Quebec is experiencing a shortage of skilled and unskilled workforce in its labor market due to the pandemic and its own government’s decision to reduce immigration levels. Therefore, Quebec’s immigration minister Nadine Girault recently announced that the province would increase its immigration levels gradually as it recovers from the effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Why Is Quebec Increasing Immigration Levels?
Last year before the pandemic was widespread, the governing Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) had already implemented its plan to reduce immigration levels despite shortages in the local labor market. The pandemic only added the fuel to fire as businesses shut down and there was a shortage of healthcare workers to respond to the crisis.
Therefore, this year Quebec plans to increase its immigration levels target to 44,000 new immigrants in 2021 compared to just 25,000 new immigrants last year. Under the previous Quebec government, the annual immigration rate was 50,000 new immigrants annually.
As immigration levels gradually recover from the pandemic, Quebec is showing signs of inviting more immigrants much like the rest of the country. Around 7,035 new immigrants gained permanent residence in Quebec in the first two months of 2021, which is an increase compared to the same period last year. It is expected that Quebec will be able to invite around 42,000 new immigrants by the end of 2021.The number of immigrants being invited through the Express Entry system has increased dramatically with the federal government’s focus on encouraging the maximum number of people to transition to permanent residence while Quebec Immigration has only issued around 300 invitations from its Expression of Interest (EOI) system in 2021.