Ottawa has disagreed with the plan of the Quebec Provincial government to put conditions on persons seeking the PR in Canada in their province.
The Provincial Government
The CAQ government had tabled the Bill 9, commencing several immigration changes, like cancelling 18,000 pending skilled worker applications, which affect 50,000 fresh permanent residents. As a part of these proposed changes, the CAQ had a wish to introduce conditions on new permanent residents. They had the aim to force the learning of French and adopting democratic values as expressed in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
Issuing a statement, Dominic LeBlanc, the federal Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs stated that the powers of Quebec in immigration matters are defined clearly in the Canada-Quebec Accord.
Refusal of support
Furthermore, he refused to support the introduction of conditions in permanent residency. Bill 9 was tabled because the CAQ is keen to fulfill the campaign promise of reducing immigration in Quebec in the present year. The target is 40,000, instead of the original 50,000.
CAQ’s 2019 Quebec Immigration Levels Plan
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Moreover, the federal government has an aim of increasing national immigration of newcomers to the scale of 350,000 annually, by 2021. This is as per the levels plan introduced since October 2018. The federal plan intends to use immigration as a way to tackle the shrinking labour market of Canada. Quebec is ahead to play a role to increase job vacancies.
There are many factors
Leblanc said that at present there are around 100,000 jobs available in Quebec province. There is a necessity for governments to continue to work together. This will also ensure that the immigration system facilitates the best interests of the people of Quebec and of Canada. Additionally, the Liberals in Quebec say Bill 9 is circumventing the federal law. They know that they do not have the necessary freedom for taking any measures regarding permanent residents. The CAQ expressed that the aim was to reduce immigration for a temporary period. This will help in the process of the integration of new immigrants. Actually, Bill 9 will lead to the end of thousands of applications permanently.
Persistent labour shortage
Moreover, Quebec is facing a persistent labour shortage, and the province seriously needs an increase in immigration, in the Economic Class. Furthermore, Quebec has used retroactive legislation in the past. It has raised the criteria of pending applications, which take effect from a date in the past. In August 2018, the province had a plan to implement an EOI immigration system - Arrima, for its Skilled Worker program. It was similar to the federal EE system but it did not hold the first draw so far.