Quebec’s Temporary Workforce Almost Quadrupled In Eight Years

Trudeau Refuses Quebec’s Request For Full Power Over Immigration
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Quebec think-tank has revealed in its latest report that Quebec’s temporary worker labour force roughly quadrupled in only eight years.

“The number of temporary work permits has gone from 43,770 in 2015 to 167,435 in 2023,” the Institut du Québec (IDQ) notes in its February report.

“These immigrants come to Quebec through two main programs: the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) which allows employers to bring in workers to fill a vacant position or the International Mobility Program (IMP) which provides for several ways to welcome temporary immigrants, including for example, international graduates or the spouses of students or temporary workers.”

According to the IDQ report, the three industry sectors which employ the most temporary workers are: manufacturing at 16 per cent, wholesale and retail trade at 12 per cent, and the restaurant and hospitality sector at nine per cent.

Temporary foreign workers are, however, considered to be under-represented in Quebec’s construction and healthcare and social services sectors due to difficulties with recruitment abroad.

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“In 2023, temporary foreign workers constituted three per cent of the Quebec labour force but their representation in the construction sector was a third of that, a situation which is not found in Ontario,” notes the report.

IDQ director Emna Braham has reportedly credited temporary foreign workers with boosting the number of workers in the francophone province and helping resolve labour shortages.

“We see that this labor supply has really increased significantly over the last year, almost 100,000 more people,” she reportedly told Canadian Press. “This growth has been largely attributable to temporary immigration over the past year.”

According to Statistics Canada, the province of Quebec hit a new record for temporary residents in the fourth quarter of last year with the number of these residents spiking 42.3 per cent to hit 528,034.

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A year earlier, there were only 360,936 temporary residents in that province which has under the leadership of its premier, François Legault, repeatedly stated it will hold the line on immigration.

The Quebecois premier repeatedly insisted last year that Quebec would hold the line at 50,000 new permanent residents.

The latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) shows Legault’s immigration officials seem to have made good on that election promise with 52,790 new permanent residents to the province last year.

The provincial government in Quebec sees immigration, particularly that immigration from non-French-speaking countries, as a possible threat to the long-term viability of the Quebecois culture.

Premier Sees Immigration As Possible Threat To Quebecois Culture

Legault has made it clear his government is deeply-committed to ensuring the survival of the French language and has gone so far as to put forth proposals to limit all economic immigration to the province to French-speaking immigrants by 2026.

“As premier of Quebec, my first responsibility is to defend our language and our identity,” said Legault. “During the past few years, the French language has been in decline in Quebec. Since 2018, our government has acted to protect our language, more so than any previous government since the adoption of Bill 101 under the Levesque government.

“But, if we want to turn the tide, we must do more. By 2026, our goal is to have almost entirely francophone economic immigration. We have the duty, as Québécois, to speak French, to daily pass on our culture and to be proud of it.”

Temporary workers and international students in Quebec often later seek to immigrate to Canada through either the federal Express Entry system’s Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) of the provinces.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.