Labour shortage in Quebec : the Quebec government proposes solutions for temporary foreign workers
Recently, the Government of Quebec and the Government of Canada announced changes to the work permit policies to address the labour shortage in Quebec, more specifically the temporary foreign worker program. A whole process is being put in place to implement these changes. Selin Deravedishyan Adam, co-founder of PHOENIX-GMI, explains everything in the video below. Take these few minutes to understand!
The text has been transcribed in english but the ideo is in french.
Transcript of the video content: The Quebec government’s response to the labor shortage:
My name is Selin Deravedisyan-Adam and I am the Immigration Manager at PHOENIX International Mobility Management, PHOENIX-GMI.
I would like to welcome you to our newsletter regarding recent changes in work permit policies, more specifically the temporary foreign worker program.
When I say recent changes, we are actually still in the process of the changes that are coming in the next few weeks to answer labour shortage in Quebec. Let’s hope it’s even shorter in the days to come!
To summarize the situation a little bit, here is what is happening: in August 2021, we received information from the Ministère de l’Immigration de la Francisation et de l’Intégration and the Ministère du Travail, announced specifically by Mr. Boulet, that the temporary foreign worker program was going to be able to integrate unskilled or low-skilled positions within the framework of simplified processing.
There were questions concerning the increase of the famous quota, that is to say the limitation of the 10% of the personnel that could be assigned in the category of low-skilled workers and to increase this figure to 20% as well as questions concerning the posting.
There were also questions concerning the issuance of work permits on the basis of EIMT exemption for people who were CSQ holders but who also fit into the selection of very specific programs.
To make a long story short; today we’re going to talk about the latest announcement that took place regarding the famous list of occupations that fall under the streamlined processing list.
We had some good news but also some news that could have been better, let’s say it!
We will indeed see that the lists issued by the Ministry are of some interest in the matter of labour shortage.
If I take the famous “appendix 1”, it is the list of C-level occupations added to the list of occupations eligible for simplified treatment. We see in it that there are some really good job categories, such as integrated NOC jobs that will allow employers to recruit, for example, truck drivers, bus drivers.
This also applies to all clerical and warehouse positions. We also see many operator positions, silviculture workers for example. I will pass on the list to you and I really invite you to consult it!
Why am I telling you about this list and what impact will it have on your job offers?
As you know, we are experiencing a labour shortage in Quebec, which is a real crisis. It is not even a labour shortage, it is really a crisis. We are in solution mode and Emploi Québec has been, more than necessary, sensitive to the issue in addition to the regions have a huge role to play on what is happening now.
We are talking about Quebec, we are talking about labor shortage and this list with these occupations that have been integrated into the list of simplified treatment will be able to serve and facilitate the immigration process of temporary foreign workers who will be able to integrate these famous positions.
So what’s the advantage of simplified processing?
Based on the functionality of the streamlined processing that is used for shortage occupations in specialized categories so O, A and B, we can identify that the first thing is that we don’t have to demonstrate posting efforts.
So some people talk about posting waivers but I wouldn’t say waivers because the recruitment efforts still have to exist except we don’t have to demonstrate them. That’s what saves an incredible amount of time compared to filing. On the other hand, the question of salary: if the salary is below $23.08 which is, as of today, the median salary in Quebec, these positions can be treated in the high salary stream.
Another element that is very important is that normally we can obtain work permits for two years, so the EIMTs will be validated for two years and here, we can ask for up to three years from the moment the employer is able to justify the reason why he needs the worker for three years.
We know very well that there is a labour shortage and that it will affect all sectors for the next 10 or 15 years, but we must still respect the rules regarding the functionality of the program.
So jobs in shortage, yes, we have them and here is a first solution that will make things easier for you!
However, I would like to remind you that for category C occupations, which are part of the simplified processing list, the Ministry has made it clear that the employer’s obligations regarding travel and insurance issues must still be taken care of and covered by the employer. Your responsibilities remain the same!
Next, I would like to talk to you about the famous 10% to 20% component
Like you, I was expecting, rubbing my hands together, it’s extraordinary, we are going to have an increase of 10% to 20% of the famous quota in relation to the number of people that can be recruited abroad in the low wage component. I remind you that there was a quota of 10% of the workforce per workplace of people who could be recruited in the low wage component, across Canada.
What happens in Quebec is that we have a committee that met, that worked and that established sectors of activity where this quota could be increased from 10 to 20%. How does that work?
Personally, I can tell you that I am a little disappointed because I expected that this quota could be used across all professions and all sectors of activity to help remedy the labor shortage in Quebec. But the sectors that have been affected, there are 9 of them and they are not the least, because they are sectors as much of retail trade, accommodation-restaurant, food manufacturing, company management, health care, forestry, metal products but also manufacturing as well as plastic and rubber products and finally, everything that is wood products.
The only problem I have with this is that unfortunately the quota was only applied to specific NOC’s which are Category D positions.
To summarize, when you have a low wage position, it can be any NOC so it can be a skilled or unskilled position. If, for example, you need X number of operators and they don’t fit into the first list of simplified processing and the wages are below $23.08, you will still be at your 10% quota if the NOC is not on the famous list. And there are really very few of them, there are about ten or so since often the industries pick up the same NOC.
Then, we also have a list that has been drawn up in relation to these same NOCs where there is no need to post. You still have to do your recruitment efforts but you do not have to file the proof of posting at the same time as required by Service Canada.
To conclude this good news action, you should know that we will kill two birds with one stone, the Government of Quebec, you and we who work as intermediaries to prepare work permit application files that are as compliant as possible with the requirements of the various departments.
The good news is that in the simplified processing, as you will recall, in the first list, every February 24, this list is reviewed.
Unfortunately, on February 24, 2021, the list was reviewed and they removed all the occupations that affected the hotel industry, for example, the restaurant industry, the mining industry and others.
It’s been fixed: they have reintroduced the professions that had been deleted, so if you are currently applying for an LMIA for cooks, bakers, administrative assistants and others, well, most likely, very quickly, within a few days or even a week or two, I hope, the authorization will be given so that we can submit the files. You will know what to do about it and if you don’t know what to do, contact us!
Don’t forget that we specialize in immigration services in Quebec and specifically for work permits.
Thank you for your presence, for listening and I wish you the best and most beautiful jobs you can have in Quebec: permanent jobs with patience; things come slowly.
The entire PHOENIX-GMI team is at your side.
We hope to see you soon!