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Skills training and immigration are key to Canada’s future prosperity

Montréal, September 25, 2019—The key to Canada’s long-term economic and social prosperity is unlocking the country’s workforce participation through strategic immigration and investments in lifelong learning, says the Canadian Global Cities Council in the Talent playbook of its Agenda for Growth campaign.

In the third playbook the CGCC calls on all campaigning parties to commit to effective talent development strategies, including encouraging more trades participation, boosting indigenous workforce participation, incentives for continued reskilling and upskilling, and expanded access to affordable childcare.

“Canada’s talent has been our competitive advantage, attracting foreign investment and fueling the creation of new companies and the growth of existing ones right here at home,” said Michel Leblanc, president and CEO, Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. “But hiding behind impressive national job growth numbers and a historically low unemployment rate, Canada’s tight labour market is under pressure by an aging workforce, declining workforce participation rate, stagnating wages, and growing skill gaps. We need to double down on strategic investment in Canadians and smart immigration policies.”


  1. To supplement our labour force as baby boomers retire and ensure businesses have access to the talent they need to grow, the next government should SUPPORT FACILITATIVE IMMIGRATION:
    • Maintain and build on the Global Skills Strategy
    • Introduce a Trusted Employer Program
    • Retain international students
    • Implement sector-specific open work permits for Temporary Foreign Workers
    • Improve credential recognition
  2. New and existing jobs will require increasingly complex skills which the current workforce may not yet possess. To ensure all Canadian workers can participate in the labour market, the next government should INVEST IN TRAINING, RESKILLING AND CHILDCARE:
    • Support employer-recognized and workplace training
    • Boost Indigenous workforce participation
    • Place a spotlight on skilled trades
    • Expand access to affordable childcare

“Canada has made its mark on the international scene for the quality of its educational network, the flexibility of its immigration system and its capacity for innovation. We need to leverage these assets to improve the training, attraction and retention of talent,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO, Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. “This is how we will build on our momentum and respond to the glaring labour needs that are affecting key sectors of the economy. We need to establish a close link between government policy and the needs of companies to stimulate investment and economic growth.”

“Our nation is in a global contest to attract the world’s best and brightest. Encouraging initiatives that skill, re-skill and support life-long learning contribute significantly to every Canadian family’s prosperity,” said Todd Letts, CEO, Brampton Board of Trade. “Ensuring Canada has policies

that match talented people with high-demand jobs is our nation’s competitive advantage.”

Founded in 2015, CGCC members represent half of Canada’s GDP and population to champion national policies to build competitive and sustainable urban economies. Last week the CGCC released its Infrastructure playbook and kicked off its campaign with a focus on Trade & Innovation.

For more details on the CGCC’s Talent recommendations click here.

About the Canadian Global Cities Council:

Founded in 2015, the Canadian Global Cities Council (CGCC) is a coalition of CEOs of eight of Canada’s largest urban Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade coast-to-coast: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Brampton, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax. Representing half of Canada’s GDP and population, the CGCC is a strong voice for national policies that build competitive and sustainable urban economies. For more information

About the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM)

With a network of over 7,500 members, the CCMM is active on two fronts: being the voice of the Montréal business community and delivering specialized services to businesses and their representatives. With its finger on the pulse of current events, it acts on issues that are decisive for the prosperity of the city’s businesses. With the support of the Acclr experts, the CCMM’s goal is to accelerate the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes, at home and around the world.




For more information:
Julie Serero
Advisor, Media Relations

514-871-4000, ext. 4042

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