CAQ government ready to boost number of immigrants beyond 50,000 a year
Premier Francois Legault described going above 50,000 as 'a bit suicidal' in last election campaign
The CAQ government is now open to the idea of welcoming more than 50,000 immigrants to Quebec each year, a scenario that premier Francois Legault described as 'a bit suicidal' (new window) during last fall's election campaign.
The government is set to announce new French language requirements Thursday afternoon, as well as launching public consultations on annual immigration targets.
In documents about the public consultation tabled at the National Assembly Thursday morning, the government presented two scenarios: maintaining its annual target of 50,000 immigrants per year until 2027, or gradually increasing the number each year to reach 60,000 immigrants by 2027.
During heated debate (new window) over immigration targets during the election campaign last fall, Legault said it would be
a bit suicidal to go over the 50,000 threshold because it could contribute to the decline of the French language in Quebec and
threaten social cohesion.
The Liberals and Québec Solidaire attacked Legault's comments at the time, calling them hurtful, irresponsible and lacking empathy.
The Parti Québécois said 50,000 immigrants was too many, and that 35,000 would be more appropriate.
Business groups have been pleading (new window) with the government to increase the targets to address the province's labour shortage.
- Trudeau says Quebec has the 'tools' to welcome 112,000 immigrants, more than double its goal (new window)
Quebec is also at odds with Ottawa (new window) over immigration targets, rejecting the Trudeau government's plan to welcome 500,000 more immigrants across the country by 2025, saying that would reduce the Quebec's influence in the country and make it harder to protect French.
The provincial targets being discussed today don't include temporary foreign workers.
Legault and his immigration minister Christine Fréchette are expected to announce tougher French language requirements for all economic immigrants including temporary foreign workers this afternoon.
More to come
Steve Rukavina (new window) · CBC News