The government of Quebec has declared it will open forty (40) new immigration ministry MIDI services stations across the province to improve access for businesses and regions.
This arrangement will include the addition of about 100 new staffs and mean Quebec immigration has a presence in fifty (50) cities across the Francophone province, Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette said on Wednesday.
It will also see two (2) new MIDI services, regional directorates launched, bringing the sum figure to six.
The expansion will also see the establishment of a new role with the department, that of Regional Immigration Advisor.
New staff members will be assigned different tasks such as:
- Keeping companies abreast with the programs available for temporary or permanent immigration, and the available financial support.
- Processing and supervising business applications.
- Assisting employers and business owners use the Arrima platform’s ‘Employer Portal’.
- Helping those working to improve immigrant integration.
The expansion, which will see an investment of $8.3 million, align with Quebec’s move to spend $55 million to support businesses looking to employ temporary foreign skilled workers, with the province in the grip of chronic labour shortage.
The new funding, released by Labour Minister Jean Boulet on August 26, includes $20.9 million in support for businesses looking to hire TFWs.
A further $33.9 million is to be invested on the employment integration of immigrant workers, supporting the province’s Immigrant and Internationally Trained Employment Integration Program (IPOP) and Minority Integration Program (PRIIME).
These are the latest in a number of development made by the governing Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ).
The liberal government plans to cut immigration by Twenty (20) per cent in 2019 as it revamp the system for integrating newcomers.
Controversial CAQ changes made have resulted in the province welcoming dramatically lesser of the type of migrants most likely to get jobs and integrate quickly, according to recently released data.
Numbers of French-speaking newcomers dropped in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period of last year.
The CAQ said it plan to cut immigration and bring in more migrants with the attributes to integrate quickly into the Quebec system.
Instead, data show that migrants to Canada from Francophone countries including France, Haiti, and Tunisia are reduced significantly, with numbers dropping by Fourty-three (43) per cent, thirty-four (34) per cent and twenty-three (23) per cent respectively.
On the whole, economic immigrants to Quebec plummeted by a third in the first half of the year, with the number of skilled workers within that stream dropping by Fourty-one (41) per cent.
While the Quebec government goes about reducing immigration, Quebec businesses are calling for increases, with the province in the grip of a chronic labour shortage.
Currently, Quebec unemployment stands at a record-low 4.9 per cent, with a job availability rate of 4.1 per cent, the highest of any Canadian province. The recent federal government job vacancy stats put the number of Quebec vacancies at nearly 121,000.
The CAQ says it plans to gradually increase immigration to 52,500 by 2022, following the 2019 reduction. Business groups have called upon the government to stop the plan to reduce 2019 immigration levels, and increase Immigration numbers going forwards.