The leader of the conservatives Andrew Scheer promised Monday to grant more autonomy to Quebec on the issue of immigration if he is elected prime minister next October. But he didn’t want to say if he agreed that the province itself determines the number of immigrants it receives each year.
The prime minister François Legault has campaigned on a pledge to reduce temporarily the number of immigrants admitted to Quebec, starting this year. As the year is well underway, canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau — a strong advocate of immigration, however, has not said if the liberals had help Mr. Legault to achieve his goal.
Mr. Trudeau said that he was ready to continue its exchanges with its quebec counterpart on its applications in immigration matters, but he reiterated that his priority was to ensure that there were enough workers in Quebec to fill the lack of manpower.
On a visit to Montreal, at the end of a consultation of one month, aiming to appeal to the québec electorate, Mr. Scheer has promised to “ensure that Quebec has more autonomy” in immigration. “Mr. Trudeau had months to do something on [immigration] and what I’m saying, is that in October, when I will sit down with Mr. Legault, we will arrive at actions, not just words, and not just meetings for the sake of meetings”, he explained to journalists.
François Legault is concerned about the number of immigrants who do not learn French, or quickly leave the province. The prime minister, elected on October 1, wants to reduce the levels of immigration to address these issues.
Hot political issue in Quebec
Immigration is a sensitive issue in Quebec since 2017, in the context of the input irregularly in the province of a wave of migrants from the United States. Last year alone, 18 518 19 419 — or 95 % — of the interventions of the royal canadian mounted police for irregular crossings were produced in Quebec.
Quebec has control over approximately 70% of immigrants that settle in the province each year. They belong to economic immigrants. The other 30 % come through family reunification or as refugees. These two categories are under federal control.
Mr. Legault hopes to reduce 20 % of the immigrants in all categories.