The National Assembly's Committee on Culture on planning immigration levels for the 2008-2010 period - Montréal International recommends measures for attracting and retaining foreign strategic workers

    MONTREAL, Sept. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - As part of the National Assembly's
Committee on Culture on planning immigration levels for the 2008-2010 period,
Montréal International (MI) presented a brief in which the economic
development organization recommends that governments implement measures aimed
at facilitating the attraction and retention of strategic workers in Greater
    "The presence of skilled, talented and creative workers is the primary
success factor for urban centres with knowledge-based economies, and these
workers allow a region like Greater Montréal to increase its competitiveness
and ability to attract foreign companies and investment," said Mr. Pierre
Brunet, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Montréal International. "Given
the intensified global competition and the resulting challenges in attracting
'brains,' it is imperative for our current and future prosperity that
governments adopt measures that encourage the most qualified candidates to
move, work and live here."
    MI has proposed a series of initiatives aimed at attracting and retaining
more skilled foreign workers to the Metropolitan Montréal region, where the
need for qualified labour is felt in a number of high-technology sectors,
including in Information and Communications Technology, Aerospace and Life

    - Simplify procedures
      The departments involved should work together to simplify and
      accelerate the process for obtaining a work permit.

    - Help with international recruitment
      Through its network of delegations, and working with Canadian missions
      abroad, the Government of Québec should help companies, particularly
      SMBs, identify and recruit qualified personnel from abroad.

    - Promote permanent residency
      The Ministère de l'Immigration et des Communautés culturelles (MICC)
      should step up the promotion of the advantages of permanent residency
      to temporary workers. This promotion should be accompanied by a service
      offer, particularly with regard to francization.

    - Change the selection grid
      To encourage long-term retention of temporary workers, the MICC should
      assign "validation of employment" the same weight it had in Québec's
      selection grid before the regulatory changes of October 16, 2006.

    - Simplify selection
      The MICC should simplify its selection procedures for temporary
      workers. It currently asks candidates from abroad for the same
      documents as candidates who live in the province and who have already
      provided the documents required to obtain a work permit.

    - Reach an agreement with France
      Given that immigration must also contribute to maintaining the
      francophone nature of Québec, the Québec and Canadian governments
      should initiate discussions with the French government so as to reach
      an agreement on the free movement of professionals, based on the model
      in chapter XVI of the NAFTA.

    Montréal International offers companies, institutions and international
organizations in the Montréal area specialized services to help foreign
employees become established. These services are offered in close
collaboration with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Service Canada and the
Ministère de l'Immigration et des Communautés culturelles du Québec.

    About Montréal International

    Montréal International is the result of a private-public partnership whose
mission is to contribute to the economic development of Metropolitan Montréal
and to enhance its international status. Its mandates include attracting
foreign investment, international organizations and strategic workers, as well
as supporting the development of competitive clusters in high-technology
sectors. Montréal International is financed by the private sector, the
Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, the Ville de Montréal and the
Governments of Québec and Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Céline Clément, Communications advisor,
Montréal International, (514) 987-9390,

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