Government of Canada announces an agreement with the Government of Quebec to introduce a pilot project under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
August 6, 2021 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
As we continue our pandemic recovery, businesses are once again reopening their doors to Canadians. Already, we are seeing the economy returning to its pre-pandemic levels, and employers on their path to recovery are hiring in increasing numbers. For several years, Quebec has been experiencing workforce recruitment challenges, and even though the pandemic had a significant impact on unemployment in the province, worker shortages remain a problem.
That is why, today, the Government of Canada is announcing an agreement with the Government of Quebec that will allow for the introduction of new flexibilities for Quebec employers under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. This new initiative, which is a collaborative effort between the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec and Quebec labour market partners, will allow Quebec employers to benefit from the following measures:
- an increase of 10% to 20% in the maximum number of temporary foreign workers in low-wage positions and employed in certain economic sectors designated by Quebec following a consultation with labour market partners;
- an exemption from existing advertising and recruitment requirements for a larger number of occupations, designated by Quebec; and
- an exemption from the current policy on the refusal to process a Labour Market Impact Assessment application in certain geographic regions designated by Quebec following a consultation with labour market partners.
These flexibilities will be part of a pilot project that will run until December 31, 2023. At the pilot’s conclusion, the Government of Canada will evaluate these measures to help inform its future decisions.
The agreement will also see the implementation by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada of new measures under the International Mobility Program that would allow for an additional 7,000 work permits to be issued annually to holders of a Certificat de sélection du Québec. This will allow the Government of Quebec to give more new immigrants opportunities to contribute and to establish themselves, helping alleviate the workforce shortage.
“The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of balancing the labour needs of Quebec employers while ensuring that the economy works for Canadians. Implementing and exploring flexibilities in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program will help to ensure that we can continue on the road to economic recovery.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
“Quebec is a unique province, with an immigration context that is also unique. The new agreement on the International Mobility Program Plus will contribute to meeting the workforce needs of Quebec, all while permitting newcomers to establish themselves and prosper in La Belle Province. We will continue to collaborate to bring in the workers that Quebec needs to support its economic recovery.”
– Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marco Mendicino
In June 2021, Quebec’s unemployment rate was 6.3%, the lowest in Canada for this period. In February 2020, the unemployment rate in Quebec was 4.5%, the lowest rate in the province since comparable data became available in 1976.
A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker. It must first be determined if an LMIA is needed or if the position is LMIA-exempt before applying for a work permit in cases where an employer is seeking to hire a temporary foreign worker. A work permit allows a foreign worker to legally work in Canada. As per the Refusal to Process policy, there are certain conditions that may justify why the Government of Canada cannot process a Labour Market Impact Assessment application.
The Government of Canada recently proposed new regulations to improve protection of temporary foreign workers. The proposed regulations were pre-published on July 10, 2021 in the Canada Gazette, Part I.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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