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3 Jun 2010

Labour mobility agreement: 26 new mutual recognition arrangements

Mr. Arcand, Ms. Le Gal, Claude Leblond (president of the Québec Order of Social Workers and Marital and Family Therapists/OPTSQ), Lise Desforges (social worker and first beneficiary of an MRA), Mr. Charest and Mr. Hamad. Photo: Roch Théroux

On June 3, Premier Jean Charest and Hélène Le Gal, Consul General of France in Québec City, announced the signing of 26 new mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) by the regulatory authorities for trades and professions in France and Québec. The ceremony was attended by Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, and Sam Hamad, Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister of Labour.

Mr. Charest said: “Labour mobility is one of the essential prerequisites for ensuring steady economic growth and competitiveness among Québec companies. With the arrangements signed today, we have covered various professional fields accounting for more than 80% of the foreign credential recognition requests submitted by individuals in France wishing to work in Québec.”

Ms. Le Gal said: “As a result of these agreements, France and Québec are creating an area of trans-Atlantic labour mobility and positioning themselves at the forefront of efforts in this regard thanks to their close ties.”

The MRAs were signed in conjunction with the second meeting of the bilateral committee responsible for implementing the Québec–France Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications. At the meeting, a status report on the ongoing negotiations for other professions and trades was submitted, together with the general secretaries’ annual report. To date, the negotiations have led to the signing of MRAs covering 54 professions and trades.

Mr. Arcand said: “The agreement we have entered into with France is an unprecedented step by two separate economic and political jurisdictions. Thanks to close bilateral cooperation and the efforts of authorities on both sides of the Atlantic, we have made very good progress. Once again, Québec has assumed a leadership role on the international stage.”

The committee also issued two decisions: the first concerns updating the list of competent authorities, while the second creates a bilateral task force responsible for evaluating the impact of the agreement and the MRAs on labour flows between both jurisdictions.

MRA status update

Thus far, MRAs covering professional social workers and 11 different trades have been implemented in France and Québec. MRAs for lawyers, chartered accountants, certified general accountants and engineers have already been implemented France and will be implemented in Québec in the near future. Measures covering other professions and trades subject to a signed MRA are currently being prepared or reviewed.

Second meeting of the bilateral committee under the Québec–France Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications – June 3, 2010 (PDF, in French)
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