Montreal business group wants parties to increase immigration targets ahead of Quebec election


The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal is asking political parties in Quebec to commit to raising immigration targets if elected on October 3.

President Michel Leblanc says businesses in the greater Montreal area are struggling to find workers, forcing them to pay higher wages, leave contracts unfulfilled or reduce the quality of the services they provide .

The Chamber of Commerce on Thursday urged parties vying to form the next government to commit to raising immigration targets to at least 64,000 people a year to help fill what it said is more than 220,000 vacancies in the province.

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Quebec business groups have been calling for higher immigration targets for years, but so far the Quebec Liberal Party is the only one to commit to doing so if elected this fall.

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The ruling party, the Coalition Avenir Québec, has maintained its permanent immigration targets of between 40,000 and 50,000 for the past four years, saying it wants to ensure the province can successfully integrate newcomers and help them learn French.

Leblanc acknowledges that some parties have been reluctant to talk about increasing the number of immigrants in the past, but he says the situation has changed and the need for workers can no longer be ignored.

Quebec’s election campaign is scheduled to begin on Sunday.

© 2022 The Canadian Press


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