5:33 A.M. More bullshit from KBec …

The Quebec election campaign resembled one that might take place in any other province for the first 14 days. Voters were treated to a large menu of small promises , minor scandals exposing disreputable candidates and acrimony over minor differences …

Then came François Legault’s pivot to identity politics on Day 15. In an era of a dormant independence debate , the leader of the conservative Coalition Avenir Québec ended the week turning the spotlight on two issues that still set Quebec apart : immigration and the French language …

The front-runner for the Oct. 1 vote then combined the two and touched raw nerves as he explained his plan to cut Quebec’s immigration quotas ( a power held by no other province ) is intended to protect the French language.

“ It’s the responsibility of the Premier of Quebec to protect the nation , to protect the French language in Quebec” Mr. Legault said. “ The risk is that our grandchildren won’t speak French. Quebec , in North America , surrounded by hundreds of millions of anglophones , will always be vulnerable”…

Mr. Legault’s immigration policy is long-standing : He wants to cut quotas for new arrivals , test those who do come for French language and adherence to Quebec values after three years and then expel those who don’t pass ( a power the province does not have ) What’s new is the rhetoric. Until now he has framed the policy as a way to boost economic integration rather than a way to protect francophone culture from the existential threat of immigration.Quebec is facing a stark labour shortage and Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard , who favours maintaining current immigration levels , had also framed the issue around economics.

“ We need more workers in Quebec , including workers that come from elsewhere ” Mr. Couillard said. “ It is a grave economic error to reduce those levels , one of the biggest economic errors we’ve seen in recent years from a political party “…

Mr. Legault’s policy is to cut Quebec’s immigration quota to 40,000, down nearly a quarter from the 52,388 people the province accepted in 2017. The shift toward the immigration debate began Wednesday in a gigantic greenhouse operation southwest of Montreal. Mr. Legault toured row after row of towering cucumber plants carefully tended by a staff of 250 workers that includes about 180 temporary foreign workers from Central America. While the low-paid temporary workers are a federal responsibility and aren’t part of Mr. Legault’s plan , they inspired reporters to start asking him about immigration, and he started adding details to the plan.

Quebec sets the overall immigration target of 50,000 but only selects the 30,000 economic migrants among them. The others , who are refugees and family unification cases , are selected by Ottawa. Mr. Legault said he would like to reduce numbers in all three categories but that would require considerable co-operation from the federal government. The Trudeau government has shown no interest in either expelling immigrants who don’t learn French or cutting back in refugee or family reunification cases. ” If a lot of Quebecers vote for the CAQ, Mr. Trudeau will have to take it into account or face the consequences in his own election ”…

Mr. Legault said. Mr. Couillard accused the CAQ leader of threatening to break up immigrant families …“ So if the kids learn the French language but dad doesn’t , we’ll send him away ? What vision of society is this ? ”…

Parti Québécois Leader Jean-François Lisée, running third and well out of contention, dismissed the “ numerology ” of the two leading parties , saying his party would select immigrants who speak French and avoid the debate over quotas. But by Friday afternoon he too was naming his immigration target: 35,000 to 40,000.

Source: Language and immigration come to the front in Quebec election – The Globe and Mail

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s