In order to halt the long-term effects of Quebec’s declining birth rate, Immigration Minister Robert Perreault announced that the province wants to increase the number of immigrants who arrive in Quebec each year by 40 per cent between now and 2003. In addition to favour the number of new arrivals to 45,00 from 30,000 annually, this measure aims to target French-speaking immigrants, and to make it more easier for foreign professionals to obtain accreditation in Quebec.
Furthermore, three scenarios, as part of a discussion document on Quebec’s triennial immigration strategy, call for the number of immigrants to jump b 10 to 65 per cent a year between 2000 and 2003, an average increase of 40-per-cent. Although these last targets were made public, the policy still has to be debated in public hearings, and the provincial government must adopt it by November 1.
The provincial government also plans to abolish a list of ineligible professions, enabling professionals from all fields – except doctors – to seek accreditation in Quebec professional associations while they are applying for citizenship. Consequently, their qualifications will we examined, and they will be informed of all necessary equivalency courses or training they need to practice their profession as quickly as possible.
Currently, the list of disqualified professions includes, among others, nurses, architects, lawyers, acupuncturists, engineers, veterinarians, teachers and scientific technicians.
In light of the above measures, one of Minister’s Perreault first priorities is to attract more French-speaking immigrants. He also considers opening an immigration office in North Africa to attract primarily Algerians and Moroccans who wish to emigrate to North America.
Targeting North Africa, Mexico
Immigration Minister Robert Perreault feels that Quebec has to concentrate concentrates its efforts in North Africa, Mexico, Vienna and Eastern Europe where a lot of people speak French as their second or third language and/or learn French in school. This measure aims to increase the number of new arrivals in Quebec and favour their integration in the Quebec’s society more quickly.In fact, under a 30-year-old agreement with the Federal government, Quebec is entitled to choose about half the number of new arrivals each year, with the federal immigration authorities selecting the rest. Ottawa has jurisdiction over family reunifications and refugees who are fleeing political oppression, war or famine, while Quebec selects immigrants under programs designed to attract students, businesspeople and skilled labour.In doing so, Quebec would like ideally to increase the number of immigrants it admits annually from 19,700 in 2000 to 30,700 in 2003.