There’s been another twist in the ongoing drama affecting potential immigrants to Quebec, many of whom the new Coalition Avenir Quebec government of Francois Legault would just as soon see apply to live somewhere else.
The province’s ombudsman, Marie Rinfret says Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette owes immigrants an apology over the government’s plan to shred 18,000 application files, a policy that if instituted would send people to the back of the immigration line, a move that could cost them years.
In December, Jolin-Barette tabled details of a policy that would reduce the number of immigrants coming to Quebec by more than 20 per cent–to 40,000 in 2019, down from 50,000 in 2018.
Earlier this month the government confirmed its plans to discard 18,139 unprocessed files from skilled workers, though the applicants would be free to reapply under a new system and be refunded for their application.
Rinfret says the government has failed to understand that the files are “above all, life projects.”
She says the 18,000 files represent the lives of 45,000 people, 6,000 of whom are already living in Quebec.
And she says those 6,000 people already in Quebec should get priority treatment.
The others not living here yet, Rinfret says, should have their fees refunded with interest.
Rinfret made the comments in a 10-page brief she presented Wednesday to a legislature committee studying the policy, looking directly as Jolin-Barrette as she made her presentation.
With files from Montreal Gazette, CP