Quebec passes controversial Immigration Bill

World Monday 17/June/2019 16:18 PM
By: Times News Service
Quebec passes controversial Immigration Bill

Montreal: The government of Quebec in Canada has passed a controversial immigration reform bill that will scrap thousands of ongoing applications to live and work in the province.

Bill 9 was voted into law by the ruling Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) party after a marathon 19-hour session in the National Assembly. It passed 62 to 42.

Premier Francois Legault defended the bill, insisting he was doing what was right to better meet the needs of Quebec’s job market. Opposition parties said the measure, which scraps the immigration applications if 18,000 skilled workers and refunds their fees, forcing them to start over again, is extreme and undemocratic.

In addition the applicants' and their families, some 50,000 people wishing to emigrate to Quebec, are at stake.

The province’s minister for immigration, Simon Jolin-Barrette, said the bill will help Quebec’s economy.

" Bill 9, an act to enhance Quebec's economic prosperity and respond adequately to the needs of the labour market through the successful integration of immigrants, was adopted," he tweeted.

New polling numbers suggest a majority of Canadians believe the federal government should limit the number of immigrants it accepts. In one by Leger, 63 percent or respondents called for the government to prioritise limiting immigration levels.

Just 37 per cent said the priority should be on growing immigration to meet the demands of Canada's expanding economy.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said he was concerned by the trend because he has heard directly from employers across the country who are in desperate need of workers.

Economists and experts widely agree that immigration is key to meeting labour and population shortages.