Quebec is gearing up for economic recovery with a significant increase in spending for immigration. This was revealed in the province’s new budget.
On March 25, 2021, Eric Girard, Quebec’s Finance Minister, tabled the provisional budget for 2021-2022. The budget provided an added amount of $246 million over the next 3 years. This is to help MIFI improve its efforts to recognize the skills of immigrants better. The aim is also to encourage regional immigration on the basis of labor market needs.
This fund allocated in the budget will also enable the administration to enhance its support for new immigrants taking the French language courses. It will also help improve the activities to attract and retain international students.
With new immigrants drawn in and retained into Quebec’s communities, businesses in the province will find a huge benefit. They will get more qualified foreign workers willing to work in Canada in the Quebec region. This will solve the issue of labor shortage in many sectors of the province’s economy.
The government of Quebec is making an action plan. This will be to improve and speed up the process of recognizing the skills of individuals who are foreign-trained. This inter-departmental action plan will help in integrating these foreign workers faster into Quebec’s labor market. This can be achieved by enabling them to hold a job that aligns with their skills.
$130 million of the total funding is slated to be spent over 2 years for the promotions of recognition of the skills of immigrants by:
- identifying fields of employment and jobs to be put under priority as per the needs of the labor market and territories conducting recruitments
- increasing availability, training, retraining, upgrading, and internships for TFWs in regulated jobs
- giving financial support to immigrants along with recognizing their skills. This includes tuition fees exemption for professionals trained in foreign countries. They must take refresher training so that they can meet the requirements of the professional orders of Quebec
- Providing support as well as assistance for professional orders to speed up the skills recognition process
Learning the preferences of a majority of immigrants, Quebec has recently devised certain policies. They encourage a geographic distribution of immigrants that is more diverse.
Quebec expresses its commitment to regionalize immigration when it comes to labor requirements via the new budget. The province has allocated $57 million over 2 years to work on this intention and plan.
Quebec is also going ahead with the francization and integration of new immigrants. For this, $50 million has been allocated over the next 2 years. The amount will be dedicated to increasing educational resources. It will also provide better financial assistance with the aim to support immigrants enrolling in French language classes.
The Quebec government is also providing over $9 million over 3 years to help attract and retain foreign students.
In 2021, Quebec intends to welcome 27,500 to 29,300 new immigrants via its immigration programs. Of this, up to 24,200 will be skilled workers. 4,300 new immigrants will be taken in via the province’s business immigration programs. This includes the Self-Employed program and the Quebec Entrepreneur program.
A maximum of another 800 admissions is planned in “other economic categories”. The province also plans to rope in 10,200 new Canada PR visa holders via refugees, family sponsorship, and other Canada immigration programs.
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MIFI – MIFI – Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration
PR – Permanent Residence