(Quebec) The opposition in the National Assembly questioned the Legault government’s consultation on immigration on Tuesday, while more than 300,000 temporary immigrants are excluded from the calculation.
The Minister of Immigration, Christine Fréchette, presented two scenarios: maintain the thresholds at 50,000 permanent immigrants per year, or gradually increase them to 60,000 by 2027.
“What we are asking is to have a real discussion on the total number (of immigrants) that Quebec welcomes each year,” Liberal MP Monsef Derraji was indignant in the press scrum.
“What is the point of this commission if we are not going to talk about people who are already in the territory, who are exerting enormous pressure on state services? » he asked.
If the second option is chosen, the thresholds could even exceed 60,000, because graduates from the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) would not be counted.
There would also be no cap for this category.
In the press scrum, Mme Fréchette explained that his goal was to “compensate with the labor shortage” while protecting French.
On this subject, she indicated that she was considering requiring better knowledge of French for temporary immigration.
However, according to the spokesperson for Québec solidaire (QS) on immigration, Guillaume Cliche-Rivard, the document submitted by the minister to the consultation contains “huge gaps”.
For example, it does not include the “backlog” of applications for family reunification (30,000 people), nor the number of temporary immigrants who could apply for permanent residence.
“If we don’t have an evaluation backwards, and we don’t have one forwards, I sincerely wonder what we are doing,” Mr. Cliche-Rivard told journalists. .
He believes that we will realize “in a year or two that this planning does not work because it (lacked) statistical data”.
The Parti Québécois (PQ), which advocates a reduction in immigration thresholds, describes the exercise as Mme Fréchette of “basically biased”.
“We are presented with a plan, he says: “There are 300,000 who are there, but don’t look there, look there”. It’s not working, it’s a very bad start for the commission,” lamented MP Pascal Bérubé.
The consultation, which is provided for in the Immigration Act, will last three weeks. Nearly 80 groups wrote a brief, which is more than double what was received in 2019.
On Tuesday, the Union of Municipalities (UMQ) recommended, among other things, developing a national strategy for the regionalization of immigration taking into account the reception capacity of the regions.
The City of Montreal, for its part, requested that the government deploy “additional efforts” to ensure adequate reception of immigrants, regardless of migration status.
She declared that she wanted “financial resources consistent with the extent of the responsibilities really assigned to her”.
The consultation continues on Wednesday in the National Assembly. The French language commissioner, Benoît Dubreuil, as well as several unions, will present their briefs.