Making the Mosaic Work

Date:  Friday, January 30, 2004
Location: Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
Time:  12:00-5:30

Questions period during "Making the Mosaic Work" critically examined federal and provincial policies and practices on the accreditation of foreign trained professionals, as well as the difficulties that immigrants face in securing recognition for foreign work experience in the labour market.  The goal of the conference was to bring together university academics, community activists, and government regulators to engage in a wide-ranging discussion on one of the most pressing issues of public policy and social justice facing Toronto. 



Including links to available presentations


Time:  1:00-1:15

Room:  Bennett Lecture Hall

Speaker: Professor Sujit Choudhry, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

Panel 1: "Accreditation of Foreign-Trained Physicians: Policy Challenges and Possible Solutions"

Time:  1:15-2:30

Room:  Bennett Lecture Hall
Moderator: Soma Choudhury, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto


Panel 2: "Credential Assessment: What is To be Done?"

Time:  3:00-4:15

Room:  Bennett Lecture Hall

Moderator: Graham Mayeda, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto


  • Naomi Alboim, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University
  • Jeffrey Reitz, Dept. of Sociology, University of Toronto, R.F. Harney Professor of Ethnic, Immigration & Pluralism Studies
  • Faviola Fernandez, Policy Roundtable Mobilizing Professions and Trades (PROMPT) (click here to read Faviola Fernandez' presentation in PDF format)

Concluding Remarks

Time:  4:15-4:30

Room:  Bennett Lecture Hall

Speaker: Professor Sujit Choudhry, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto


Room:  Rowell Room

Time:  4:30-5:30

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Speaker Biographies

Naomi Alboim

Naomi Alboim is currently a fellow and adjunct professor at the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University, and is an active public policy consultant, advising the federal and provincial governments and NGO's across Canada. She is an Associate of the Maytree Foundation and in that capacity is working on issues pertaining to the integration of skilled immigrants into the Canadian labour market.

Prior to this, Naomi worked at senior levels in the federal and Ontario provincial governments for twenty-five years, including eight years as deputy minister in three different portfolios.  Her areas of responsibility have included human rights, equity, immigration, labour market training, workplace practices, culture, sports and recreation, women's, seniors', disability, and aboriginal issues, volunteerism, and community economic development.

In all subject areas, she has worked extensively in policy development and in programme design and delivery.

Soma Choudhury

Soma Choudhury is a third year law student at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. Prior to joining the law school, Soma did her graduate work in Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Guelph. She has also worked at the Hospital for Sick Children, mainly doing molecular biological research on the cystic fibrosis gene. Soma has co-authored several scientific publications both during her Masters and her work at the Hospital for Sick Children.

Soma is a strong advocate of diversity and equity issues. She is a member of the Diversity Committee at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto and is a student member on the Equity Advisory Group of the Law Society of Upper Canada. She has served on the Board of Directors of South Asian Family Support Services and has been a co-chair of the South Asian Law Students' Association (U of T).

Sujit Choudhry

Sujit Choudhry is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, a Senior Fellow of Massey College, and a Member of the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics. He holds law degrees from the University of Oxford, the University of Toronto, and the Harvard Law School, as well as an undergraduate degree in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology from McGill University. Professor Choudhry was a Rhodes Scholar, and held the William E. Taylor Memorial Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and a Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship from Harvard. Prior to joining the Faculty of Law, he served as law clerk to Chief Justice Antonio Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada. During the 1998-99 academic year, he was a Graduate Fellow at the Harvard University Centre for Ethics and the Professions, and a Visiting Researcher at the Harvard Law School. Professor Choudhry was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2001.

Professor Choudhry's principal research and teaching interests are Constitutional Law and Theory, and Health Law and Policy, although he has also written on the law's response to ethnocultural difference. His articles have appeared (or are forthcoming) in a variety of journals, including the International Journal of Constitutional Law, the Journal of Political Philosophy, the New England Journal of Medicine, Social Science and Medicine, and the Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence. He is a contributor to Canadian Constitutional Law (3rd ed., 2002). Professor Choudhry holds a Standard Research Grant from SSHRC, for a project entitled "Constitutional Theory and the Quebec Secession Reference".
Professor Choudhry was a consultant to the Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada (the Romanow Commission) and the National Advisory Committee on SARS and Public Health (the Naylor Committee), and is a member of a team of foreign constitutional experts working with the Forum of Federations and the Centre for Policy Alternatives in support of the Sri Lankan peace negotiations. He currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Board of the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario.

Faviola Fernandez

Faviola Fernandez has worked in the education field for most of her career. In the 3 years since her arrival in Canada, she has worked in part-time positions as an ESL teacher, an after-school program co-ordinator and a recreation project co-ordinator for newcomer children. She has produced a Parents Resource Handbook for newcomer parents, especially from the South Asian community. She has an honours degree in Literature and Linguistics from the University of Singapore and a Masters degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Essex, UK, specializing in discourse analysis and pragmatics. Her interests include reading, traveling and other cultures. The sharp social and economic inequities that she encountered in Canada have shocked her into a greater community involvement to address problems, especially around newcomer settlement and land-use planning issues. Faviola is active with the Policy Roundtable Mobilizing Professions and Trades (PROMPT) on issues related to the accountability of regulatory bodies.

