Labor shortage Immigration is the solution to the problem

Labor shortage: Immigration is the solution to the problem

Immigration is the key to addressing labor shortages, stakeholders from diverse backgrounds said during a major labor shortage meeting organized by the Bloc Québécois in Alma on Monday.

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Nearly a hundred stakeholders met in four separate panels to discuss the situation.

“Information and ideas come from them. It’s brewing. We don’t pretend to know the answer before we ask the question. We come to think out loud,” said Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet.

Bloc member for Lac-Saint-Jean, Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, emerged enthusiastic from these discussions. “What I find encouraging today is that there are solutions. And that they come from the environment,” he said.

Among the results we find the severity in Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

“The number one observation for me, [c’est qu’il] There is a lot to do in Citizenship Immigration,” said Bloc Québécois MP for Jonquière, Mario Simard.

Young people also have different priorities than previous generations. “It’s not necessarily the material conditions anymore. [Ce sont] rather jobs where people can find fulfillment,” added MP Simard.

The big proposal is to shake up the immigration system, which is a headache for farmers, among others, who are short of labour.

“There are farmers who said we will be forced to let it rot in the field,” said Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe.

Other proposed solutions include tax incentives to attract retirees, tax credits for young people working in the regions, and a program to help SMEs master the Automation 4.0 transition rather than subsidizing large industries.

“In automation you have to [voir] a regional development tool and not a tool that improves the financial results of large companies,” said Mario Simard.

This solution is also recommended by its market leader. “Not long ago, automation was the devil. Today we urgently need it,” said Yves-François Blanchet.

Another idea would be to allow foreign students to work more than 20 hours a week.

“If we gave them the opportunity to work 40 hours, we would come at that time to settle a whole bunch of companies,” said Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe.

Others have suggested work pairings between tourism companies, but the flexibility of some programs is needed to make this happen.

“This flexibility and agility of the programs is a problem that has also been recognized because we cannot always do what we want,” explains Éric Larouche, owner of Hotels and RL Energies.

The stakeholders present are pleased that they were able to discuss and comment on the challenges facing the workforce.

“There was a good exchange of views, which means we leave here with something good,” said Dolbeau-Mistassini Mayor André Guy.

MRC Lac-St-Jean-Est Prefect Louis Ouellet believes that immigration should be facilitated. “There are elements at federal level that should be relaxed in order to facilitate the arrival of people on our territory,” he specified.

National Union of Aluminum Employees of Arvida (SNEAA) President Donat Pearson hopes the proposed ideas will find their way to Ottawa. “I hope that the signal from the exercise will ensure that our MPs in the region send the message to the government that they are making changes in the workplace,” he said.

The Blockfuhrer is convinced that such a mixture of ideas from the population must be taken into account. “The demand of the community must be so clear that the government does not dare to insist on the community and take the desired measures,” added Yves-François Blanchet.

The bloc confirmed that the proposals put forward at Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean are applicable across Quebec.