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Labour mobility: Quebec must follow Alberta’s lead

Montreal, October 26, 2021 – While many provinces, including Quebec, are facing labour shortages that are compromising their health care systems and several sectors of the economy, Alberta has introduced a bill that should allow the province to access a wider pool of employees. Miguel Ouellette, Director of Operations and Economist at the Montreal Economic Institute, had some thoughts on the matter.

“By facilitating the recognition of the skills of professionals trained outside of Alberta, like engineers and nurses, the government is giving itself additional recruitment tools. This is an excellent idea,” says Mr. Ouellette. “Last week, Ontario also decided to simplify the process for recognizing immigrants’ skills. While this might ruffle some feathers among certain professional associations and lobby groups, it’s a fair and effective measure for addressing the challenges we’re up against.”

“At the moment, too many obstacles restrict the mobility of workers in Canada. A more adaptable, more flexible labour market would allow us to better meet our needs and those of workers too,” adds the economist. “The situation is all the more distressing given that numerous provinces continue to erect barriers to trade with the other provinces. Yet an IMF working paper is unequivocal: We could increase our GDP by 3.8% just by putting an end to these protectionist measures. Alberta continues to lead the pack on this issue, and it’s high time for Quebec to follow suit.”

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The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent public policy think tank. Through its publications, media appearances, and advisory services to policy-makers, the MEI stimulates public policy debate and reforms based on sound economics and entrepreneurship.


Interview requests: Marie-Eve McNicoll, Communications Advisor, Cell. 581-777-5060, Email: memcnicoll@iedm.org

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