A judge of the Superior Court of Quebec ordered the provincial government to continue to process the 18,000 inventory applications of the regular skilled worker program that it wanted to dissolve.
The decision by Judge Frédéric Bachand gives a temporary 10-day injunction in response to arguments from a group of immigration lawyers who tried to fight the halt in the processing of inventory applications by having categorized the measure of “completely illegal” and as having “devastating” consequences for the claimants affected.
The Coalition Avenir Québec government proposed to cancel all pending applications for the regular skilled worker program submitted before August 2, 2018 in the bill introduced on February 7.
Bill 9 indicates that the rescission order should take effect immediately.
Simon Jolin-Barrette, Quebec’s Minister of Immigration announced in a press release on Monday that the province will respect the decision of the Superior Court of Quebec and continue to process applications until Bill 9 is passed. adopted by the National Assembly of Quebec.
Guillaume Cliche-Rivard, president of the Quebec Association of Immigration Lawyers (AQAADI) told Radio-Canada that “today is really very good news, and very good news for Quebec society as well”.
The request for the injunction was made by AQAADI on behalf of Seeun Park, a nurse of Korean origin whose application for a selection certificate made under the regular skilled worker program was included in those affected by the government measure.
A CSQ must be issued by the Quebec government before an applicant under the regular skilled worker program can apply for Canadian permanent residence.
AQAADI is asking the Superior Court of Quebec to order the government to continue processing applications for Quebec selection certificates (CSQ) “at the usual rate” until the bill is adopted by the National Assembly of Quebec.
The application argues that the Quebec Minister of Immigration is required by law to issue decisions on inventory applications and does not have the discretion to refuse to do so.
Groups ranging from the Canadian Bar Association to the Council of Employers, uniting major business leaders in Quebec have also raised concerns about the CAQ’s measure to cancel inventory requests.
The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) proposal has been widely criticized as being unfair considering that many applicants have been waiting for a final decision on their case for a long time and the fact that thousands already live and work in Quebec under a temporary residence.
The government says affected applicants will need to create a profile using the province’s new expression of interest system , introduced last August to manage the bank of applicants for the regular skilled worker program.
The applications the government wants to cancel were submitted when the PRTQ was accepting paper applications under a first-come, first-served model.
When the bill was introduced, Quebec immigration minister Simon Jolin-Barrette announced that the expression of interest system is more appropriate for the efforts made by the CAQ to adapt the selection of workers. qualified to the province’s labor shortages.
When Bill 9 was introduced, Minister Jolin-Barrette announced that canceling inventory requests was necessary so that the government could focus on the bank of declarations of interest and reduce processing times from 36 to six months.
Translated by Lauralee Beaurieux
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