The elected CAQ did not hide the intentions of his leader and his party, on the eve of the next provincial elections, scheduled for this fall.

Convinced by this possibility, Jean Boulet counts send a notice to bargain to the federal government of Justin Trudeau. His goal? Review the terms of the historic agreement, signed in 1991, between Quebec and Ottawa.

This agreement allows the Legault government to select its own immigrants in the economic category; which represents the majority of permanent residents admitted annually to Quebec, which is also the only province to hold this power.

It is important to have greater control over immigration. We need to start a dialogue with Ottawa. We must redefine the content of this agreementrepeated Jean Boulet, while deploring the current administrative delays.

The kind of shared competence generates delays, generates a certain inefficiency. […] It often irritates me this kind of duality of competence. »

A quote from Jean Boulet, Minister of Immigration of Quebec

However, unlike François Legault who recently claimed to want to recover all powers in immigration, his minister refrained from using these terms.

Recover Powers

Despite reminders from PQ MP Pascal Bérubé, Jean Boulet spoke instead of managing the program aimed at temporary foreign workers and the selection related to family reunification. Requests already made since the Coalition avenir Québec came to power.

We have to make sure we recover the maximum amount of powers that will allow us to meet our needs.he specified.

By way of justification, Minister Boulet – who also welcomed the agreements between Quebec and Ottawa on temporary foreign workers – put forward the protection of the French language.

If we want to protect the demographic weight of Quebec and the French fact, immigration is definitely an extremely important key. »

A quote from Jean Boulet, Minister of Immigration of Quebec

Francophone immigration to Francophone regions is certainly the avenue we must takehe added, while ensuring that he wanted favor the recruitment of foreign workers in French-speaking and Francotropic countries.

These actions, in his view, allow more harmonious integration even though we do not exclude people [ne parlant pas le français]. We will accompany themmaintained the Minister, referring to the francization courses that were used, last year, by nearly 37,000 immigrants.

Justin Trudeau alongside François Legault

Justin Trudeau’s government has already rejected new immigration requests from François Legault and his team.

Photo: (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Ottawa closes the door

Ottawa’s response was swift. Contacted by Radio-Canada, the office of federal minister Sean Fraser immediately rejected such a possibility.

Present in Montreal last week, alongside François Legault, Justin Trudeau had already declined this request from Quebec.

According to the federal government, Quebec has the exclusive power necessary for establish the selection criteriaas mastery of the French languageof the majority of newcomers settling in the province.

Currently, according to the selection grid (New window) used in the context of the regular skilled worker program, knowledge of written and spoken French facilitates the examination of the file, but is not an obligation for these economic class immigrants.

According to the 2022 Quebec Immigration Plan, Quebec selects 74% of permanent immigrants who settle on its territoryrecalls a spokeswoman for Minister Fraser.

Moreover, Ottawa says it is already doing its part by paying annual compensation to enable Quebec to provide settlement and integration services in the province, including French language learning.

This unique agreement is very beneficial for Quebec. We will continue to be good partners and to work with Quebec to meet the need for more French-speaking immigrants in Quebec and across Canada. »

A quote from Aidan Strickland, Spokesperson for Minister Fraser

Quebec received $650.27 million in 2020-2021 and $697 million for 2021-2022she notes.

A consultation, but after the elections

Jean Boulet refused to discuss the next immigration thresholds. In 2018, during the election campaign, CAQ leader François Legault had promised to lower these targets. A few months before the next election, Minister Boulet don’t want to make a prediction. It would be presumptuous of me to say that the thresholds will increasehe said. consultations will take place in the first months of 2023, he added.

nearly 50 000 workers waiting

Minister Boulet also took advantage of this parliamentary commission to once again criticize Ottawa’s slowness in immigration matters.

Obtaining permanent residence now takes, on average, 31 months for a skilled worker already selected by Quebec.

These deadlines are unreasonable and unacceptable. It doesn’t make senselamented Jean Boulet, saying he wanted simplify processes of immigrants.

Behind the scenes, in Ottawa, it is argued that Quebec continues to select immigrants, without significantly increasing its admission targets. This approach, it is said, does not reduce inventories.

According to Jean Boulet, 48,100 skilled workers, most of whom are already employed in Quebec, are waiting for their permanent residence. Almost a year ago, that figure was 51,000.

Minister Boulet also launched a new charge against his federal counterpart, in the case of French-speaking foreign students. As Radio-Canada explained last fall, the refusal rates for study permits targeting people of African origin have increased in recent years. Depending on the country, they can reach up to 80%.

I denounced him, indicated Jean Boulet. There are intolerable and unacceptable refusal rates. I put pressure on Ottawa. I met [Sean Fraser] and his explanations do not satisfy me.

A federal committee recently studied this subject. Recommendations should be made to the federal government in the coming weeks.



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