Immigration is back on the political agenda. The Minister of Immigration Christine Fréchette is currently conducting extensive consultations to determine the thresholds and the picture of immigration that we will receive in the coming years.
The one who succeeds in changing the tone of the CAQ government on immigration has heavy responsibilities: to restore the election promises and commitments of his boss, the Prime Minister, and his party to the growing immigration needs. It tries to marry ideology and pragmatism, politics and reality.
Immigration is not the solution to everything. Above all, it is a way, among others, to help respond to demographic, political and economic challenges. And this not only has advantages, it has its share of challenges that must be considered in the development of this policy.
Therefore, we are told about the “capacity to receive”, we are told that we must respect our capacity to integrate. Concretely, what does this mean? What are the criteria, the indicators? No government has bothered to create an analysis matrix to determine this integration capacity. There are elements that mean we have to accept more, others that mean we have to accept less.
Among the elements that lead us to believe that we need more immigrants, obviously there is our demographics, our lack of work, our political weight within the federation, the continuation of our French language character.
There is another side of the coin, which is the scarcity of housing, daycare places, the limited capacity to speak French and integrate, etc.
So this is not a question for or against immigration. It is not a question of drawing a number at random to determine the thresholds. This is a rigorous planning task that needs to be done. Work to de-politicize an issue that is so important to our future.