Quebec has unveiled a new action plan with an aim to boost immigration to the outlying regions of the province. Quebec’s Immigration Minister Jean Boulet said in a statement that the regions offered undeniable advantages for the immigrants including welcoming, close-knit communities, jobs, a great quality of life and more.
In 2021, a total of 50280 new permanent residents settled in Quebec. In 2020, the number was only 25225. However, majority of the new immigrants prefer to settle in cities such as Montreal and Quebec. In 2021, 80.3 percent of the new immigrants to chose to settle in Montreal. The other regions in Quebec where the new immigrants settled in that year were Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Trois Rivieres and the Gatineau area. In total, 47240 of the new immigrants settled in urban areas, amounting to 93.9 per cent. Only 3040 new permanent residents settled in the rest of the province. It is in this context that the Quebec government is aiming to promote immigration to the regions of the province. Further, Quebec is planning to boost its credential recognition programs in the outlying regions with an aim to make settling and finding a job in these regions smoother. Labour shortage is severe in Quebec and companies are struggling to find suitable candidates for filling the vacancies.
Many business groups are putting pressure on the government to boost immigration. They want the government to increase immigration to Quebec by as much as 90 per cent. The Manufacturiers et Exportateurs du Québec (MEQ) manufacturing and exporting industry association, the Conseil du Patronat du Québec (CPQ) employers’ group, the Fédération des Chambres de Commerce du Québec (FCCQ) association of chambers of commerce, and the Fédération Canadienne de l’Entreprise Indépendante (FCEI) association of independent businesses are the four business groups that want to increase immigration for bringing down the severe labour shortage in Quebec.
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