Blog > 2013 > Monkey See, Monkey Do (Singe qui voit, singe qui fait)

Monkey See, Monkey Do (Singe qui voit, singe qui fait)

July 30th, 2013

(LA VERSION FRANÇAISE SUIVRA)

Taking a page from the Federal government’s book on unethical behaviour, the provincial lawmakers in Quebec City recently made it clear that they too can play fast and loose with the lives of would-be immigrants.

A few weeks back, the Quebec government officially announced important changes to the selection criteria of the Quebec Skilled Worker program, a category of immigration that ultimately leads to a Canadian permanent resident visa. These changes are scheduled to become effective on August 1st, 2013. One would have thought that anyone who applies on or after August 1st will be subject to the changes, but that the new selection criteria will not apply to anyone who is already in the queue or to anyone who manages to submit an application prior to August 1st. If you think that way, you would be wrong.

The immigration authorities in Quebec intend to apply the new selection criteria to all applications, for which preliminary processing has not begun by July 31st. In other words, the changes will be applied retroactively to candidates who applied, in good faith, months ago.

As noted above, the Quebec government has taken its cue from its Federal counterpart. Not so long ago, in a move that can legitimately be described as mean-spirited, our Federal government passed a law that effectively terminated the application of close to 300,000 individuals who had applied for a permanent resident visa under the Federal Skilled Worker category of immigration prior to February 27th, 2008. These applicants did nothing wrong. They followed all the rules and waited patiently in line for years, all for naught. Their files were never even assessed.

So far, the feds have gotten away with it. The Federal Court, while giving lip-service to the plight of the affected applicants, nonetheless ruled that the Federal government had acted within its power. The case is now before the Federal Court of Appeal.

I suppose the powers that be in Quebec are of the opinion that their form of retroactivity is less offensive than the Federal government’s version in that they will, at least, assess the applications submitted prior to the changes coming into force. While this may be true, in other ways Quebec’s proposed actions are even more unjust.

Applying new selection criteria to previously submitted applications is akin to moving the goal posts after the match has begun. That’s bad enough. What’s worse, is that there has been no indication that Quebec intends to refund applicants their government processing fees. Applicants were charged good money by the government to have their qualifications assessed according to a certain set of criteria. The government changes the criteria and now some applicants no longer qualify. The government keeps their money. This is a classic case of bait and switch, and flies in the face of Quebec’s strong consumer protection legislation.

It won’t surprise me to see a court action mounted against the Quebec government by a disgruntled applicant or group of applicants. While the application of selection criteria retroactively is repugnant, it is nonetheless legal, except as it applies to criminal law. However, the fact that it is legal does not absolve the government from the necessity of implementing the changes in a fair and non-arbitrary manner. By holding on to processing fees, the government may be helping the applicants’ case before the courts.

Stay tuned and we will keep you advised as developments occur.

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Singe qui voit, singe qui fait

En s’inspirant des gestes récents du gouvernement fédéral qui traduisaient des comportements contraires à l’éthique, les législateurs provinciaux québécois ont récemment fait de même en prenant des libertés avec la vie des candidats à l’immigration.

Il ya quelques semaines, le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé officiellement des changements importants aux critères de sélection du programme des Travailleurs Qualifiés du Québec, une catégorie d’immigration qui conduit à un visa de résident permanent au Canada. Ces changements devraient entrer en vigueur le 1er août 2013.

On comprend facilement que toute personne qui soumet une application le 1er août ou après sera sujet aux changements. Mais plus que cela, le gouvernement a indiqué que les nouveaux critères seront applicables à certaines personnes qui ont déjà soumis une demande, de même qu’à ceux qui parviennent à présenter une demande avant le 1er août. Si vous aviez pensé que les dossiers soumis avant l’entrée en vigueur des changements ne seront pas affectés par les nouveaux critères, vous avez eu tort.

Les autorités de l’immigration au Québec ont l’intention d’appliquer les nouveaux critères de sélection pour toute demande dont le traitement préliminaire n’a pas débuté avant le 31 Juillet 2013. En d’autres termes, les changements seront potentiellement appliqués rétroactivement aux candidats qui ont soumis leur dossiers, de bonne foi, il y’a déjà plusieurs mois.

Comme mentionné ci-dessus, en agissant de cette manière, le gouvernement du Québec imite son homologue fédéral. Il n’y a pas si longtemps, dans un mouvement qui peut légitimement être décrit comme mesquin, que notre gouvernement fédéral a adopté une loi qui a mis fin efficacement aux dossiers de presque 300,000 personnes qui avaient soumis une demande de visa de résident permanent en vertu de la catégorie des travailleurs qualifiés fédéral avant le 28 Février 2008. Ces candidats n’ont rien fait de mal. Ils ont suivi toutes les règles et attendaient patiemment dans la file d’attente pour des années, et ceci pour rien. Leurs dossiers n’ont jamais été évalués; ils ont simplement été éliminés de façon rétroactive.

Jusqu’à présent, la tentative du gouvernement fédéral de mettre fin à ces dossiers a réussi. La Cour fédérale, tout en faisant preuve de sympathie pour les demandeurs concernés, a néanmoins statué que le gouvernement fédéral avait agi dans le cadre de son pouvoir. L’affaire est maintenant devant la Cour d’appel fédérale.

