MNA makes plea for more English speaking immigrants in Quebec

A Member of the National Assembly (MNA) in Quebec has called on the province to do more to attract English speaking immigrants, or risk harming its future economic strength.

Pierre Reid, the MNA for Orford, yesterday formally asked Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages to help him persuade the Quebec provincial government to make a push in attracting more anglophone immigrants.

“We need employees with a lot of competence that we don’t always find,” Reid explained, while addressing Graham Fraser, Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages.

The MNA stated that English-speaking immigrants need more assurances with regards to things like good English language schools being available for their children and their native language being spoken in the workplace, if they are to start seriously considering the idea of moving to Quebec.

Fraser responded by pointing out that many Quebec employers say that a lack of bilingualism among their workforce is a problem, but also pointed out that the provincial government has pledged to look into ways of targeting more English speakers.

“My recommendation is that they target that research in a way that takes into account the needs of the English-speaking minority,” Fraser said, adding that governments need to get away from the idea that English in Quebec belongs only in Montreal.

Quebec is Canada’s only province to solely administer its own immigration programme, and currently places a high premium on successful applicants having good French language skills.