Bill 96 Quebec Explained: 9 Astonishing Ways The Bill Will Impact Tech Companies And Startups in Quebec

A new bill in Quebec that will most likely become law soon will severally restrict companies in Quebec by making it almost illegal to operate in English. Below we will have Bill 96 Quebec explained.

Imagine, you are a small startup of 5 employees and you are sitting at your desk developing that new Cloud software, but suddenly you have a bunch of OQLF (Quebec Board of the French Language) inspectors rushing into your office screaming for you to give them your cell phones, and laptops because they have received a complain that your business does not adhere to the new bill. That might soon become a harsh reality.

And no – they do NOT even need a warrant from a judge – they can just show up any time someone files an alleged offence against your company.

BILL 96 QUEBEC EXPLAINED: We have analyzed the bill and will review some of the impacts that will happen to technology companies and tech startup businesses in Quebec if the bill becomes a law (which seems very likely at this point)

BILL 96 QUEBEC EXPLAINED

BILL 96 QUEBEC EXPLAINED

No need to be a customer

You have to serve your customers in French no matter what and you will face penalties if your company has 5 or more employees. The new bill also includes a clause where it says that even your non-consumer clients (ie anyone in Quebec) can file a claim against your company for not providing information in French. So even if you are a company of 5 people and develop software – you might be liable for not communicating in French and will face penalties.

Government agencies / Legal Procedings

Additional burden is also added to the new bill when it comes to dealing with government agencies as well as going to court. You now have to provide all the documents in French , and if you do not have them in French, you have to translate them into French at your own cost. So basically going to small claims court to collect any money or enforce a rule of law – you will have to do it in French only. The new law also bans Quebec government employees from speaking English to you (even if they know how to speak it) – so you have to speak French or designate a French speaking employee to speak to the government when it comes to anything.

Agreements in French only

All agreements in French SVP. The way it is now, many companies put a clause in their contracts stating that the agreement will be in English and all parties are OK with it. After the new bill passes, that would be illegal and you will have to write your agreements only in French.

Hiring Must Be in French (with a few exceptions)

Do you speak French? The new bill will make it mandatory to hire in French and to justify to the government when you need to hire someone who does not speak French. If you need a developer and do not care what language he or she speaks – you will need to justify that to the government in French for the reason why. If you publish your job in English only and hire English speakers – and can not provide a reason for why – you might face still penalties (see below).

This new bill will definitely hurt Montreal ability to attract and retain companies and employees that work in international markets.

If Montreal wants to be on the cutting edge in special effects, in the video game industry, if we want to be part of the dynamic that attracts business headquarters that are pan-Canadian or international, we have to find a way of accepting that the language of [international] business is English

Michel Leblanc

President of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Francization Certificate

You will now be required to obtain Francization certificate when you are a company of just 25 employees and in some cases even a company of 5 people (in some industries). That means most of your documents and company correspondence have to be in French – which can be a huge headache for new startups with low budgets.

Still Penalties For Not Complying

Government will be very strict with any offenses they deem to be valid. First offence fine could be up to $20,000, second offence will be up to $40,000 and subsequence offences will be up to $90,000. So basically within a year, you can rack up a legal bill of $150,000 if you are not careful when it comes to hiring and dealing with customers, non customers, employees and government agencies in French. On top of that, if government thinks that you are continuing in your non complying ways they will charge you extra fines for each extra day you are not complying.

Social Media

Social media in French. Government still requires that all social media posts be in French even if your customer base is English.

Power Of Seizure / Search

Office québécois de la langue française will now have higher powers. They will now have power to seize and have access to electronic devices as your cell phones, computers, laptops and servers.

OQLF has enough employees to enforce this as they have just recently hired some additional employees.

Less English school for kids of temporary employees

Temporary employees who come to Quebec – will now have more difficulties to send their kids to English schools. The way it is now, you can send your kids to English schools and keep on sending them there by renewing the permission every 3 years. The new bill eliminates the renewal and the kids would have to go to French school.

Hope you have liked our BILL 96 QUEBEC EXPLAINED article and please go ahead and share. This article BILL 96 QUEBEC EXPLAINED hopefully help companies decide whether to expand to Quebec, hire additional employees in Quebec or relocate to another provinces in Canada.

Amazon Is Hiring 15,000 Workers in Canada; Hourly Rate is Starting at Up to $21.65

Amazon Canada is looking to hire 15,000 warehouse workers and to pay up to $21.65 an hour Canadian.

This is a big jump from $16 dollars they were paying just a week ago. All current workers will get a raise of between $1.60 to $2.20 an hour.

“We are growing very rapidly in the country. Our business is expanding a lot, and we want to continue to stay focused on our customers, so we obviously have needs around hiring and retaining top talent.”

