Montréal, March 7, 2016 ‒ The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal welcomes Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness Kathleen Weil’s announcement of the Quebec policy on immigration, participation and inclusiveness and the 2016-2021 action strategy. “Instituting a new policy was becoming essential to reflect the socioeconomic and demographic needs of Quebec and Montréal, which have evolved a great deal since the early 1990s,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “The Board of Trade supports the policy’s spirit and objectives, which aim to promote diversity and better integration of immigrants.”
A policy that aims to better exploit the potential of immigration
“The business community is pleased that this policy creates directions that do more to tap into the potential of immigration to increase the prosperity of Quebec and Montréal,” Michel Leblanc said. “The aging of the population and the rapid evolution of technology make labour one of the main issues in the development and sustainability of the city’s businesses. But labour market indicators tell us that we are underperforming when it comes to integrating immigrants to the workforce.”
Effective initiatives to ensure immigration better reflects the needs of businesses
“We would like to reiterate our support for changing the system for selecting immigrants to one based on an expression of interest,” Michel Leblanc said. “This mechanism would involve employers more and speed up processing times. It would also better align the skills of immigrants with the needs of the labour market.”
“We are pleased to see that this policy addresses a number of issues by aiming to smooth the transition from temporary to permanent worker status, to attract more immigrant entrepreneurs and investors and to put in place measures to help recognize skills and experience,” Mr. Leblanc said. “We also support the implementation of flexible francization services tailored to immigrant profiles. This is essential not only for successful integration to the workforce, but also to help with career advancement, as demonstrated by our study Les immigrants, en bonne position pour accéder à des postes stratégiques (immigrants: well positioned for strategic positions), which will be released in May.”
The city’s business community will continue its close collaboration to better integrate immigrants to the workforce
“The Board of Trade is delighted to see that this new policy uses an inclusive approach based on all of the city’s socioeconomic players working together to help integrate immigrants,” Michel Leblanc said. “We are happy to contribute to this effort, in particular through our Interconnection program, which the government held up as an example. The Board of Trade reiterates that it will offer the government its full cooperation to improve the integration of immigrants to the workforce.”
“The Board of Trade will also take part in consultations for multi-year planning for immigration to offer more specific recommendations regarding selecting and integrating immigrant workers and the level of immigration required to maintain our demographic weight and tackle economic challenges,” Michel Leblanc said.
About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the city’s prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration, and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to businesses of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.
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Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Phone: 514 871-4000, extension 4042
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