Quebec Budget: Companies Need to Invest in Technology to Address Labor Shortages

“Here, we’re working on business productivity within our budget,” explained Finance Minister Eric Girard of Quebec. (Photo: Screenshot)

Quebec budget. Entrepreneurs who wanted the CAQ’s Fourth Budget to tackle the phenomenon of labor shortages were rarely mentioned.

“We announced a $ 3.9 billion (B $) envelope during the November economic update to stimulate labor supply, done by Quebec to close the living standard gap with Ontario. Looking at the effort that must be made, 20% comes from workers and 80% comes from productivity. Here, we are working on business productivity within our budget, “Eric Kebeck said. Finance Minister Girard explained.

When Quebec’s unemployment reached 4.5% in February in full employment, the budget document suggests that “increased productivity constitutes the greatest potential for improving the standard of living of Quebec people.” I am.

The Government of Caquiste hopes that Quebec’s real gross domestic product per capita will catch up with that of Ontario by 2036. The gap should be 13.6% in 2022 and 16.4% in 2018.

The budget specifically supports learning French ($ 198.3 million), attracts immigrants to the region ($ 80.9 million), and speeds up the processing of immigrants for a total of $ 290.2 million over five years. An application ($ 11.9 million) that offers several steps to promote employment integration.

“Immigration is part of the solution. We recognize the contribution of immigrants. What I am saying is that the latest economic information reveals the actions taken to combat the labor shortage. But we’re talking about business productivity here, “added Eric Girard.

According to budget documents, in 2019, Quebec’s investment level in machinery and equipment was 26% behind Ontario per private business, a delay of 44 in technology, information and telecommunications investments. %was.

To improve this situation, according to CAQ, Quebec companies need to increase non-residential investment, strengthen their presence in the export market and improve their performance in terms of innovation and commercialization of intellectual property. .. Quebec also wants to attract new companies to market new ideas.

Recall that since 2018, the CAQ government has implemented programs such as accelerated depreciation of business investments and investment and innovation tax credits (C3i) to stimulate business productivity.

CAQ recognizes that vacant seats in Quebec are increasing due to economic dynamism, tightening of the workforce pool and an aging population. The government argues that one solution depends on the patience of the school and the better retention of immigrants.

To keep up with Ontario’s productivity, the budget calls for a 1.6% annual increase in business productivity and a 0.2% increase in the workforce pool and its employment rate by 2036.

Bandages heal fractures

“Quebec has 240,000 vacant seats, but these are jobs we don’t have. When CAQ comes to power, this is more than double. When we go around the area, it’s us. It directly attacks the capabilities of SMEs and our manufacturers to benefit from the desired economic recovery.

“There are two examples of measures that we wanted to see in our budget. The first impacts experienced workers. What the government should do is to continue working without punishment on the part of the pension system, weekly. Is to allow 65-year-olds who want to work for a few days, “adds Mark Tanguy.

According to the latter, experienced workers want to be active, which will be an extraordinary workforce for SMEs.

Liberal critics also claim that immigrants have a quarter of the solution. “Now it’s a mess at the Immigration Bureau. It’s badly controlled. Every year we cut off immigrants who are filling up a significant portion of the labor shortage,” he says.

In his opinion, the measures announced in this budget to tackle the labor shortage are equivalent to trying to heal a broken bone with a band-aid.

I need an employee now

“Manufacturers have been hit hard by labor shortages. Staff shortages alone have resulted in more than 30,000 vacant seats and $ 18 billion in economic loss,” said Quebec’s CEO of manufacturers and exporters. One Véronique Proulx says. According to her, it is clear that the measures already in place have had little impact on the manufacturing industry. “Obviously, we can’t talk about labor shortages without talking about immigrants. I wanted to see the immigration threshold go up. We talk a lot about temporary foreign workers. Next to, manufacturers are the second largest employers to welcome them. Recently, hygiene standards have been relaxed, so affordable housing is needed, “she said. 13,000 people. “I would like to welcome these people, but there are no accommodations in the area. We are talking about franchises, public transport, training for diversity and inclusion. We want to be able to integrate these people into the area. If so, it takes important steps, “she adds.

“I need an employee now.”

“Manufacturers have been hit hard by labor shortages. Staff shortages alone have resulted in more than 30,000 vacant seats and $ 18 billion in economic loss,” said CEO of Quebec manufacturers and exporters. Véronique Proulx says. According to her, it is clear that the measures already in place have had little impact on the manufacturing industry.

“Obviously, we can’t talk about labor shortages without talking about immigrants. I wanted to see the immigration threshold go up. We talk a lot about temporary foreign workers. Next to, manufacturers are the second largest employers to welcome them. Recently, hygiene standards have been relaxed, so affordable housing is needed, “she said.

Véronique Proulx points out that the Quebec City Union is demanding 13,000, while the budget offers the construction of new, affordable housing units of 3,200. We are talking about training for franchises, public transport, diversity and inclusion. If we want to be able to integrate these people into the community, it will take important steps, “she adds.

Leaders have a positive view of the amount allocated to attract foreign students to the region, emphasizing that state manufacturers are currently in need of workers.

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