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Livre blanc of the Conseil du patronat du Québec: 18 proposals, a single objective

“It is employers and immigration candidates who bear the brunt of this system that can be described as cumbersome and inefficient, both for temporary and permanent immigration,” is a sequence of the diagnosis made by the Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ) in its new Livre blanc on immigration published on Monday, May 16, 2022. It thus highlights the difficulties created by the division of powers between Quebec and Ottawa for the management of immigration in the province. But the CPQ’s problem is not to find those responsible for an evil whose repercussions today and tomorrow limit employers’ momentum to grow and participate in the economic development of the province. To move forward and allow Quebec to welcome more better integrated immigrants more quickly, the council proposes 18 solutions according to four aspects: the requirement of French, international students, temporary workers, permanent immigration.

The CPQ proposes to lower the levels of requirement for the mastery of French, to improve the mechanism for recognizing the prior learning and skills of foreign workers, to increase the number of international students and the threshold for permanent immigration in order to reach 80,000, ideally 100,000 new permanent immigrants each year. “It seems obvious to us that we must increase immigration thresholds to guarantee Quebec’s future because our needs in education, health and any other field will only grow,” said Karl Blackburn, President of the CPQ.

The Conseil du patronat du Québec estimates that by 2026 the Quebec labour market will present 1.4 million jobs that will not be filled by young and unemployed people who are already on Quebec soil. In addition to the ever-increasing needs of the labour market, the council wants the Francophone province to maintain its demographic weight in relation to the canadian population as a whole.

The CPQ’s proposal to increase the number of newcomers to 100,000 is almost double the threshold of 50,000 currently practiced by the Legault government. And this is already a problem to be solved according to the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ). The federation requests that the government clearly define the reception capacity that makes it possible to determine the applicable thresholds and the criteria associated with them. This is a prerequisite that will help depoliticize the debate around an important issue for the survival of businesses and the development of the Quebec economy. But raising the thresholds may take time. According to an article published in the journal de Québec on May 19, the majority of Quebecers are opposed to raising the thresholds for newcomers beyond the 50,000 currently in force.  Business leaders who obviously disagree also deplore the suspension of the investor program in the province. According to them, it is a bad signal that is being sent to the world of investors that the provincial economy needs to develop further.

List of the 18 proposals contained in the Livre blanc of the Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ)

Permanent immigration

  1. In the next Multi-Year Immigration Planning (2023-2025), increase the number of immigrants admitted annually over the period to at least 80,000 people, and ideally reach 100,000 people.
  2. Identify pathways to facilitate the transition of temporary foreign workers from skill levels C and D to permanent residence through the Programme de l’expérience québécoise
  3. Extensively review the Regular Skilled Worker Program to make it more flexible for employers and candidates.
  4. Improve the mechanism for the recognition of prior learning and skills of foreign workers, in particular by taking into account the non-degree training acquired by them in companies.
  5. Reinstate investor programs (Immigrant Investor Program and stream 2 of the Entrepreneur Program).

Requirement of French

  1. Reconsider the requirement for level French to obtain the Certificat de sélection du Québec.
  2. Better adapt francization courses to the reality on the field.
  3. Give priority to adult immigrants who already know French.
  4. Develop a French test adapted to the Quebec reality.

International students

  1. Increase the number and facilitate the arrival of international students for studies and internships in our educational institutions at the college and university levels.
  2. Harmonize federal and provincial requirements for the selection and acceptance of international students.
  3. Promote inter-university exchanges of students and interns from member countries of the international Francophonie in order to facilitate the arrival of workers from these countries and to allow Québec students to gain international experience.

Temporary workers

  1. Make permanent the measure that increases to 30% the hiring limit for low-wage workers for economic sectors identified as priorities.
  2. Assess the possibility for temporary foreign workers to hold a “multi-employer” work permit in order to share recruitment costs among several employers.
  3. Rapidly expand the Trusted Employers program to reduce the administrative burden on employers who frequently use the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
  4. Eliminate the requirement to include names on Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) to give employers more flexibility in their international recruitment.
  5. Add level C and D occupations to the simplified processing.
  6. Develop better synergy between the LMIA processing centres of Employment and Social Development Canada and the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration to facilitate the processing of files, reduce paperwork and obtain a commitment on processing times.


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