Martin C. Barry
Quebec Immigration, Francization and Integration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette made a trip from Quebec City to Laval last week to announce that the CAQ government plans to spend more than $8.3 million to help improve the French language skills of immigrant workers in the Laval region.
“The addition of these new resources for the Ministry of Immigration, Francization and Integration is good news for the Laval region,” said Sainte-Rose CAQ MNA Christopher Skeete who joined the minister and Laval city councillor Jocelyne Frédéric-Gauthier at Laval city hall for the announcement.
More help from Quebec
“The integration assistance employees will be working together with organizations from the area,” Skeete continued. “They will be providing support in addition to the efforts already being made to ensure the lasting establishment and successful integration of immigrants here in Laval.”
According to Jolin-Barrette, the money will be used to hire new employees at his ministry to be stationed in Laval at Services Québec offices as well as at local employment centres.
More ministerial employees
The arrangement will see the provincial employment services agency working more closely than ever with the provincial immigration department. In all, four new employees will be joining to the two already in place for a total of six employees from the Ministry of Immigration, Francization and Integration in Laval.
Among these will be three employees who will assist with the integration of newly-arrived immigrants. Two others will provide support for immigration on a regional basis. According to Jolin-Barrette’s ministry, the employees will be working out of Services Québec offices on Daniel-Johnson Blvd. in Laval.
New position created
In order to ensure that local businesses get access to the expanded services, the ministry has created a new position: regional immigration counsellor. These ministry employees will be able to offer a tailored level of service and will be mandated to provide businesses with information on government programs and financial assistance.
Regional immigration counsellors will also be able to process employers’ requests directly within regions, while helping guide employers who may wish to use the “employers’ portal” on the Internet, and they will provide support to other employees responsible to integration who interact with immigrants.
Laval also gets funding
In addition to the $8.3 million being spent on the new provincial employees, Jolin-Barrette also announced that Quebec is giving the City of Laval $250,000 to allow the city to implement projects to facilitate the integration of immigrants while helping them to settle in the area.
“This major deployment of resources by the Ministry of Immigration, Francization and Integration, as well as the additional services to businesses, are part of a continuing strategy of reforms put into place over the past few months,” said Jolin-Barrette.