work | Business associations want higher immigration limits

With the election campaign looming and the difficulties in hiring workers continuing, employers’ associations are once again urging the Legault’s government to raise immigration thresholds and make work more attractive, financially, to people aged 60 and over.

Posted yesterday at 6:33 PM.

Leah Levesque
Canadian Press

Four employers’ associations — the Conseil du patronat du Québec, the Fédération des chambres de Commerce du Québec, and the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, Manufacturers and Exporters — met with representatives of political parties in Quebec on Thursday to inform them of their concerns about the problem of labor shortages. Then they met with the press to express their complaints.

“The main problem is that the pool of workers is not big enough,” said Veronique Proulx of manufacturers and exporters.

She criticized the government, saying “manufacturers feel left to themselves” with their own staffing problems.

She notes that manufacturers also employ a large number of temporary foreign workers, not just the agricultural sector.

For Carl Blackburn, of the Conseil du patronat du Québec, it is clear that the solution to the employment problem lies in raising immigration thresholds. evokes a threshold of 80,000; Mme Proulx even talks about 90,000.

“It’s not a whim for employers,” Blackburn says, dismissing criticism from observers who say employers only want low-paid labor.

He says there will be 1.4 million retirements by 2026 and that a way must be found to fill them. “It has nothing to do with the (COVID-19) pandemic. It has to do with our demographic curve,” Mr. Blackburn says.

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But immigration thresholds are not the only solution to labor problems. And they pleaded that we must also find a way to make the business more attractive, in tax terms, to people over the age of 60.

Even if these workers only worked one or two days a week, it might help, said Charles Milliard of the Federation of Quebec Chambers of Commerce.

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