Protecting the Right to Pursue a Livelihood for Foreign-Trained Professionals: Toward Building an Enabling Regulatory System

Wednesday, 13 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 17 (Juridicum)
Distributed Paper
France HOULE, University of Montreal, Canada
The literature developed in Canada on the impact of conditions imposed by professional associations on fundamental rights of foreign-trained professionals focuses on the right to equality, when the discussion should be centered on the right to pursue a livelihood. This article suggests the development of a post-welfare State interpretation on the right to pursue a livelihood based on the capabilities approach and the Enabling State. For foreign-trained professionals immigrating to a new country, empowerment starts with being able to earn a living in their profession as quickly as possible. The Québec-France Agreement on mutual recognition of professional qualifications authorizes partner professional orders in France and Québec to create a new regulatory system which seeks to strike a balance between their obligations to protect the public and to protect the right of French professionals to pursue a livelihood in Québec. As the Agreement states, the MRA regulatory system should be proportionate, the least restrictive possible and take into account the professional experience of applicants.  However, French and Québec professional orders were not particularly successful in achieving this balance. To reach its full potential as an enabling regulation, this article suggests improvements to the MRA regulatory system based on the objectives of information, discretion and choice.