(TLN) Chomedey MNA Guy Ouellette says he welcomed a Quebec Superior Court injunction last week which is temporarily forcing the Coalition Avenir Québec government to process 18,000 pending immigration case files, although the CAQ previously didn’t want to.
“Premier François Legault must now commit to abide by his decision and immediately work on processing the cases, abandoned on the day Bill 9 on immigration reform was deposited,” Ouellette said in a statement.
A major response
According to a spokesperson for Ouellette’s office, he received several hundred pieces of correspondence and communications from concerned citizens from his riding and from elsewhere in Quebec, all of which were concerned with Quebec’s immigration reform led by CAQ Minister of Immigration Simon Jolin-Barrette.
“I find, the treatment of these 18,000 cases very cavalier and most disrespectful, without worrying about the human tragedies it generates and without taking the time to analyze them,” added Ouellette. “This injunction will allow citizens to complete their files and hope to finally be officially received among us in Quebec.”
Ouellette’s comments came on the heels of the province’s ombudsman calling on Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette to apologize to thousands of immigration applicants whose files the Coalition Avenir Québec government is trying to throw out. Marie Rinfret said during Bill 9 hearings at the National Assembly that she was extremely concerned by the provisions of the proposed legislation.
Since the bill (An Act to increase Québec’s socio-economic prosperity and adequately meet labor market needs through successful immigrant integration) was tabled in early February, Rinfret said she had received more than 60 complaints from applicants who are worried and unsure as to what will happen to them.
Injunction halts process
Last week, a Quebec superior court judge granted a request by immigration lawyers to force the province to continue to process applications filed for a period of 10 days. The two parties are scheduled to be back in court this week to determine if a lengthier injunction can be obtained.
A copy of Bill 9 posted on the National Assembly website describes its goal as being “to increase Québec’s socio-economic prosperity and adequately meet labor market needs through successful immigrant integration.”
In addition, according to the description, the bill “provides that the Minister may collect from immigrants the information necessary to know their situation, especially as regards their level of knowledge of French and their integration into the labor market, to put services in place for them and to assess their needs and satisfaction with respect to those services.”
Bill 9 text
The bill also amends the Québec Immigration Act “to clarify its objects, notably by stating that it aims to promote the integration of immigrants, more particularly through their learning French and learning about democratic values and the Québec values expressed by the Charter of human rights and freedoms.
Bill 9 “also empowers the Minister to cancel an invitation to file an application for selection made in error to a foreign national. The bill broadens the Minister’s discretion to require that an undertaking be entered into on a foreign national’s behalf if the Minister considers that such an undertaking is necessary to the success of the foreign national’s stay or settlement in Québec.”