MONTREAL — The judge hearing an application for injunctive relief concerning the decision of the government Legault eliminate 18 000 immigration applications awaiting processing to render a decision at the beginning of the next week.
The quebec Association of lawyers and lawyers in immigration law, has argued on Friday that the government of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) was unaware of the laws still in force by the adoption of bill 9, which would amend the selection system for newcomers to Quebec.
18 139 requests that are currently waiting to be processed relate to skilled workers, a class of immigrants under provincial jurisdiction. Approximately 3700 of these immigrants live in Quebec.
Doug Mitchell, a lawyer representing the claimants affected, argued Friday in front of the judge Frédéric Bachand in Montreal, that the decision of the government of François Legault amounted, finally, to ignore the laws of the country, causing a serious prejudice to the persons affected.
To Me Mitchell has stated that the company expected that the government respects the laws. The lawyer told the judge it belonged to him to remind the politicians that they must follow the law.
The minister of Immigration, Simon Jolin-Barrette, filed two weeks ago the bill 9, which would allow the province to be more selective towards immigrants, to ensure that they speak French, they adhere to quebec values and that they meet the needs of the labour market.
The people whose applications were already being processed at the ministry were informed that they should make a new request in the new system, starting from zero. These applicants were awaiting a certificate issued by the government of Québec, which would then obtain permanent resident status in Canada.
The government has defended his point by saying that he had not ceased to study the records; he just stopped making decisions.
The lawyer of the government, Thi Hong Link Trinh argued for its part that the act gave more powers to the minister. She added that the government had made this choice to a question of “efficiency”, since applicants will be able to retransmit a request.
Quebec also argued that the level of urgency mentioned in the case did not meet the criteria required for an injunction.
If the injunction is granted, the ministry of Immigration of Quebec would be forced to start to examine the files.
Ho Sung Kim, a lawyer in immigration law, said the government could review the records until the bill is passed.
He recalled that the plaintiffs had spent time and money to fill their demand.
The motion to be heard Friday in superior Court for Seeun Park, a Korean based in Montreal, but the cause is debated in the name of all the people who have had their application rejected. They want the court to order the Immigration department to resume processing of their application.