June 6, 2019 – Quebec politicians are locked in a battle over the slow progress of Bill 9 – the governing Coalition Avenir Quebec’s controversial immigration legislation.
As of June 4, just eight out of 21 articles had been studied in the bill, which would see the cancellation of thousands of Quebec Skilled Worker immigration applications and the introduction of a values test for new immigrants.
The CAQ is desperate for the bill to become law before the end of the session in less than two weeks. They say Liberal politicians on the committee studying the bill are deliberately slowing its progress.
Quebec Premier François Legault has accused the Liberals of ‘playing games’.
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|
However, the Liberals argue Quebec Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette has been too busy to devote time to the bill’s passing.
Jolin-Barrette is also responsible for another controversial piece of legislation in the CAQ’s proposed secularism bill and religious symbols ban, falling under Bill 21, while also filling the role of government house leader.
Jolin-Barrette has also faced criticism for holding Bill 9 meetings in the only committee room where proceedings are not televised, shunning the brand new state-of-the-art National Assembly building.
He says it is because the older room is closer to his office.
Liberal politicians say Jolin-Barrette has been unable to answer important questions on Bill 9, such as how the proposed values test would work.
Others say the immigration minister’s answers to other questions have been too vague.
Slow Quebec Immigration Processing
A recent report showed fewer Quebec Skilled Worker applications are being processed and at a significantly lower success rate than before a recent injunction forced the Quebec immigration ministry (MIDI) to resume processing files.
April saw MIDI officials process 727 applications with 15 per cent of them successful. In the month before there were 571 cases processed at a success rate of 18 per cent.
Quebec Superior Court Judge Frédéric Bachand, who imposed the injunction, highlighted in his judgement that MIDI was able to process between 1,000 and 2,000 applications per month, with a success rate in the region of 50 per cent in the last three years.
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The CAQ wants to cancel 18,000 pending Quebec Skilled Worker applications and force candidates to re-apply under the new Quebec Expression of Interest system.
The provincial government tried to stop processing files when it 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.
Between February 25 and March 25, 102 of 571 processed files were successful. During April, 111 out of 727 processed files received favourable decisions.
Those accepted receive a Quebec Selection Certificate which is required by the federal government for candidates to receive permanent residence, after medical and criminal record checks have been completed.
Quebec Skilled Worker candidates are scored against a selection grid based on their age, education, work experience and language knowledge.
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.
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