Immigration, “rain” of (federal) millions of dollars over Quebec

OTTAWA – Persistence pays off. And the premier of Quebec, François Legault, after having asked for months 1 billion dollars to the federal government  in compensation for having “welcomed over half a million temporary immigrants”, obtained $ 750 million. A nice figure to cover the expenditure that Quebec would have incurred for social services to support migrants from 2021 to 2023. 

This “rain” of public money over Quebec was announced during a press conference following the meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Legault on Monday in Quebec City (in the pic above, the meeting / from Twitter X – @CanadianPM).

However, Legault said he was “disappointed” that the federal government had not committed to quantifiable goals to reduce temporary levels of immigration. But “its” Quebec will take care of it, aiming to reduce the number of asylum seekers in the province by 50% within a year. “I think it’s time to set goals with numbers” Legault said. “The problem is urgent, so we cannot say that we will continue to work for months and months on the principles…”.

“We will take this money – he then said, referring to the 750 million – but we will continue to ask for more”. Quebec has also called for reducing waiting times for asylum seekers to have work permits issued, with the aim of keeping them off social assistance.

Data from the Quebec Ministry of Labor shows the province received 80,151 requests for social assistance between March 22 and November 21, 2023, compared to 72,221 in the same period in 2022. This increase in the number of families receiving social assistance is the largest in the last twenty-five years. And again according to the Ministry, the monthly average of asylum seekers more than doubled from 2022 to 2023, going from 19,455 adults to just over 40,000.

To address Quebec concerns, the federal government is also considering moving temporary immigrants to other provinces, tightening visa issuance, speeding up refugee processing times and more quickly deporting asylum seekers whose claims have been rejected . “At least the federal government recognizes there is a problem” Legault said, also welcoming the fact that Ottawa is willing to impose French language requirements on certain types of temporary immigrants. From the series: it doesn’t matter who enters and with what qualifications, the important thing is that they speak French…

To read the whole Prime Minister statement, click here :