Je présume que les autorités québécoises sont d’avis que leurs changements rétroactifs sont moins offensifs que ceux du gouvernement fédéral, étant donné qu’ils vont au moins évaluer les demandes qui ont été présentées avant que les changements entrent en vigueur. Alors que cela est peut-être vrai, les actions proposées par le gouvernement du Québec sont encore plus injustes en d’autres égards.

En appliquant les nouveaux critères de sélection aux demandes déjà soumises, le gouvernement du Québec s’apparente à déplacer les poteaux de but alors que le match a déjà commencé. Juste ceci est déjà assez grave; mais pire que cela, il n’y a eu aucune indication que le Québec a l’intention de rembourser aux candidats leurs frais de traitement si leurs demandes sont affectés de façon négative par les changements. Les demandeurs ont soumis leur argent au gouvernement pour qu’ils puissent avoir leurs qualifications évaluées selon les critères en vigueur lors de leur soumission. En modifiant les critères après la soumission, certains candidats ne seront plus admissibles, mais le gouvernement gardera leur argent. C’est un cas de leurre, ce qui va à l’encontre de la forte législation en vigueur au Québec traitant de la protection du consommateur.

Cela ne me surprendrait pas de voir une action en justice menée contre le gouvernement du Québec par un candidat mécontent ou un par un groupe de candidats. Bien que l’application rétroactive de critères soit répugnante, c’est néanmoins légal en droit de l’immigration, ainsi que dans tout autre domaine juridique mis à part le droit pénal. Cependant, le fait que ces gestes sont légaux n’absout aucunement le gouvernement de la nécessité de mettre en œuvre ces changements d’une manière juste et non arbitraire. En gardant les frais de traitement, le gouvernement pourrait en effet aider la cause des demandeurs devant les tribunaux.

Restez à l’écoute et nous vous tiendrons au courant des développements.



 
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12 Responses to “Monkey See, Monkey Do (Singe qui voit, singe qui fait)”

  • On August 1st, 2013, Anonymous said ...

    I do not have any doubt on the consequences. The Quebec government will be wasting their time and the applicants time in the court. Applicants will not believe on Quebec immigration because of such rules and unexpected changes. The applicants case will be naturally strong if there is no indication of returning the application file with proper application fees.

    I hope there would be amicable solutions for all, and it should be like that. If the rule is applied as you said in the blog, I would not hesitate to say no to immigrate to Quebec with such measures against consumer rights and will ask my application back with correct processing fees.

    For me and I believe for 99.99% of the people of the world, civil laws cannot be retroactive. Gone is gone. One should respect human efforts put in some work. These retro-activeness is against natural progress.

  • On August 2nd, 2013, Briggs-Fashanu,Olusegun Godman said ...

    It is so wrong for the federal government of Canada to have ignored the application form of 300,000 applicants without scrutinizing the applicants form.

  • On August 2nd, 2013, Tchato said ...

    The new immigration policy is favourable to me.If the implement the retroactive processing,it will instead be on my advantage.Sincerely,i think it will not be reasonable for them to retroact applications submitted before july 31.

  • On August 2nd, 2013, mike said ...

    I am not suprised! I once thought that canada will be different, considering there activities on human rights and empathy; but they are all the same, Racism that have affected there DNA, how misserable, who can help? One law for there kind and another for others, its not new; This is a case of monkey wicked and Bad! Canada has just lost my respect and I know the respect of millions of good people, take your country and stay in it cos its heaven, because there is no where on earth like it!

  • On August 3rd, 2013, Anonymous said ...

    Asylum is a gift, but too so is immigration to a new country, a gift from the receiving country to the emigrant. That gift has been so generous for so long in Canada it should seem that some new limits are OK.

  • On August 3rd, 2013, Anonymous said ...

    I love that it is Canadians who would oppose limiting the gift of aslyum and easy immigration to all who need to or are interested in making Canada home. It is wonderful to read the views of those who are annoyed at any limitations to who could be their new neighbors.

  • On August 3rd, 2013, Anonymous said ...

    I can see Government of Canada behaves like the government of UK ! Believe it’s legacy mind. Often nothing looks repugnant ; democracy belong to autocracy while under pressure and always looks for minimum leak to
    release.

  • On August 6th, 2013, Anonymous said ...

    Whatever is the reason behind new rules, they are unethical. When someone plans to immigrate to other country, especially guys at their 30s, they risk their career, money , social life etc and then plan. It take an average of 6 months preparation to just submit the application and after 6 months of hardwork, money spend one day you come to know that the rules have been change and you no longer qualify and all your hardwork goes in vain. May be some day Canada government can ask all PRs to go back to home country.
    Amazing Canada!!!!!!
    Amazing Quebec!!!!!!

  • On August 6th, 2013, John said ...

    the new changes of Quebec government is good and it is favorable for me and also the persons who want Canadian permanent resident visa….. but it not good for the people who`s application form has been terminated..

  • On August 6th, 2013, Tim said ...

    This can be expected from middle eastern or Asian countries but Canada passing such laws. That’s astonished.

  • On August 17th, 2013, Harman said ...

    Voww!!! gouvernement du quebec!!!
    Worked so so hard for preparing the documents and not necessary whether ur efforts are applicable or not.It is shameful for the Immigration department.They should go according to the rules pertaining to the particular application.If they apply new rules to previously sent applications,no one will rely on them.

  • On August 26th, 2013, Anonymous said ...

    They are cheating with someones dream, really unbelivible news from goverment link canada, no one in future rely on them. very very bad and unethical.

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