Last Updated on August 27, 2016
Internationally, Quebec conveys an image of a province rich in opportunities for its immigrants speaking the language of Molière as they enjoy additional incentives and have an advantage in the work market compared to their English-speaking peers. However, the reality striking newcomers in Quebec is more nuanced. Francophone immigrants selected by Quebec are leaving for other provinces, particularly Ontario, due to the lack of adequate employment and of a climate favourable to their integration into society.
According to various testimonies and statistics, it would seem that stigmatization of immigrants is present in the “Belle Province”. The population of Toronto is composed of more than 46% of immigrants, a proportion twice as high as in Montreal. The lack of cultural diversity and loyalty to the Quebec francophone culture have the effect of making the integration of new communities harder. Regardless of the spoken language, 25% of immigrants selected by Quebec will move to other provinces after their arrival.
The OECD underlines the existing paradox between the fact that the city of Montreal is young, innovative and culturally alive and the fact that it is difficult to offer jobs that suit the qualifications and skills of its newcomers. Also, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the unemployment rate of immigrants who arrived in Montreal less than 5 years ago is 4% higher than those who settled in Toronto. However, after 10 years of residence, the unemployment rates of the two largest cities of Canada are at similar levels.
As mentioned previously, immigrants selected by Quebec who decide to move to another province are turning mainly towards Ontario. This situation is of such magnitude that a French primary school in Mississauga must now rely on mobile classrooms to meet the growing number of new registrations. Moreover, it is often a benefit to know how to speak French in Ontario, particularly due to the fact that jobs at the federal level often require knowledge of both of Canada’s official languages, but also because the province is rich in francophone communities.
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