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Politics

Quebec promises to create more jobs

WATCH: Over the last two years, unemployment has dropped in Quebec and the Liberal government is promising to create even more jobs. Yet, as Global's Raquel Fletcher reports, opposition parties say there still isn’t enough being done to fight poverty.

Quebec’s unemployment rate has been slowly and steadily dropping – about one per cent since 2014, according to Statistic Canada’s March 2017 numbers.

However, when it comes to jobs, the government explains it’s never a simple calculation.

“It’s not about numbers. We need more immigrants right now in the Quebec region,” said employment minister François Blais.

READ MORE: Immigration activists say Quebec is violating students’ rights by rejecting French proficiency certificates

Blais said if Quebec City has too few foreign workers, many new immigrants in Montreal will struggle to find work.

Unemployment among newcomers who are in Quebec for less than five years is more than double the provincial average.

Immigrants have called for the government to fight job discrimination.

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A new bill has been tabled to recognize foreign credentials more promptly, but unemployed skilled workers have different challenge to overcome.

READ MORE: Quebec to welcome 51K immigrants in 2017 with heavy focus on French workers

“They’re more willing to fight poor people than poverty itself,” said Virginie Larivière, an advocate with Québec sans pauvreté (Quebec without Poverty).

The government has proposed to cut welfare checks if people on social security don’t follow new job search requirements.

“In the fight against poverty, there was nothing in the budget, said PQ MNA Harold LeBel.

READ MORE: Number of asylum seekers continues to rise, especially in Quebec

However, the government insists it’s on the right track.

“The unemployment rate has reached an all-time low,” Blais said.