Montreal business group want parties to boost immigration targets as Quebec election looms | Globalnews.ca

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The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal is calling on Quebec’s political parties to commit to raising immigration targets if they’re elected on Oct. 3.

President Michel Leblanc says businesses across the greater Montreal area are struggling to find workers, which forces them to pay higher salaries, leave contracts unfulfilled or lower the quality of the services they provide.

The chamber of commerce Thursday urged the 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 was more than 220,000 vacant jobs across the province.

READ MORE: Far more women than men not running again in Quebec’s fall election

Quebec business groups have been calling for years for higher immigration targets, 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 governing Coalition Avenir Quebec party has kept its permanent immigration targets at between 40,000 and 50,000 over the past four years, saying it wants to make sure the province can properly integrate newcomers and help them learn French.

Leblanc acknowledges some parties have been reluctant to talk about raising immigration numbers 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 Sunday.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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