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Quebec Association of Lawyers Opposes Coercive Measures on Workers Seeking to Immigrate to Quebec
The Association des avocats et avocates en droit de
l'immigration (AQAADI) appeared before the Quebec National Assembly's
Committee on Citizen Relations on February 26, to discuss Bill 9, An
On behalf of AQAADI, immigration lawyer Guillaume
Cliche-Rivard opposed the government's planned use of coercion against
workers seeking to immigrate to Quebec, as this would place people in a
insecurity as to whether they would be able to maintain their permanent
resident status. "A foreign national becomes a permanent resident of
all of Canada, not of a city or of a profession," he stated. Rendering
permanent residency conditional based on regionalization or sectoral
labour needs would violate Article 6.2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
whereby permanent residents have the right to move to and to take up
residence anywhere in Canada, he added.
Cliche-Rivard continued, saying the same right applies
person's job. People cannot be forced to take a job or be
threatened with losing their status upon losing their job. "The
potential withdrawal of residency will affect children, families,
people who may have to leave Quebec because they no longer
respond 100 per cent to your conditions," he said.
Members of the Association des avocats et avocates en droit de
before the Quebec National Assembly's Committee on Citizen Relations.
Quebec Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette argued
prior to 2016, conditional permanent residency had existed in Quebec's
immigration law. "For a people, for a nation, it is fundamental
that it has its say with regard to immigration to Quebec.
Therefore as of the time that a person is selected, based on
Quebec criteria, obviously Quebec is able to impose certain
conditions, as is the case with the federal government when
someone is granted citizenship. And that is a choice that we make
[...] to re-introduce an article that was part of the powers of
the Quebec government."
Acknowledging nonetheless that a permanent resident
be forced to settle in a specific region, the Minister suggested
that such power could be exerted in the case of a business for a
person accepted as an immigrant-entrepreneur, forcing the person
to establish that business in various Quebec regions. The measure
"could be used to ensure that people know French," he added.
Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette before Committee.
Cliche-Rivard replied by pointing out the government's
contradictory claim that its conditions do not impose localization:
"Read your own words because that is precisely what you are saying: 'We
are placing conditions in order to ensure [...] the meeting of regional
and sectoral labour needs.' Now if that is not an imposition of
localization, then please explain to us what is meant by 'the regional
or sectoral creation of enterprises.'"
The Minister did not reply.
The AQAADI also challenged the Minister regarding the
of 18,000 applications for permanent residency. The AQAADI
has successfully obtained a temporary injunction in the Superior
Court of Quebec forcing the Minister to continue dealing with
these files. The demand requires the government to finish
handling the paper applications, involving some 4,500 files sent to the
Ministry before December 2015, as these
files are complete. It then suggests that the 3,700 internet
applications from those presently residing in Quebec be dealt
with, as these are people on a work or study permit who directly
correspond to the needs of the labour market and have already
demonstrated their capacity to integrate. Regarding the remaining
10,000 applications, pointing to the fact that there are at
present 120,000 jobs to be filled in Quebec, AQAADI proposes that
a quick evaluation be made as to how many qualify based on the
evaluation grid currently in use, last modified in August 2018.
This article was published in
Volume 49 Number 16 - May 4, 2019
to State-Sanctioned Human
Trafficking: Quebec Association of Lawyers Opposes Coercive Measures on Workers Seeking to Immigrate to Quebec