Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Immigration: Christine Fré cover presents the CAQ vision

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Quebec's Minister of Immigration, Christine Fréchette, emphasizes having received tens of thousands of requests to access the Francisation Québec portal between April and December 2022.

Radio-Canada

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The Minister of Immigration, Francisation and Integration of Quebec, Christine Fréchette, was at the Sherbrooke golf club on Friday morning to present the government's vision on immigration.

Christine Fréchette presented several aspects of this policy in front of around fifty people. From the outset, she announced that the last few months had been busy in the province in terms of immigration.

The Frenchization of immigrants and temporary foreign workers is one of the subjects that was also discussed. The minister highlights having received a tsunami of requests, more than 53,000, to access the Francisation Québec portal between April and December 2022. Remember that this portal was launched last year and the Ministry receives more than 400 requests for francization courses per day via this platform. This high number of requests also causes waiting times.

Reception of foreign students was one of the aspects raised. The deputy mayor of the City of Sherbrooke, Raïs Kibonge, observes that the stakes are high in Estrie

As for the issues, they are the same as almost everywhere else. We must ensure that we have enough housing for everyone, that the infrastructure is adequate for everyone in terms of schools and services and ensure that in terms of jobs, the network is does well with local organizations and industries, underlines the deputy mayor.

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The minister was also addressed by the principal and vice-chancellor of Bishop's University, Sébastien Lebel-Grenier, who wanted to talk about the Quebec Experience Program, the PEQ. This is a program that aims to facilitate the immigration of students at the end of their studies. That said, this program is reserved for students who follow their training in a French-speaking educational establishment, which the principal deplores.

For us, this poses a real challenge, that is to say that we have extremely qualified people, who have learned French, who want to stay in Quebec, and we simply refuse because they have passed by Bishop's University, explains Sébastien Lebel-Grenier, who believes that Quebec is depriving itself of a large pool of students studying at English-speaking universities.

The minister indicates that it will be possible for them to go through another route. After one year of work experience, there is the regular skilled worker program, or its successor program, which will be accessible.

Since December 2022, in order to encourage the hiring of foreign workers, a measure has been introduced regarding the electronic transmission of job applications, which aims to digitize hiring files. For the president of the Sherbrooke Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sébastien Lussier, this transition will be beneficial for everyone.

It will simplify the task, as much for the people themselves in their process as well as for companies that want to accommodate several workers and speed up the processing of requests rather than having to complete paperwork. Coming to computerize these forms will be greatly appreciated by business people and workers, he specifies.

Among those present, representatives of organizations and volunteers whose objective is to fight racism were on site. They were able to discuss with the minister the issues they face as well as their priorities.

An issue that we encounter a lot is the recognition of diplomas. Often, immigrants have to start their entire studies again. Full. I find it a shame, laments Habib-Louis Sidibé, volunteer at Voice of Diversity.

For Emma Thierry, also a volunteer at Voice of Diversity, the integration of immigrants, foreign workers and international students should be better supervised. It's important to have real support when you arrive and even before you arrive on Canadian soil because it's not at all the same thing when you arrive and you're not accompanied or 'we are really supported.

We almost know where things are going wrong in the world knowing where the wave of refugees we welcome each year comes from. At this level, we want to position ourselves as a partner.

A quote from Raïs Kibonge, deputy mayor of the City of Sherbrooke

According to information from Marion Bérubé

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