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Press Releases 2005

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For immediate release

August 25, 2005



MPP Klees takes on additional responsibility for Citizenship & Immigration


(Queen's Park)   John Tory, Leader of the Official Opposition at Queen's Park has asked veteran Oak Ridges MPP Frank Klees to take on additional responsibilities as critic for Citizenship and Immigration, while retaining his current responsibility as Education Critic.

"I am very pleased that our Leader has asked me to take on this important additional responsibility," said Klees. "I understand the very real issues faced by new immigrants, as I deal on a daily basis with constituents who are frustrated by the current immigration system. I look forward to the opportunity to bring forward solutions to some of the long-standing problems faced by immigrants throughout the Province."

Klees, an immigrant himself, is well positioned to take on this added responsibility as he has dedicated himself to building relationships with the many ethnic communities represented in his Oak Ridges riding.

"We welcome the appointment of Mr. Klees to this important role because we know that he understands the issues facing new Canadians, and he will be an effective advocate for practical solutions", said Daisy Wai, President of the Richmond Hill and Markham Chinese Business Association.

Klees said, "My family chose Canada , and specifically Ontario , because of the opportunities that existed here. We need to ensure that those who are coming into Ontario today have the same opportunities to put their qualifications and skills to work. Ontario has a responsibility to get serious about fast-tracking opportunities for internationally-trained professionals who have the experience and the commitment to make a positive contribution to our communities".

"We have seen announcements and re-announcements of the same funding, spread through a huge variety of community agencies over a number of years, but we simply have to focus on the real pressure points in our services, such as delivery of health care. We still have thousands of families without a family physician, and we have hundreds of foreign-trained physicians who are being prevented from practicing in Ontario because of regulatory restrictions and unfair hurdles. It's time the government stops making promises and shows real action on this important issue," added Klees.


Asked what additional initiatives he would be proposing to deal with immigration issues, Klees suggested that the immigration process itself needs a complete overhaul. Specifically, he believes that unrealistic expectations are created for immigrants during the application process.

"People come here expecting to be able to practice their trade or profession, only to find that their credentials are of little value or the accreditation process is so lengthy and cumbersome that they give up," Klees said. "Instead of helping people become productive contributors to our communities, the system forces individuals into dependency and instability. This can, and must, be changed."

Providing accreditation programs that applicants can enroll in while still in their country of origin is just one of the proposals that Klees will be advocating on behalf of the Ontario P.C. Caucus.

"Ideas such as these will work and Mr. Klees is someone who can show the leadership to make them happen," said Hashim Ali of York Region's "My Canada, Integration and Settlement Services."



For further information:

Frank Klees, MPP

416-325-7316 (Queen's Park)

905-707-3160 ( Richmond Hill )


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Markham Economist article by Linda Johnson

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"My Canada! Integration & Settlement Services believe that Frank Klees, MPP, will take leading role in this issue which is big concern for families of immigrants here in York Region in particular and in Ontario at large." Full letter signed by Hashim Ali, Executive Director