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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser speaks in the House of Commons, in Ottawa, on Nov. 17.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

The federal government says that in order to address major labour shortages in health care, it will put $90-million toward projects that remove barriers preventing qualified new Canadians from working in their field.

Minister of Immigration Sean Fraser says the federal government is calling for proposals for projects that offer Canadian work experience for internationally trained health professionals or streamline the process that recognizes international medical credentials.

Fraser says these proposals are expected to come from provincial and municipal governments, non-profit organizations, unions, hospitals and other organizations.

Fraser, who took part virtually in a news conference in Charlottetown today, says there is a critical need for more health-care staff, particularly in Atlantic Canada.

The minister says immigrants make up about a quarter of all health-care professionals in Canada, but 2020 reporting from Statistics Canada shows that about 47 per cent of skilled immigrants with health education are unemployed or underemployed.

To apply for a portion of the $90-million in available funding, organizations must submit project proposals by the end of January 2023.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.