Quebec sees immigration demand increase following charter debate

Quebec saw more demand, not less, for immigration in the second half of 2013.

The immigration minister is fighting back against those who argue the secularism charter will make the province less attractive to newcomers and hurt the economy.

Diane De Courcy said in an open letter in Le Devoir that Quebec was, is and will be a very popular place for immigration. "Before launching statements to the contrary that fall along the lines of the "boogie man," it would be preferable to provide records."

The immigration ministry says its received 928 files from Arab North Africa between August and December of 2013, requesting a selection certificate under the qualified worker program.

That number is a 78% increase compared to the same period of time last year, when it received only 519 of these files.


These numbers are preliminary, though, since they only show the number of "files," not individuals. A single file could involve either one, or multiple people, because a person's accompanying family members can be contained within the same file.

These numbers also only show those applying as qualified workers, which involves the lion's share of Quebec's immigrants.

The number of those who are requesting to come as entrepreneurs or refugees, for example, was not readily available.

Still, the numbers show that requests from the middle east have also increased slightly, with 58 extra files for the last-half of 2013.

The overall number of files has also gone up drastically, with a 55 percent increase.

The most important increase has come from Western Europe.

Not informed

It is not clearly how much education candidates might have about Quebec's secularism charter.

Diane De Courcy's office says the immigration ministry is not actively informing potential newcomers about the charter of secularism.

The data provided by the ministry spans August to December, but a month-by-month breakdown is not available.

A media leak about the charter first came out in August, but the PQ did not officially confirm the information until it unveiled a proposal in September. It tabled the actual legislation two months later, in November.

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  1. Barcham posted on 02/03/2014 06:14 PM
    You would think that considering that many immigrants come from thousands of miles away at great financial and personal cost, that the absolute least the government here could do would be to inform them about the restrictions they will have to live with if they do come here to live. No matter what the PQ comes out with, they simply are still trying to get the lobsters to enter the pot. Once they have moved here, they will have little chance but to stay. The question is whether or not they will remain here in Quebec or relocate to another province at the earliest possibility.
  2. Joe posted on 02/03/2014 07:21 PM
    Yeah Right. And where all these people going to work. There has been squat economic development ever since the clan has been elected, companies have left, unemployment is at its highest, thank god its been matched by transfer payments to keep us afloat. These magical figures that De Courcy is dishing out go against everything that is going on here, so basically what has she smoking I got to get me some of that.
  3. George Grummett posted on 02/03/2014 08:22 PM
    An earth tremor registering 5.8 on the Richter scale was simultaneously detected by the North-American Continental Seismological Institute, with an even and broad distribution outside of Quebec city, QC. The resultant seismic waveform also indicated an extraordinarily prolonged and strong first harmonic of very low frequency oscillation of approximately 0.5Hz.
    This was no doubt due to the collective thud of several hundred million human jaws impacting the ground across North America, followed by the massed shaking of heads.
  4. ric posted on 02/03/2014 08:45 PM
    All immigrants want to flock to Quebec now so that they can be discriminated against. Is it possible for the pq to say anything without looking like FOOLS?
    1. anne posted on 02/13/2014 11:56 AM
      @ric Errr.. No !
  5. Yawnnn posted on 02/03/2014 08:55 PM
    The fact that De Courcy submitted an open letter in Le Devoir that Quebec was, is and will be a very popular place for immigration is really speaking volumes. Read between the lines, why would she submit a letter in the first place? Notice there's no words on the amount of people which have left?
  6. Troy posted on 02/04/2014 01:21 PM
    It is a dishonest statement from Mme de Courcy. The Federal Government froze the immigration process in 2013. As Quebec process was separate from the Federal one (the only province that does so), it was not affected by the freeze. Therefore, immigrants took the Quebec route as the Federal route was closed. That increase had nothing to do with the "Charter affirming the values of State secularism and religious neutrality and the equality between women and men, and providing a framework for accommodation requests".
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