Temporary Residents Behind Growth In Quebec Workforce 

Temporary Residents Behind Growth In Quebec Workforce
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Immigration boosted the number of workers in Quebec and helped resolve labour shortages, a think-tank has said.

“We see that this labor supply has really increased significantly over the last year, almost 100,000 more people,” Emna Braham, director of the Institut du Québec (IDQ), reportedly told the French-language service of 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.

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.

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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.

Although the province was well  on its way to much-higher immigration numbers right up through to the end of the third quarter of the year, monthly immigration rates fell precipitously in October, going from 6,140 arrivals in September to only 3,785 the following month and then only 2,225 and 2,595 for each of November and December.

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.

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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.

Quebec Premier Wants All Economic Immigration To Be Francophone By 2026

“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.”

With immigration providing a growing workforce for the province and the rising interest rates slowing down economic growth in Quebec, the number of job vacancies has fallen from 211,000 to 149,000 over the course of the past year.

That’s despite a net growth of 67,000 jobs in Quebec last year.

“We are no longer at the level of post-pandemic catch-up, but we are still at a level of job creation which is close to what we experienced on the eve of the pandemic, between 2016 and 2019, at times when Quebec’s economy was going well,” noted the IDQ in a statement.

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 immigration.ca 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.