The labor shortage in no way justifies an increase in the number of immigrants, hammered yesterday the Minister of the Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon.
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"I reject the equation that is often made between the shortage of labor and the increase [...] in immigration", he declared in a speech in front of some 400 business people .
A few days ago, the Conseil du patronat asked Quebec to increase the number of immigrants admitted annually to 80,000.
“It is not desirable and it will not happen,” said Mr. Fitzgibbon.
Quebec welcomed approximately 40,000 immigrants in 2019, 26,000 in 2020 and 45,000 in 2021. Before the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) came to power, approximately 50,000 people settled in the province each year.
There are enough unemployed workers in Quebec to fill the approximately 240,000 positions currently vacant, said Minister Fitzgibbon.
He mentioned the presence of "200,000 young people neither in employment nor studying", 180,000 unemployed and 80,000 workers over the age of 59, as well as 50,000 skilled workers and 19,000 foreign business people, including " the files are still dragging on at the federal level”.
"Immigration will remain important, I don't want to trivialize that, but I think that we [have enough] and that we must requalify [people already present in Quebec]", estimated Pierre Fitzgibbon.
"When we look at Quebec's future economic growth, 80% will depend on an increase in productivity and 20% on the workforce," he added.
“The available workforce [which is] already present in the territory, obviously, it does not meet current needs”, however replied the president of the CCMM, Michel Leblanc.