CILA congratulates IRCC and ESDC for launching a pilot project facilitating the recruitment of foreign workers for Quebec employers


CILA welcomes the concerted efforts between Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Ministry of Immigration, Francization, and Integration (MIFI) to launch a new pilot project facilitating the hiring of foreign workers under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) for employers located in Quebec.

The implementation of these new measures will allow employers in Quebec to benefit from more flexibility for the recruitment of workers occupying low-wage positions or positions requiring little or no qualifications.

This pilot project has two components: (1) a new cap of 20% on the number of foreign workers in low-wage positions for certain types of industries and (2) an exemption from the advertising and recruitment requirements for certain National Occupational Classification (NOC) D occupations.

As of January 10, 2022, the cap on the number of foreign workers in low-wage positions in Quebec went up from 10% to 20% for the following industries:

  • NAICS 113 and 1153 – Forestry and logging
  • NAICS 311 and 312 – Food, beverage and tobacco product manufacturing
  • NAICS 321 – Wood products manufacturing
  • NAICS 326 – Plastics and rubber products manufacturing
  • NAICS 332 – Fabricated metal product manufacturing
  • NAICS 44 and 45 – Retail trade excluding food
  • NAICS 55 and 56 – Management of companies and enterprises, and administrative and support services and others
  • NAICS 621, 622 and 623 – Health care; and
  • NAICS 72 – Accommodation and food services


Employers in Quebec are also exempt since December 6, 2021 from the advertising and recruitment requirements when the position offered corresponds to one of the following NOC D occupations:

  • 6611 – Cashiers
  • 6622 – Store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers
  • 6711 – Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations
  • 6731 – Light duty cleaners
  • 6732 – Specialized cleaners
  • 6733 – Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
  • 8612 – Landscaping and grounds maintenance labourers
  • 8616 – Logging and forestry labourers
  • 9612 – Labourers in metal fabrication
  • 9614 – Labourers in wood, pulp and paper processing
  • 9615 – Labourers in rubber and plastic products manufacturing
  • 9617 – Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing
  • 9618 – Labourers in fish and seafood processing


These initiatives are welcome in a context where employers must find solutions to address the current labour shortages. An advertising and recruitment exemption and an increased access to foreign workers in low-wage positions are certainly measures that will help remedy this situation.

However, CILA would like to point out that the labor shortage is not limited to Quebec and that employers located in other Canadian provinces face the same recruitment difficulties. IRCC and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) should therefore allow all Canadian employers to benefit from greater and more flexible access to the TFWP.

CILA therefore suggests that IRCC and ESDC put in place an equivalent pilot project for employers in other Canadian provinces, as it is in no way justified that the above-mentioned measures only benefit Quebec employers.

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