Quebec’s provincial government is a frequent user of Canada’s Global Talent Stream, a fast-track work permit temporary immigration program designed to attract in-demand tech sector workers.
Revenu Quebec – the francophone province’s tax authority – currently employs 61 workers and received approval for 83 positions, according to figures from The Logic published in the Montreal Gazette.
The government’s use of the GTS – launched in 2017 to help speed the process of bringing in high-demand workers – comes despite the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) cutting immigration during its time in power.
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The CAQ has placed a focus on bringing in French-speaking newcomers who can quickly integrate into society, but there is no French-speaking requirement under the GTS.
Figures from The Logic show Quebec – currently in the grip of a chronic labour shortage – is one of the biggest users of the GTS in Canada.
Of the 12,837 positions filled through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) stream, 4,824 of them, or 38 percent, have been in Quebec.
Out of all of Canada’s provinces, Quebec businesses have received the most GTS approvals in 10 of the 16 quarters the stream has been operational, according to figures from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
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Frequent users include IT firm CGI and video game giant Ubisoft.
The CAQ, meanwhile, has moved to increase immigration in 2022, in a sign it is listening to outcry from businesses over labour shortages.
Quebec will welcome up to 70,500 new immigrants in 2022, according to the new Immigration Levels Plan tabled in late October.
The figures, announced by Deputy Immigration Minister Jean Boulet, include 52,500 newcomers under the previously announced plan, and 18,000 intended to make up the deficit of newcomers registered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rebalancing figure is high because Quebec immigration is forecasting that it will fail to reach its 2021 immigration target.
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The economic category will continue to be the dominant one for Quebec immigration, likely contributing up to 46,600 in 2022, or 66 per cent of the total (including rebalancing). Quebec is set to welcome up to 27,800 economic immigrants in 2021.
Including the rebalancing, family reunification is slated to total 11,600 newcomers in 2022, or 16 per cent of the total, up slightly on the 11,400 expected to be welcomed in 2021.
Quebec is planning to welcome up to 9,000 refugees in 2022, when the rebalancing figures are added. This amounts to 13 per cent of the total figure, and is up from 6,300 in 2021.
In the ‘other immigrants’ category, Quebec expects to welcome 3,100 newcomers in 2022, or 4 per cent of the total. It will welcome up to 1,600 in the category in 2021.
Earlier in November, Quebec announced it is to make it easier for employers to hire overseas candidates in a slew of high-demand occupations through the TFWP.
The province has published lists of jobs it has submitted to the federal government that will qualify for:
- simplified work permit processing,
- exemptions from posting and recruitment efforts, and
- 10% to 20% increases in thresholds of TFWs per workplace.
The changes, announced by the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, are designed to help address chronic labour shortages in the French-speaking province.
A ministry press release said a strong consensus had been reach following meetings with industry stakeholders.
Important sectors covered by the new rules include retail trade, accommodation and catering as well as food processing, where the labour shortages are sharpest.