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Restrictive policies affecting labour mobility for care aides in B.C.

The BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) has filed a formal complaint against the B.C. government regarding what they deem to be unfair labour mobility practices.

“BCCPA contends that the provincial government, through the B.C. Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry, are imposing undue and unfair restrictions on the right of Alberta care aides to practice their trade in our province, and therefore contravening the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA),” stated the BCCPA in a press release.

The restrictive policies have made it hard for workers coming from out of province to get a job in a field in which they already work.

“I was absolutely amazed that I had to take two competency exams and pay over $1,400 to prepare for and get registered as a care aide in B.C. I found it extremely redundant that the study materials for the competency exams were exactly the same as what I used to get certified in Ontario,” said Rustam Mann, a trained care aide from Toronto who received a job offer in the Okanagan.

“I still fail to understand why anyone within Canada moving to B.C. would have to retake an exam they have already passed in another province. It would be just as absurd to ask someone to retake their driver’s license when they are already in good standing.”

Alberta care aides must pay $800 for a written examination that only allows one percent of applicants to proceed without additional courses and training—as well as requiring taking an exam in-person at the only testing site located in Vancouver.

BCCPA has also launched an online petition asking care aides, seniors and their families to support changes to the Registry that would facilitate the hiring of certified trained workers from Alberta.