Quebec premier rejects call to workers

Quebec Premier François Legault has rejected industry calls to allow more immigrant workers.

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Quebec Premier François Legault has rejected industry calls to allow more immigrant workers.

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Instead, he boasted that the unemployment rate in Quebec stood at 5.6 percent in October, compared to 7 percent in Ontario and 6.7 percent nationally.

At 3.8 percent, Quebec’s unemployment rate was the lowest of any census metropolitan area in the country.

“You have to admit that this is good news for [Quebec’s] 4.5 million workers because it puts upward pressure – and we have seen this over the past three years – on wages, ”he said.

“I would rather run out of manpower than jobs.

However, Quebec businesses say that there are 220,000 vacant positions and that this is the biggest obstacle to economic growth.

Food manufacturers and farmers constantly complain about the labor shortage not only in Quebec, but also in almost every community in Canada.

Manufacturers in the province say they lost $ 18 billion in revenue over the past two years because they couldn’t find enough workers to fill orders.

Last week, five of Quebec’s main business groups joined the Union des Municipalités (C) s du Qu (C) bec to demand that the Coalition Avenir Qu (C) bec de Legault government increase immigration levels to prevent the current labor shortage from worsening.

Legault, who was elected in 2018 on a signing pledge to temporarily reduce immigration levels, continues to oppose such demands. The Prime Minister last week focused on automation, skills training and digitization while outlining his government’s strategy to alleviate the labor shortage and increase productivity.

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Legault has made reducing the wealth gap between his province and Ontario – Quebec’s gross domestic product per capita remains about 13% lower – his government’s top economic priority. As a result, he insisted that bringing in more immigrants, who typically start out earning less than the average full-time salary of $ 56,000, would only make it more difficult.

“Immigration may be part of the solution, but we have to realize that at 50,000 (immigrants) per year, we have reached our capacity for integration,” said Legault. “If we want the next generations to continue speaking French, there is a limit to the number of immigrants we can accept. “

Legault is a candidate for re-election next year.

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