The Quebec Government commits $246 million to help in the recruitment and integration of immigrants. Quebec’s new budget introduces an essential increase in immigration spending to encourage economic recovery.
Eric Girard, Quebec Finance Minister, delayed the 2021-2022 provincial budget on March 25. The recent budget contributes an additional $246 million over the next three years to help the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) increase its efforts to better identify the skills of immigrants and encourage regional immigration based on labor market needs.
The aim is to increase its immigration levels to deal with the province’s labor shortage.
According to a press release issued by MIFI, the government will able to enhance support for new immigrants and promote the attraction and retention of international students with the funding by taking French language courses.
Nadine Girault, Quebec’s Immigration Minister, said in the French media release that the budget illustrates the significance of immigration in government priorities.
Funds to promote the recognition of immigrants skills
The Quebec government is implementing an interdepartmental action plan to improve and expedite the recognition of foreign-trained individuals’ skills, allowing them to quickly integrate into the Quebec labor market by holding a job that matches their skills.
$130 million out of the total additional funding will be spent over two years to promote the recognition of Immigrant skills. It will be done by :
- classifying employment fields and occupations to prioritize labor market and recruitment territory needs;
- providing financial assistance to immigrants in the process of having their skills recognized, such as tuition waivers for foreign-trained experts who need to take refresher training to meet the requirements of Quebec’s professional orders;
- providing assistance and support to professional orders to promote skill recognition.
Regionalize immigration in the face of labor shortages
Current Quebec’s Immigration policy has aimed to encourage a more diverse geographic distribution of immigrants as most immigrants tend to settle in large metropolitan areas.
Quebec’s new budget demonstrates the province’s commitment to regionalizing immigration in the face of labor shortages:
Over the next two years, $57 million will be made available to carry out initiatives to increase the proportion of immigrants who settle in areas with labor shortages and to pursue immigrant integration efforts.
Quebec government switches approach on immigration
The current Quebec government, the Coalition Avenir Québec, has been in power since 2018, and this is its third budget.
The Coalition Avenir Québec’s promise to reduce immigration during the fall provincial election was criticized as a populist move that ignored the reality of mounting labor shortages in Quebec’s outlying regions.
Recognizing that immigration is a solution to problems such as an aging population and labor shortages, the party has since shifted its approach.
For the next three years, the Quebec government will invest more than $9 million to help attract and retain international students.
The government has finally realized the importance of assisting international students in contributing to the development of the province’s information networks and economic growth.
This year, Quebec has set a total admissions target of 27,500 to 29,300 new immigrants through its economic immigration programs, including 19,500 skilled workers.
The province has set a target of 4,300 people for its business immigration programs, which include the Quebec Entrepreneur Program and the Self-Employed Program.
Also, a target of 800 admissions is set for other economic categories such as caregivers and others.
The remaining 10,200 new permanent residents will be admitted through family sponsorship, refugee, and other immigration programs.