Quebec is seeking more power from Ottawa over the selection of immigrants, with the province’s newly-elected Premier stating current levels are too high.
François Legault has pledged to temporarily cut Quebec’s immigration quota by 20 per cent to 40,000, and has directed his employment minister, Jean Boulet, to identify the labour needs of each region in the province “company by company.”
“We really have a problem in choosing immigration,” said Legault. “We choose them based on skills … Sometimes it’s welders, sometimes engineers, but I want to focus on the needs of companies.”
Unemployment in Quebec is currently at its lowest level in decades, while the economy is currently one of the strongest in Canada.
Yet Legault believes the province is yet to reach its full potential, and he has earmarked taking a more streamlined approach to immigration as one of the main factors in further improving economic conditions in Quebec.
Quebec’s Immigration Minister, Simon Jolin-Barrette, recently met with federal counterpart Ahmed Hussen and intergovernmental affairs minister Dominic LeBlanc to discuss the planned reduction.
While the federal government is not overly keen on Quebec’s plans – they have pledged to increase immigration to Canada by 40,000 people a year by 2021 – Jolin-Barrette nevertheless emerged from that meeting optimistic that a satisfactory agreement would be reached.
Currently, Quebec is only responsible for accepting economic immigrants. The federal government controls immigration for refugees and family reunification.
Article published 20th November 2018