Québec solidaire hopes to fix construction sector labour shortage

Proposed program would fill nearly a third of 7,800-worker shortfall, says QS

Québec solidaire, which holds a dozen of the 125 seats in the Quebec National Assembly, is urging the Coalition Avenir Québec government to implement a pilot program that would fast-track potential immigration candidates into the province’s lagging construction sector.

“The labour shortage is slowing our construction industry,” says Québec solidaire spokesperson and leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. (Photo: Courtesy of Québec solidaire)

“We will never be able to fix the housing crisis if we don’t build more houses and living units,” says the left-wing party’s official spokesperson (and de facto leader) Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

Fast-track immigration

“The labour shortage is slowing our construction industry,” he continued. “We are proposing the creation of an express lane towards permanent immigration in order to attract more workers for the industry – persons who are already here, who speak French and who can help us to build more. It’s win-win.”

Guillaume Cliche-Rivard, the QS MNA for Montreal’s Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne riding, who is the party’s spokesperson for immigration issues, notes that similar programs have been implemented in recent years to make up for labour shortages in sectors like food production, development of artificial intelligence and nursing assistance.

“And that’s exactly what we seek to duplicate here,” he says. “Effectively, this type of program could make up for nearly a third of the 7,800 workers currently lacking in the construction industry.”

Under the QS proposal:

·         The program would grant access to a Quebec Access Certificate (CSQ), leading eventually to obtaining permanent resident status.

·         It is addressed specifically to non-permanent residents who are already living in Quebec, particularly asylum seekers, those with work permits for the construction industry, or persons with open work permits.

‘It’s win-win,’ says Nadeau-Dubois

·         Participants would have to meet certain criteria:

·         Must have been employed and on salary in the residential construction sector in Quebec for at least 12 of the 24 months preceding their application (required work experience will be cumulative and not consecutive, the reason being the seasonal nature of many of the jobs in question);

·         Must have an Apprentice Competency Certificate from the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ);

·         Must make a commitment to obtain a certificate of training for a construction skill recognized by the Government of Quebec within 24 months – in other words, an Attestation of Professional Studies or a Diploma of Professional Studies;

·         Must also have a knowledge of spoken French equivalent to level 7 on the Quebec Scale of Competencies in French.