MONTREAL — Canada’s plan to increase immigration is worrying Quebec politicians, who say the changes will reduce the province’s influence in the country and make it harder to protect the French.
Members of the provincial legislature today approved a motion declaring that Canada’s plan is incompatible with protecting the French in Quebec and that the province should have complete control over its immigration.
Prime Minister Francois Legault said on Tuesday that Quebec will not accept a significant increase in immigration because of the need to properly integrate, house and educate newcomers.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stressed that his government’s plan to welcome 500,000 permanent immigrants annually by 2025 — up from 437,000 in 2022 — is key to easing labor shortages and ensuring growth.
But as Legault clashes with Ottawa over immigration powers, the prime minister is facing criticism at home about the growing number of temporary migrants not being included in the provincial targets.
The official figure for immigration to Quebec is estimated at around 50,000 people per year, but opposition parties suggest the actual number is much higher due to more people entering the province as laborers, temporary aliens, skilled workers or students.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 10, 2023.