Family reunification | Separated families don’t care about jurisdictional disputes

We, members of the Quebec Association of Immigration Lawyers (AQAADI), would like to express our deep concern regarding the current situation of family immigration programs in Quebec. Excessive delays in these programs result in the prolonged separation of families, causing heartbreaking human consequences that we cannot ignore.

Recently, a correspondence between the federal Minister of Immigration, Marc Miller, and the Quebec Minister, Christine Fréchette, was interpreted as an affront to Quebec’s skills. However, our main concern goes beyond jurisdictional issues to focus on the fate of families awaiting reunification.

AQAADI also sent a letter to decision-makers on February 27, pleading for a concerted solution. Unfortunately, the public debate seems to be dominated by a publicized dispute over constitutional jurisdiction, eclipsing the real human issues.

Minister Marc Miller suggested granting permanent residence to holders of a Quebec selection certificate (CSQ), while respecting the quotas established by the Legault government. Nevertheless, with 43,400 Quebec families in 2024 awaiting family reunification, of which 20,500 have obtained the Quebec selection certificate, it is obvious that families will remain separated well beyond three years, a situation that Canada and the Quebec seems to accept.

We recall that families have a fundamental right to live together and that governments have an obligation to process administrative requests within reasonable time limits.

The politicization of this issue absolutely does not help this very important issue. Moreover, one of the pillars of the Immigration law aims to reunify families in Canada.

The Canada-Quebec agreement on immigration gives neither Quebec nor Canada the right to limit admissions with a maximum threshold in the family reunification category, except in the parents and grandparents category.

Behind the numbers, human beings

It is commonly understood that Quebec has the authority to set the number of immigrants it wishes to welcome. However, this assertion does not reflect the legal reality: the Canada-Quebec agreement stipulates that it is the federal government which determines the volume of immigration for the entire country, including Quebec.

Quebec’s role is limited to the selection of economic immigrants (and not family reunification) and the possibility of informing Ottawa if it wishes to welcome a number of immigrants slightly higher than its demographic share, within the limit of 5%. more, but without ever being able to accommodate less.

Thus, when the federal government opts for an increase in immigration nationally, this also applies to Quebec. In all cases, families have the fundamental right to live together within a reasonable time frame, regardless of political decisions.

It is time to stop hiding behind numbers and process files diligently to allow all Quebec and Canadian families to live together quickly.

The ability to integrate is not an issue either: these family members will come to live with their spouse, and they will have the best guides to navigate their integration, a Quebecer.

AQAADI, which brings together more than 500 lawyers specializing in immigration law in Quebec, is deeply committed to finding solutions to improve the current situation. We strongly urge the federal and provincial governments to work together to put in place concrete measures to reduce wait times and guarantee the fundamental right of families to live together.

It is essential to remember that immigration statistics are not simple numbers; they represent human beings, entire families who aspire to be reunited and build their common future on our territory.

We hope that this open letter will be an opportunity to rethink the management of family immigration programs and to place people at the heart of decisions.

What do you think ? Participate in the dialogue


Leave a Comment