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Quebec: New government means new approach to immigration

On Monday, October 1st, 2018, the Canadian province of Quebec elected a new government: the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) led by businessman and politician, Francois Legault. This new government will replace the previous Liberal Government and will bring a new approach to immigration in Quebec.

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What is the CAQ?

The CAQ is a relatively new party, founded by Legault in 2011. The party has promised significant investment in education and a revamp of the Quebec healthcare system. Aligned with Legault’s history in business, the party supports the development of business opportunities in Quebec and an increase in private sector resources.

Prior to this election, Quebec has been governed by the Liberal Party for almost the entirety of the last 15 years. However, in Monday’s election, the Liberal Party won an historic low number of votes, handing over control of a majority government to the CAQ. As the CAQ takes control of their first government, all eyes will be on Francois Legault to see how he handles the challenges of leading Canada’s only French-speaking province.

How does the CAQ approach immigration?

The CAQ made immigration a central issue during the campaign, vowing to cut Quebec’s immigration levels by approximately 20% and redirecting those financial resources to ensure better immigrant integration into Quebec culture. This would result in a reduction of approximately 10,000 new permanent residents each year. The CAQ has not provided final details on which categories of immigration will be affected (economic, family sponsorships, or refugee classes).

As well, the CAQ has toyed with the possibility of imposing a French-exam and value test on prospective immigrants after they’ve lived in Quebec for three years. Those who do not pass such a test would be forced to leave the province. It is unclear whether the CAQ will attempt to follow through with this plan, or even if such a plan would be legal. The possibility of kicking out immigrants who do not excel in French would be a potential violation of their rights.

Will Legault attempt to follow through with his plans on immigration? If he does, will these system changes be challenged in court? Only time will tell, as the new party finds its footing in government.

Quebec Immigration?

Workers wishing to immigrate to Quebec may take advantage of one of the provinces many immigration streams for workers:

  • Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW): For skilled workers living inside or outside Quebec. French-language is not required. QSW uses a points-based system to rank and select candidates, so only those with highly competitive profiles will be selected.
  • Quebec Experience Program (PEQ): For French-speaking skilled workers with either work experience or education obtained in Quebec.
  • Business Immigration Streams: Quebec offers several immigration streams to investors and entrepreneurs who with to invest significant amounts of financial resources and business expertise in the province.

To find out if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada, simply complete our free assessment! A member of the Canadim Team will review your eligibility and contact you to discuss your options.

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