The Legault government took advantage of the reopening of parliament on Tuesday to begin hearing parties interested in expressing their views on immigration planning in Quebec for the period 2024-2027.
The consultation, which will last three weeks, will be used mainly to create a plan that must be revealed at the beginning of November by the Minister of Immigration, Francisization and Integration, Christine Fréchette.
Integration, francization, regionalization: there is no shortage of topics that will be discussed by the participants in this autumn’s consultation. Already, 77 briefs have been submitted to the Citizen Relations Commission.
Quebec’s receptive capacity and the debate on thresholds, however, are likely to attract a lot of media attention, as was the case in the 2022 election campaign.
Legault’s government is currently studying two scenarios, which is to welcome 50,000 immigrants per year, as has already happened, or raise this limit to 60,000, in addition to foreign students who will benefit from Quebec experience (PEQ).
Find a balance
This second target mentioned in May caused surprise, especially because the CAQ leader, François Legault, announced last year that it would be “suicidal” for Quebec to welcome more than 50,000 immigrants per year.
For us, the goal is to find a balance between protecting the French and to compensate for the lack of labor. Minister Fréchette stated when he arrived at the parliamentary committee on Tuesday morning.
It is certain that we, the leaders of the reforms in terms of economic immigration that we outlined last spring, are the French, the protection of the French. he remembered.
Our goal is to stop the decline of French, and, ideally, to increase (its) use.
Temporary immigration (temporary foreign workers, foreign students, asylum seekers, etc.) should also be the subject of many discussions, where Quebec currently hosts about 350,000 non-permanent residents , a long history.
The question is particularly about the Parti Québécois (PQ), which believes that the limit of 50,000 immigrants per year is too high. Its representative in the consultation, Pascal Bérubé, asked, like the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ), an overview of the situation.
Minister Fréchette, for his part, confirmed on Tuesday morning the information from the Press according to which the Legault government is seriously studying the idea of imposing new linguistic requirements on temporary immigrants to prevent their increasing numbers from contributing to the anglicization of Quebec.
The consultation that started Tuesday morning should end at the end of September.
Before the commission, the Union of Municipalities of Quebec (UMQ) specifically called on Tuesday morning for a national strategy for the regionalization of immigration, which would include the municipalities as well as all the ministries concerned. (Housing, Employment, etc.).
On this subject, Québec solidaire (QS), the party that forms the second opposition group in the National Assembly, has already stated that it wants to facilitate immigration for foreign workers established outside the metropolis.
The City of Montreal, for its part, asked Quebec to deploy
more efforts to ensure adequate acceptance of immigrants, regardless of immigration status. He said he wanted to
financial resources commensurate with the extent of the responsibilities actually assigned to it.
Some 21 community organizations and unions also published a press release to demand, among other things, the establishment of a regularization program for undocumented people.
The consultation will continue on Wednesday. The commissioner of the French language, Benoît Dubreuil, will present his memoir there.