Quebec is experiencing an unprecedented workforce shortage. Today there are over 270,000 positions to be filled; in fact, there are now more open positions than there are unemployed people to fill them. The consequences of this situation are dire, local businesses are forced to refuse contracts, which slows their development potential, and it is becoming more and more difficult for the State to offer quality services throughout the territory, especially in the health care and education sectors.
Over the past four years, we have witnessed the CAQ decrease immigration thresholds despite Quebec’s workforce shortage, depriving the province of some 31,000 immigrants. This decision hurts our economy and our public services.
To address the labour shortage which is becoming increasingly untenable for Quebec, we have already proposed strong measures to encourage experienced workers to remain on the workforce, but that will not suffice. We need to do more to support businesses and public services. In 2022, Quebec will welcome 70,000 immigrants. The QLP is proposing to maintain that volume for next year while we establish agreements with each of the regions. We believe that our regions are in the best positions to target their own needs for foreign workers in accordance with their capacity for resettlement.
In order to encourage immigrants to settle in all of the regions, it is of the utmost importance to create all the necessary conditions for their successful integration. On the one hand, Quebec expects immigration to contribute to the vitality of the French language, on their other hand immigrants’ ability to contribute to economic prosperity requires a mastery of the French language.
Therefore, to ensure successful integration, we will increase investments in francization, including through the development of francization initiatives in the workplace. Furthermore, we will evaluate the possibility of modulating linguistic requirements to accelerate the process of obtaining a CSQ when the region in which the immigration candidate intends to settle is outside of the metropolitan area, while still providing them with a personalized francization offer.
Any party that refuses to acknowledge that immigration is a solution to our workforce shortages is simply disqualified on economic grounds and will never be able to solve this issue. Our public services are suffering. Our businesses are suffering, but François Legault thinks the labour shortage is good news. He needs to stop scaring Quebecers. Foreign workers are not a threat to Quebec, they are an asset. We need to trust our regions to determine their needs in terms of foreign workers, after all they are the ones that know their realities best.
– Dominique Anglade, Leader of the Quebec Liberal Party