance of public health and safety. Exceptions are posted on the Labour Mobility Coordinating Group website.

Inter-provincial Labour Mobility Initiative

The implementation of Chapter 7 of the AIT requires the close collaboration of the federal government with all the provinces and territories as well as regional and national organizations involved in licensing processes. The Inter-provincial Labour Mobility Initiative (ILMI), housed within ESDC, coordinates federal activities to improve labour mobility across Canada.

The federal activities are divided into three key components:

  • Co-Leading Federal-Provincial-Territorial work to guide implementation of Chapter 7 of the AIT and reporting back to the Forum of Labour Market Ministers on progress and results;
  • Providing funding/technical expertise to eligible regulated professional occupations and associations of regulators to develop tools, information-sharing and common approaches and standards to further inter-provincial labour mobility; and
  • Developing policy and conducting research to meet on-going and future inter-provincial labour mobility challenges.

Financial support provided by ESDC allows regulatory bodies and national associations to streamline and standardize licensing processes nationally that facilitate the free movement of workers within the country.

Funding: Interprovincial Labour Mobility Initiative

Regulated professions and associations of regulators are eligible to apply for funding providing the occupation is regulated in at least two jurisdictions.

To request a concept proposal template or an application package, including a project proposal template, please contact:

Interprovincial Labour Mobility Initiative
Skills and Employment Branch, ESDC
Portage IV – 5th Floor,
140 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau, QC K1A 0J9