Quebec is preparing to bring more foreign workers this year

immigration to canada

About immigration to Canada, in Quebec changes are being made to invite more temporary foreign workers to work in the retail, food processing sectors, restaurants and hotels.

Following talks with labor market partners, Quebec has introduced over 30 additional jobs to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program that will be eligible for streamlined processing.

Jean Boulet, the Minister of Labour and Acting Minister of Immigration, released a list of qualifying vocations for streamlined processing under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) on November 2.

Retail commerce, lodging, and food services and processing are among the targeted areas of economic activity.

The revised list of vocations is the outcome of a consultation process that took place in August as part of a new agreement between Quebec and the federal government. One of the four requirements of the agreement was to broaden the program's eligibility for streamlined processing to include lower-skilled vocations defined by Quebec. These additional qualifying vocations would be covered under the TFWP's new, more flexible rules, bringing the program closer to meeting Quebec's present economic requirements.

From the discussions on the industries and professions designated by the Quebec government for the implementation of these reforms, a strong agreement emerged, all of which are targeted towards simplifying the employment of temporary foreign workers TFW's," the minister stated in the statement in French.

In addition, Quebec has said that many other low-skilled or unskilled vocations, including as cashiers, front-counter waiters, and cleaning employees, would be excluded from the necessity to advertise. For specific areas of the economy, the planned adjustments include increasing the bar for foreign employees in a corporation from 10% to 20%.

According to the press release, the plan has been presented to the federal government, and an agreement is likely to be reached "within weeks."

The announcement has been highly anticipated by Quebec's business sector, who see it as one of the most important answers to the labor issue. Business organizations are now urging the federal government to move fast to begin their overseas recruiting process and get the talent that they so sorely need.

Despite the implementation of these reforms, some organizations are advocating for more substantial changes to the program.

In a news statement, Karl Blackburn, President and CEO of the Quebec Employers Council, stated, The adjustments announced on November 2 will substantially enhance the usage and accessibility of the TFWP, but the next step is a full assessment of this federal program to modify it to the present environment."

The labor crisis in Quebec is wreaking havoc on a variety of businesses. It existed before to the pandemic but has subsequently become worse, prompting stakeholders to stress the need of increasing immigration as part of the solution.

Quebec has been campaigning for additional flexibility under the TFWP for some months, in order to allow for the hiring of more temporary foreign workers and to make the application procedure for positions requiring low-skilled employees easier.

The process of hiring temporary foreign employees for low-paying employment may be difficult and time-consuming, which is one of the reasons for Quebec's efforts. Positions must be advertised in most cases, companies must complete a Labour Market Impact Assessment LMIA before applying for a work permit, and paperwork must be delivered to both the Quebec and Canadian governments.

In an interview with the French-language daily Le Devoir, Boulet said that this is "one of the alternatives" for addressing labor shortages. "It won't cover all of our demands, but it will enable our firms to significantly expand their workforce," he added.

The new measures would be in effect until December 2023 if they were approved by the federal government.

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