Rocco Gerace

Dr. Gerace graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1972.  He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Emergency Medicine, and a diplomate of the American Board of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Gerace is also certified in Medical Toxicology from the American Board of Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Gerace was appointed Registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons in May 2002.  Prior to his appointment as Registrar, Dr. Gerace was an attending staff physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the London Health Sciences Centre.  He was also a consulting staff member at the Poison Information Centre at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

While in London, Dr. Gerace was a professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Emergency Medicine at the University of Western Ontario, and was a past-chair of this division.  He also held a cross-appointment in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Graham Mayeda

Graham Mayeda received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Toronto, where his research focused on twentieth-century Japanese and German Ethics.  He is currently completing the final year of his J.D. at the Faculty of Law.  He has been involved in the Ontario Role of Government Panel as a researcher and writer.  His research in this regard focused primarily on re-thinking the social, economic and governance-related aspects of Ontario's cities, and included consideration of policy relating to immigrant settlement and the challenges that immigrants face in Canada. In the area of law, Graham's research has focused on international trade policy, particularly with regards to its impact on developing countries.  He also studies comparative law, with a focus on East Asian law (China and Japan). As a recipient of the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy Student Publication Grant, Graham has been conducting research in the area of medical research ethics. He has been a member of the Faculty of Law Diversity Committee for the past two years.

Jeffrey G. Reitz

Jeffrey G. Reitz (B.Sc., Columbia 1965; Ph.D., Columbia 1972; F.R.S.C.) is Professor of Sociology, and R.F. Harney Professor and Director of Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies ( at the University of Toronto.  Professor Reitz' research has examined immigration, race and ethnic relations from a comparative perspective focussing on Canada, the United States, Britain, Australia, and Germany.  Currently he is examining how the employment of immigrant and ethnic populations is affected by the emergence of the new knowledge based economies of Canada, U.S. and Australia. 

His books include Warmth of the Welcome: The Social Causes of Economic Success for Immigrant in Different Nations and Cities (1998) and The Illusion of Difference: Realities of Ethnicity in Canada and the United States (1994).  He is editor of a new book Host Societies and the Reception of Immigrants (2003), and co-editor of Canadian Immigration Policy for the 21st Century (2003).  Recent or forthcoming articles include "Immigration and Canadian Nation Building in the Transition to the Knowledge Economy," "Immigration and Diversity in a Changing Canadian City: Social Bases of Inter-group Relations in Toronto," "Educational Expansion and Immigrant Success in the United States and Canada, 1970-1990," and "Occupational Dimensions of Immigrant Credential Assessment: Trends in Professional, Managerial, and Other Occupations, 1970 1996."  For more information, see

Uday Shankardass

Dr. Shankardass is a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Glasgow. He has 4 years of postgraduate training in internal medicine and oncology. Since returning to Canada he has worked as Health Co-ordinator and then as Executive Director of South Asian Family Support Services in Toronto. Currently he is working in medical
research at McMaster University.

Dr. Shankardass has been a member of AIPSO since 1999. He has served on the Association of International Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (AIPSO) board as Vice-President and currently, as President.

Brad Sinclair

Brad Sinclair currently serves as Executive Director of the Ontario International Medical Graduate Clearinghouse.  Brad was introduced to the world of health care in 1985 as a research officer in a social research project on the subject of physician human resource policy and planning.  Since then Brad has worked in a number of positions - virtually all focused on the intersection of health care professionals, the academic sector, the institutional sector and government.  Brad has served as Director of the Academic Health Sciences Project at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Director of the Ontario Council of Teaching Hospitals, Director of the Office of Health Sciences at the Council of Ontario Universities, Secretary to the Council of Ontario Universities, Policy Consultant in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Manager of the Ontario Physician Manpower Data Centre and a Planner in the Dean's Office, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. Brad has an undergraduate degree in English literature from the University of Toronto. 

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Links and Resources

Website of "Policy Roundtable Mobilizing Professions and Trades," which works towards improving the economic and social integration of immigrant professionals and tradespeople:   

Website of "Association of International Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario":

Website of the "Maytree Foundation," a charitable organization which, among other things, funds research and supports programs relating to refugees and immigrants in Canada:

Further reading:

Some papers relating to issues raised during the conference can be found at:

Of particular interest among the papers available through this link are:

Jeffrey G. Reitz, “Immigrant Skill Utilization in the Canadian Labour Market: Implications of Human Capital Research,"  Journal of International Migration and Integration, 2(3) 2001:347-378

Richard A. Wanner, "Diagnosing and Preventing 'Brain Waste' in Canada's Immigrant Population: A Synthesis of Comments on Reitz," Journal of International Migration and Integration, 2(3) 2001: 417-428.

Jeffrey G. Reitz, "Response and Further Discussion," Journal of International Migration and Integration, 2(3) 2001: 429-433.

Jeffrey G. Reitz, "Occupational Dimensions of Immigrant Credential Assessment: Trends in Professional, Managerial, and Other Occupations, 1970-1996," in Charles Beach, Alan Green, and Jeffrey G. Reitz (eds.) Canadian Immigration Policy for the 21st Century (Kingston, ON: John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy), forthcoming 2003.

Jeffrey G. Reitz, “Immigrant Success in the Knowledge Economy: Institutional Change and the Immigrant Experience in Canada, 1970-1995,” Journal of Social Issues, 57,3; 2001: 579-613 .

Jeffrey G. Reitz, “Immigration and Canadian Nation-Building in the Transition to a Knowledge Economy.”  In Controlling Immigration: a Global Perspective, 2nd Edition, edited by Wayne A. Cornelius, Philip L. Martin, James F. Hollifield, and Takeyuki Tsuda, Stanford CA: Stanford
University Press, forthcoming 2003.

Other papers of interest include:

Naomi Alboim and The Maytree Foundation, "Fulfilling the Promise: Integrating Immigrant Skills into the Canadian Economy" which can be found at

Naomi Alboim and The  Maytree Foundation, "For the New Government of Ontario: A Ten Point Plan" which can be found at

Andrew Brouwer, "Immigrants Need Not Apply" which can be found at