Sumegha Kumar

Director of Customer fulfilment operations for Amazon Canada

Amazon Canada is currently employing around 25,000 employees across 46 warehouses in Canada. Amazon is growing rapidly in Canada. Just last year they only had 30 warehouses.

On top of amazing starting salaries – Amazon is also providing the following great benefits:

Health and Benefits

At Amazon, every full-time employee, regardless of their position, level or tenure, has access to the same benefits. Some of those benefits include:

  • Wages from $17 per hour to $21.65 per hour, with a $100 bonus for new and current employees who show proof of vaccination
  • Comprehensive health benefits starting on day one with no waiting period
  • RRSP matching
  • Stock units
  • Kids & Company special packages including a guaranteed spot at Kids & Company Child Care locations within six months of registration, a 10 per cent discount off monthly in-center tuition, waived registration fees, back-up care options and access to virtual workshops and events
  • Employee and Family Assistance Plan provided by LifeWorks and available 24/7 to help Amazon employees and their family members feel supported, by phone, online, and in-person
  • Access to up-skilling training programs that meet employees where they are, through Amazon’s commitment to invest $75M to skills-train 100,000 Amazonians by 2025
  • Additional paid parental leave benefits for eligible employees

New Vaccine Passport in Canada

Canada has announced that they will introduce a vaccine passport starting in September 2021.

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said that he is working with provinces in Canada to collect data on vaccines.

Vaccine Passport in Canada

The vaccine passport will include information whether you have received 2 doses of the vaccine, where you have received it, and on what date.

Most likely this vaccine passport will be launched around September / October 2021.

Some Twitter users were not so crazy about the idea of vaccine passport in Canada

Federal government will work with the provinces to collect the data. Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister, has discussed the vaccine passport in Canada with Premiers nationwide, and they were all supportive of this initiative. You can also download a Covid19 vaccine app from the federal government’s website.

Feds will need to get all the data from the provinces and integrate it in their federal program. Feds have also indicated that provinces could use this passport as a domestic way to proof of vaccination.

Quebec has announced that they will require vaccine identification to access businesses such as gyms and restaurants. Provinces like Alberta and Ontario were 100% against the idea.

We’ve been very clear from the beginning that we will not facilitate or accept vaccine passports.

I believe they would in principle contravene the Health Information Act and also possibly the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

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Jason Kenney

Alberta Premier

Trudeau has said that it is up to provinces to integrate their vaccine passports if they so choose. He said he is happy with Quebec proceeding with an internal vaccine passport, but he said it was up to Alberta to make their own decision. He said that different provinces will be doing different things.

300 New Technology Jobs In Calgary

Royal Bank, RBC, is adding 300 new technology jobs in Calgary by creating a new innovation hub.

Calgary Innovation Hub, is set to be operational by September 2021, and the tech jobs in Calgary they are looking to fill are already posted on their website.

New Technology Jobs in Calgary Over 3 Years

According to their website, RBC will be hiring for technology roles over the next three years in high-demand areas such as artificial intelligence, data engineering, full stack agile software delivery, site reliability engineering, machine learning, data analytics and more.

Jeff Boyd, RBC regional president for Alberta and the Territories, that they love Calgary due to their amazing post secondary education facilities, and Calgary rapid tech hub growth.

In a recent report by CBRE, Calgary jumped six spots down to 28th spot of fastest growing IT markets.

technology jobs in calgary
Calgary is moving up – fastest growth IT sector

Calgary tech work force has also added 18% IT workers and now is closer to 50,000 with an average salary of around $96,000.

This news comes among many other IT companies opening big hubs and hiring for technology jobs in Calgary.

What the next four months looking for the Job market

The Job market is hardly ever stable, but the last year or two have been particularly rocky waters for everyone around the globe. This turbulence was, of course, caused by the infamous COVID-19 virus and the subsequent lockdowns. 

But before we could fully adjust to the work-from-home lifestyle and collect ourselves, our boat is once again about to be rocked. The tidal wave that awaits us now is the long-anticipated “return to the normal”. As governments press down full force on the pedal of vaccination programs and funnel money through stimulus checks, job-seekers and job-holders should expect major changes to the ordinary way of things. “The Great return to normal” might be a misleading term. More accurately, we are rushing towards the shores of a new normal. Buckle up for some of the major differences in these new lands. 

Job-seekers have new demands.

It took us a global pandemic to start washing our hands and using sanitisers. But health and safety reminders also extend to the workplace. As workers were forced into their homes, laid off, or cornered into relying on unemployment benefits, they were reminded of the importance of features that helped them in these times. Going forward, job-seekers are particularly interested in knowing what premiums companies are willing to offer them. The threat of new variants or a new virus altogether has brought a shift in priorities. 

People aren’t on the same page.

As vaccination programs are backed throughout the country, there are still many different perceptions that people have of the virus. Some are confident in returning to the workplace without a mask because they are fully vaccinated, while others still want to stay put. Employees are liking the comfort of working from home while employers keep jumping between fully remote, hybrid, and back-to-normal models. 

