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Quebec Premier Puts Pressure On The Federal Government For More Immigration Power

In late April, Quebec Premier François Legault once again reminded the federal government of the need for more immigration-specific power. He wants more immigration for his francophone province, mainly from French-speaking foreign nationals.

The Quebec premier’s comments follow a call by a minority party leader to cut back on temporary immigration to the province to control the rising cost of housing there.

Legault told reporters that a freeze on all temporary immigration to Quebec, over which Quebec has control, is not necessary. The province currently has an estimated 560,000 temporary residents. Many claim they burden Quebec’s educational and healthcare systems and drive up housing costs.

Mr. Trudeau said he would look at different ways to transfer power or have a pre-approval by the Quebec government.

The premier and prime minister are reportedly scheduled to meet again before the end of June to discuss immigration to the province.

Legault says he is committed to supporting immigration and made it clear his government is deeply dedicated to ensuring the survival of the French language.

The premier has even proposed limiting all economic immigration to the province to French-speaking immigrants by 2026.

Temporary workers who come to the province on work permits and international students in Quebec who are there on study permits often immigrate to Canada through either the federal Express Entry system’s Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) of the provinces.

Economists have warned that a drop in immigration to Canada will increase the average age of Canadian residents and have a ripple effect on Ottawa’s coffers.

Immigration is seen as the solution to blunt the economic impact of the wave of people leaving the labor force as the relatively large baby boom generation continues to hit retirement age.

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