The Quebec region claims 15% of all immigrants in the province

The Quebec region claims 15% of all immigrants in the province

Quebec International is asking the government to ensure that 15% of new arrivals settle in the Quebec region. In recent years, only 5.9% have settled there.

“We want the area to be considered a second immigration center in Quebec, so it will be a priority for the government,” argues Marie-Josie Soinard, vice-president of the organization, which has been working for 15 years to attract foreign workers. In the capital region.

Quebec International will soon make a formal request, in a memorandum to be submitted to the National Assembly as part of consultations on immigration limits soon to be led by Minister Christine Fréchette.

Currently, permanent residents who do not choose Montreal tend to settle around the borough, especially in Laval and Monterrey.

Meanwhile, in Quebec, the immigrant population has stagnated. Between 2015 and 2020, 5.9% of immigrants to Quebec chose the National Capital Region, although this represents 8.9% of the province’s population. In the neighboring region of Chaudière-Appalach, it is even worse: only 0.5% of immigrants chose it, while it is 5% of the Quebec population.

In the Quebec region the situation improved in 2022, with the number of immigrants doubling in one year to over 5,000 people. But Quebec International believes the gap to be filled is immense.

The organization also pointed out that the National Capital Region is aging. The labor shortage is “severe,” with the unemployment rate at 2.9% by the end of 2022, the lowest among Canadian metropolitan areas.

Registration number of temporary employees

The Quebec international government wants to give priority to temporary workers and students already in its territory. ” [Ils] Already established in the region, speak French,” notes Marie-Josie Soinard. For example, the ministry could create specific call circuits for temporary workers already working in the region, all occupations combined.

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“Temporary workers are exploding,” says Quebec International vice-president. “This is unprecedented. We have never had so many temporary foreign workers and international students. »

Between 2021 and 2022, their numbers will almost triple to nearly 3,000 people in Quebec’s census metropolitan area. Quebec’s multidisciplinary center sees the symptoms every day. “Of the 2,500 people we help each year, 1,000 are easily temporary workers,” explains its director Natacha Battisti. This is more than the number of permanent residents.

The situation of temporary workers will be at the center of the debate on immigration limits in the National Assembly in the coming weeks. The government must decide whether or not to increase the number of immigrants by 60,000 per year.

The Legault government has prioritized regionalization of immigration. But the place of temporary workers in the equation remains to be clarified. One thing is certain, Minister Fréchette now wants to encourage candidates to settle outside of Montreal before they arrive.

Reflection Quebec City

Quebec City was not among the groups speaking to the parliamentary committee in September. He is in full consultation on his vision on immigration, which is due to be tabled in November.

Former Mayor Regis LaBeume often touted immigration as a city priority. Irena Florence Harris, Adviser on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, was appointed for this purpose in 2020. “We have to do something, otherwise, we’re going to hit a wall,” said Mr. Labeaume said during the speech. Montreal in 2018. “In Quebec, a great white, Judeo-Christian and French-speaking city, we need immigrants, we need to mix, or our economic future is at risk.”

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But the number of migrants received each year in the region has increased slightly since then. How can we explain this apparent failure?

Marie-Josie Soinard replied that it was difficult to counter the “natural attraction of the metropolises” everywhere. “Medium cities” elsewhere in Canada all have the same problem. However, here again, Quebec’s metropolitan area performs less well than others, as it does in all Canadian capitals. It has the lowest proportion of foreign-born (6.7%) except for St. John’s in Newfoundland (4.6%).

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