The province of Quebec in Canada is struggling with an acute labour shortage. Despite that, the Quebec Govt. is planning on cutting down immigration numbers.
Simon Jolin-Barrette, Immigration Minister, announced plans on reducing immigration by 20% for 2019.
As per a survey released by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Quebec had the most labour shortage in Canada. 117,000 jobs in Quebec have been left unfilled for more than 4 months in Q3 of this year. This accounts for almost 4.1% of all the jobs in Quebec.
As per the Help Wanted report issued by CFIB, here are the job vacancy rates in Canadian provinces:
Ted Mallett, Vice-President of CFIB, said that the move is detrimental to businesses in Quebec who are finding it hard to recruit skilled workers. Every business needs skilled workers and sometimes you may need to get them from outside the country.
Quebec’s new CAQ Govt. said that slowing down immigrants will help newcomers integrate better into Quebec society.
For 2019, Quebec is looking to bring in 38,000 to 42,000 migrants. 23,000 of these migrants would be admitted through economic programs. The admission target for 2018 was 53,000 which was far higher than the immigration targets of 2019.
Opposition parties have called the move illogical given the labour shortage in the province. Quebec may also face demographic challenges in the future with a slow population growth. Quebec’s population growth is below the national average of Canada, as per the Quebec Statistical Office.
Business groups in Canada have also criticized this move of the Quebec Govt.
Faced with criticism, Pierre Fitzgibbon, Economy Minister, has said that the move is temporary. He said that immigrants are a vital part of the economy. The reduction in immigration numbers is only for a short period of time, as quoted by the Huffington Post.
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