Quebec To Increase Immigration Numbers By 10,000 A Year
Immigration debate has once again made recent headlines. Canada has and continues to work on reforming its immigration laws, with Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil pushing for a plan that will accommodate about 2,500 more immigrants a year by 2019. According to The Montreal Gazette, Montreal Board of Trade president Michel Leblanc says that Quebec is working toward increasing its immigration numbers.
This is reflected in recent Canadian immigration reform, commonly known as Law 77. This law’s objective is to facilitate the selection of foreign nationals wishing to stay temporarily or settle permanently in Quebec, family reunification of Canadian citizens and permanent residents with their close relatives who are foreign nationals, and the reception of refugees and other persons in special hardship situations. Through this act, different aspects of immigration in Canada are being reformed. For instance, Law 77 pays particular attention to Quebec, as it states that immigrants contribute to Quebec’s prosperity and the preservation and vitality of the French language. In this sense, a good knowledge of French will be a determining factor.
In a brief on August 30, the Board revealed to the Gazette that Quebec’s population was stagnant compared with that of Ontario and British Columbia because Quebec receives fewer immigrants. At this point, Quebec seeks to increase its immigration numbers from about 16% to 23% in order to match the province’s population. Evidently, this has an impact on Quebec’s political weight inside the country.
Law 77 also provides for immigration classes and programs. The classes of foreign nationals wishing to stay permanently in Quebec includes the economic class, family class, and humanitarian class. According to this bill, the government may regulate and determine immigration programs as well as the selection conditions and any selection criteria applicable to foreign nationals. Leblanc told The Montreal Gazette that the government this year has decided to reduce the number of economic immigrants to make sure there is sufficient capacity to receive refugees. Despite her efforts, Weil is facing opposition from parties who do not support these immigration policies and immigrants who might face increased integration challenges.
Overall, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is strategically and gradually working towards increased immigration numbers. In so doing, the Board of Trade will be addressing outstanding issues for businesses who continue to express a need for qualified workers.