the CanadaVisa Team - 10 July, 2015
The government of Quebec is preparing to launch a year-long policy review regarding its immigration process, beginning this Wednesday at the National Assembly in Quebec City.
Quebec Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness, Kathleen Weil, stated that the current Liberal government was ready to launch a “big reform” of relations between new immigrants and Quebec society, a process that will include the revision of Quebec’s immigration law.
“What I want to arrive at is an immigration system based on the Canadian model,” said Ms Weil, who added that the existing laws in Quebec are “really outdated”.
It is thought that the government of Quebec will be watching closely how the federal government’s new Express Entry immigration selection system performs. Express Entry, which came into operation on January 1, 2015, allows the federal and provincial governments (except Quebec), as well as Canadian employers, to select immigrants from a pool of skilled candidates who have each made an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada.
Quebec has held jurisdiction over its own immigration policy since 1991, using a points-based system that has been in place since then to select newcomers. Ms Weil has said that every aspect of Quebec’s immigration policy will be up for discussion during the consultation, including the number of immigrants welcomed annually, the selection process and favoured countries of origin, the importance of knowing French before arriving, French language courses, the recognition of training undertaken abroad, regionalization, the sharing of common values, and whether Quebec should adopt a management system similar to the federal system.
Fifty stakeholders are expected to participate in public consultation hearings over the coming weeks on the future of immigration to Quebec. A later consultation will also be held on two specific aspects of immigration: the number of immigrants Quebec wants to welcome every year and their countries of origin. From 2009 to 2013, one immigrant in five came from either Algeria or Morocco.
Provincial labour market needs are expected to be a primary concern throughout. Another concern is drawing immigrants to towns and regions outside the greater Montreal area, which has attracted the vast majority of immigrants in recent decades.
With a strongly federalist Liberal majority government having a mandate with years left to run, it appears likely that Ms Weil and the current government will have the time and support necessary to make considerable changes to Quebec’s immigration policy.