June 15, 2019 – Quebec’s provincial government is to use its majority to force a vote on its controversial immigration reform legislation.
The Coalition Avenir Quebec’s Bill 9 will be voted on by the National Assembly on Sunday morning, Radio Canada is reporting.
The vote will come despite the committee debate on Bill 9 – and the equally controversial Bill 21 concerning civil servants wearing religious symbols – not being concluded.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault had made it his government’s priority to pass the two bills before the summer.
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But with the current session concluding on Friday, this was unlikely to happen without the move to invoke closure.
Legault has accused opposition lawmakers from ‘playing games’ to deliberately delay the passage of the bills, which are studied clause by clause at the committee stage.
The CAQ’s opponents hit back by saying more time was needed to discuss the bills, given their controversial nature.
Bill 9 is controversial because it would see the cancellation of thousands of existing skilled worker immigration applications in order to transition to the new Quebec Expression of Interest system, which will operate similarly to the federal Express Entry system.
It will also lay the groundwork for a Quebec values test for immigrants to pass before they can become permanent residents in the French-speaking province…
Quebec Skilled Worker Backlog
|Number of pending applications||18,000||45,000+|
|How many working/studying in Quebec||3,700||9,250|
|Number of applications concluded monthly 2015||2,000||5,000|
|Number of applications accepted monthly 2015||1000||2,500|
The provincial government tried to stop processing files when its tabled Bill 9 in February, effectively adopting the legislation before it had been voted into law.
However, a February 25 injunction forced MIDI to continue processing applications.
announced plans for immigration levels to increase every year for the next three years.
By 2022, the Coalition Avenir Quebec plans to increase annual Quebec immigration to above 50,000.
The proposal was announced by the Department of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion (MIDI) on Friday June 7, 2019.
Increases will be concentrated in the economic class, according to the plan, which Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette described as a ‘government proposal’ instead of an official immigration plan.
It comes after the CAQ followed through on a campaign promise to reduce the number of newcomers by 20 per cent for 2019, to around 40,000.
The target of between 49,500 and 52,500 new immigrants for 2022 is effectively the same as the previous Liberal government. In 2016 to 2018, 53,084, 52,388 and 51,118 immigrants were admitted.
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