Summer Slumber 

Job market analysis shows that every year, in the summertime, there is a drop in new the number of new people entering the market. This summer slump is simply because hiring managers and other parts of the process like IT recruiters and documenters are on summer leave. This year is no good news for anyone looking for a job. The slump is predicted to get worse in the next four months as the aviation industry opens up and people book long summer travel vacation plans. 

The new job market 

The pandemic had an interesting effect on the view of job applicants and employers: Applicants have stayed in too long and are pumped to bank good job offers, but employers, on the other hand, have become less receptive to making good offers. This leads to clunky interviews and decisions where the difference in mindset is leading to a stalemate. The consensus decisions and thirst for unrealistic expectations from applicants have further fueled the problem. 

We stand knee-deep in some treacherous waters. The best way to navigate through them right now is to stay put with whatever job you have, but be alert of your surroundings. Get in touch with recruiters to be the first to know of a perfect job offer, and you’ll not only survive but thrive!

U.S. Lawmakers set envious glances as talented immigrants move North to Canada

Immigrants who made their way to the United States to hone their rare crafts and make a living off of the skills they have to offer now see a brighter light from the North. As Canada makes its immigration policies more warm and welcoming, it sees an influx of skilled labour. 

It makes sense why an immigrant would wander off North. The U.S. has milked its American dream narrative for quite a while, but it’s becoming hard for immigrants to buy that as they struggle with the cold and complex immigration system. Many businesses that can see this talent slipping out of their hands pin the blame on politicians and their partisan policies. 

It was a group of lawmakers who brought attention to this issue when they held a congressional hearing titled “Oh, Canada! How Outdated U.S. Immigration Policies Push Top Talent to Other Countries.” Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democratic lawmaker from California, also complained that Canadian cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Edmonton had surpassed her area in terms of tech employment growth.

Cause of Stalemate 

As fingers are pointed in the U.S. Congress, let’s take a step back and see why this problem continues to remain unresolved. 

For a plan to transform into reality, it must pass through both chambers of congress. To do that, a supermajority needs to be gathered. That’s the root of the conflict. On the one hand, Democrats want to shift priorities to offering past migrants citizenship. On the other hand, Republicans are expected by their voter base to clamp down on migration and block up the borders down south. 

Why the Canada way?

There is a critique of both the democratic narrative of offering citizenship and the Canadian methods. Republican Tom McClintock shares some interesting points here. 

He critiques democrats for favouring big corporations with this narrative and argues that it’s really the big corporations who want cheaper skilled labour. As for Canada, he shifts attention to the numbers game. McClintock argues that the U.S. was faring much better than Canada before the pandemic. Specifically, he draws attention to unemployment rates, worker salaries, and economic growth. 

The Witness Vision

At the said hearing, we got more perspective on the matter as witnesses were called to share their perspectives.

From figures showing how numbers of Indian students were surging in Canada while falling in America to statements undermining the U.S. immigration policies in comparison to Canadian policies, there was overall a sense of urgency and alarm.

Montreal reclaims reigns to economic success after Covid-19 as investments pool in

As the world steps out of its shell following waves of vaccination, Montreal is not taking a breather before getting back to work. Canada’s second-largest city saw a staggering $1.86 billion dollars in foreign investments in the first half of 2021. 

This investment boom can be attributed to many things and has far-reaching implications for the city’s job market. First of all, it’s essential to acknowledge that the pandemic didn’t create a miraculous fix to attract investments. It was quite the opposite. The lockdowns following the spread of the virus stopped Montreal’s economic boom in its path. So the developments taking place right now were due a hot second ago. 

One of the reasons can be traced to Quebec’s decision to seek out American investments. One notable achievement of this pursuit was when Microsoft decided to buy the Canadian tech startup, Maluuba back in 2017. That being said, the pandemic did have a role to play in boosting media, IT, and cybersecurity-based firms because more people started valuing these things as they shifted online. 

Montreal is making the most out of this opportunity as it snowballs on its success. Great things are coming their way. 

Companies in the city launched 40 new projects while creating 6,300 new jobs. France’s L’Oreal, a leading name in the global cosmetic industry, also launched a project in the city’s Saint-Laurent borough. The project involves an expansion in distribution centers, adding 20,000 storage capacity pallets. 

All this is excellent news for the people of Montreal who didn’t have smooth sailing through the pandemic. Being a central hub in the country and housing 8.6 million of its residents, the city was shaken more strongly by the virus than others in North America. Death and disease were no strangers to the people, forcing everyone to strict lockdowns. 

With doubling down efforts on vaccination, the city is currently in its transition from lockdowns to a new normal. A testament to the people’s strength, the city has shown an increase in employment compared to before the pandemic.

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