The Quebec Government plans to eliminate outstanding applications to the Quebec Skilled Worker Program that were submitted before August 2, 2018. Moreover, under this plan, all applications sent before that date, which are refused/rejected, or not approved, will be cancelled. This will in effect clear the present backlog of 18,000 applications. Furthermore, the authorities will refund the processing fee. Eliminating the QSWP backlog is a proposal of the new immigration bill. This was put up for debate on Feb 7, by the new CAQ government of Quebec.
Also, there is a measure, in the new legislation regarding changes to the Provincial Immigration Act emphasizing the responsibility of an immigrant in learning French and also the Quebec values. Moreover, The CAQ government can impose a few conditions regarding permanent residence. This move will face a challenge in court. The aim, of this, is to ensure that immigrants have better integration. This way they can also succeed in the Provincial labor market.
Immigrants must match with the actual labor needs
Simon Jolin-Barrette, Immigration Minister of Quebec has said eliminating the backlog in QSWP is necessary for this effort. Furthermore, this will allow the ministry to match immigration with the actual labor requirements in the province better. It will also reduce the processing times of application from 36 to six months. This measure was strong and capable of breaking an unacceptable stalemate. The matter of applications, submitted in the past when the Program was operating on the timing of arrival basis. Now it is irrelevant, and not in touch with the present workforce requirements.
Focus on merit
Now Quebec has the application process with a focus on merit through the EOI model. MIDI invites candidates to apply for a CSQ (Certificat de séléction du Québec) that relies on many considerations, and labor needs in distant regions facing an acute shortage of workers. Moreover, Individuals who are affected by this measure for cancelling the pending applications in the old model can apply again through the new EOI system.
The amendment in Bill 9 regarding introducing the Minister’s right for imposing conditions regarding permanent residence is controversial. These may feature public health, labor needs of a region and sector, or about the social, linguistic, and economic integration of an immigrant.
This will lead to a showdown with the federal government, which also has authority and jurisdiction to grant PR in Canada. The government will oppose these conditions requiring the immigrants to work in a particular region as this violates the mobility rights of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Jolin-Barrette argued that Quebec can also impose a set of conditions for permanent residence, which are important for the people of the province.