Quebec Government Announces Plan to lower Levels of Immigration to the Province


Quebec has always had a unique immigration system compared to other Canadian provinces. In the 1990s, the Quebec government struck a deal with the Federal Government when Canada and Quebec were on the verge of separation. In this deal, the Quebec government gained more control over its immigration programs.

Earlier this month, the Quebec government and Diane De Courcy, Quebec Immigration Minister, have stated it will be decreasing its inflow of immigrants in order to better integrate every newcomer. A main concern for the government is that newcomers are able to function and live in French. Over the next three years, the province plans to spend an additional $13.5 million per year in order to teach immigrants French.

The announcement to lower immigration levels also comes after the controversial Charter of Quebec values, which does impact many immigrant communities in Quebec. In 2012, Quebec welcomed 55,000 immigrants and the target for 2014 will be between 49,000 and 52,500. Levels are expected to continue to decrease to around 48,500 the following year. The previous Liberal government lowered immigration levels from Africa from 37% to 31% and the present government plans to maintain these levels. Many French speaking immigrants from Africa, specifically Morocco and Algeria, are of the Muslim faith and have been affected by the new Quebec Charter of Values.

Overall, the population of Quebec as a percentage of Canada has decreased from 29% in 1951 to 24% in 2011. In addition, fiscally and demographically, there are many arguments for Quebec to increase, not decrease, its immigration levels.

Quebec has one of the highest funding per permanent resident, out of all the Canadian provinces due to an escalation clause from the 1990s agreement. Therefore, funding for immigrants in the province should not decrease even though the number of immigrants may decrease. As a result, there will be even more money to spend on programs for newcomers in Quebec.


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