BC Should Allow Restricted License For Veterinarians To Work While Finishing Their Training, Say Indo-Canadian Veterinarians

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Vancouver, BC: JANUARY 03, 2020 — Ravi Singh at the Atlas Animal Hospital in Vancouver, BC Friday, January 3, 2020. Singh is a Indian-trained veterinarian who is going through the process of being certified in BC. (Photo by Jason Payne/ PNG) (For story by Jen Saltman) ORG XMIT: foreignvets [PNG Merlin Archive]
BC Minister Needs To Intervene To Change This Rule!

The Vancouver Sun quoted Dr. Rob Ashburner, the man who uttered the racist phrase, which was captured in the upcoming feature documentary Gone Are The Days, written and directed by filmmaker and award-winning journalist R. Paul Dhillon (editor of The LINK) and will make it’s world premiere at the Jaipur International Film Festival in Rajasthan (JIFF), India on January 20. Ironically, the film which is an indictment of institutional racism in Canada, was not allowed to be screened at two major Canadian film festivals in Toronto (TIFF) and Vancouver (VIFF), both further showing hypocrisy, more Canadian racism and espousing empty diversity.

VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Sun ran a story on the shortage of trained veterinarians in BC, quoting a man who said “gone are days when we could take a torch and do it a quicker way”, directing the racist comment towards Indo-Canadian veterinarians, who fought a more than a decade long fight against institutional racism and abuse practised by the BC Veterinary Association, which regulates the veterinarian profession in BC.

Members of the Indo-Canadian activist group Veterinarians For Justice say the Problem is that unlike all other Canadian provinces – BC doesn’t allow restricted license for Veterinarians to work while finishing their training. They are urging the BC minister in charge of the Veterinarians’ file to intervene to change this rule.

“We want this rule to be changed as it will make it easier for foreign and other veterinarians who have passed the initial exams to begin working in clinics as a hands on experience while they finish their full training,” said Dr. Hakam Bhullar, who disagrees with the so-called shortage of veterinarians in BC.

In their story, the Vancouver Sun quoted Dr. Rob Ashburner, the man who uttered the racist phrase, which was captured in the upcoming feature documentary Gone Are The Days, written and directed by filmmaker and award-winning journalist R. Paul Dhillon (editor of The LINK) and will make it’s world premiere at the Jaipur International Film Festival in Rajasthan, India on January 20. Ironically, the film which is an indictment of institutional racism in Canada, was not allowed to be screened at two major Canadian film festivals in Toronto and Vancouver, both further showing hypocrisy, more Canadian racism and espousing empty diversity, says Dhillon.

Sun quoted Ashburner as saying that he has been forced to turn a growing number patients away from his Vancouver veterinary clinic because of a lack of trained veterinarians in the province.

The Sun wrote that the reason veterinarians are so busy is rooted in a shortage of vets. The shortfall is due to a number of factors, including retirements, Ashburner told the Sun, but “in general I think the feeling among veterinarians is that we’re not training enough veterinarians.”

But Veterinarians For Justice, which was co- founded by Dr. Bhullar and his colleagues who won a landmark Human Rights legal case against the BC Veterinary Association, disputes Ashburner’s account, saying there are over 35 trained foreign veterinarians who are looking for work in BC but neither the Association or the veterinarians crying about the shortage want to help them or hire.

“First I don’t understand why the Vancouver Sun is quoting a man who has espoused racism and was part of the executive at our association who discriminated against us,” said one senior Indo-Canadian veterinarian who didn’t want his name used for fear of reprisals.

Dr. Bhullar spoke with DESIBUZZCanada about the story and agreed that there are many trained veterinarians available for work. Bhullar said the province has to grant veterinarians who have passed the basic tests the restricted license while they finish their full training. Bhullar said he’s spoke with Ashburner about the availability of well trained foreign veterinarians and that his colleague didn’t respond with any concrete feedback.

“We want to tell the Veterinary College, our fellow veterinarians and the BC government that there are many well trained and qualified foreign veterinarians in BC looking for work and while we should be training more, we need to allow restricted license as well provide work for the ones who are ready to work,” Bhullar told DESIBUZZCanada

According to the Sun story, there are nearly 1,600 veterinarians employed in the province, and it’s estimated that if demand continues to grow, B.C. will need more than 100 new vets each year to keep up.

In the meantime, BC will maintain its commitment to pay $8.4 million to support 20 students in each year of the four-year undergraduate program, a graduate program and the teaching hospital in program in Saskatchewan.

B.C. students can apply for five unassigned seats that will become available next fall under a pilot project at the college, but they would pay significantly more tuition — about $61,000 per year versus about $11,000 for a seat that is subsidized by the province, the Sun reported.

Courtesy DESIBUZZCanada