In the News July 15
Status for All!
Quebec Government Determined to Deprive Refugee Claimants of Subsidized Daycare
The Legault Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government has decided to appeal a May Superior Court of Quebec decision enabling refugee claimants to recover access to the subsidized daycare they had lost in early 2018.
Until the beginning of 2018, the criteria contained in Section 3 of the Reduced Contribution Regulation regarding the Educational Childcare Act provided access to subsidized daycare to parents “staying in Québec primarily for work purposes” with a work permit. Luc Fortin, the Couillard Liberal Government’s Minister of Families at the time, then reinterpreted Section 3 to deny that access to refugee claimants and others.
His reinterpretation was successfully challenged by Bijou Cibuabua Kanyinda, a refugee claimant.
On May 25, the Superior Court of Quebec found that the government did not have the authority to reinterpret the Regulation and declared it null and void.
The Legault government is now appealing that decision, based on the premise that it runs counter to all Quebec government policy because it results in eliminating admissibility criteria and opens the door to others working in Quebec being given access to subsidized daycare, such as workers from Ontario and New Brunswick.
Presently, because the Legault government is appealing the Superior Court decision, refugee claimants continue to be denied access to subsidized childcare.
Québec Solidaire Member of the National Assembly for Laurier-Dorion, Andrés Fontecilla, notes that the Legault government’s decision “condemns refugee claimants, and women in particular, to stay at home without the chance of integrating, learning French and working. It condemns these families to poverty and we end up paying more to support these children when they begin school, because of the services they were deprived of beforehand.”
(Superior Court of Quebec, Le Devoir)
Workers’ Forum, posted July 15, 2022.