Quebec aiming for more French immigrants - 700,000 by 2012, to be precise

Monday, September 21, 2009

Here's an article from La Presse on Quebec's efforts to find more immigrants from France in order to make up their coming demographic deficit as the population ages.

Every three or four years, an immigration minister from Quebec reiterates to the French that Quebec is looking for immigrants. Yolande James was sent abroad for this last week on her first mission abroad for just this reason, coming back with stronger franco-quebecois cooperation on immigration.

Minister James came back to Quebec at the end of last week with a new deal. This "joint declaration", signed with the French Minister of Immigration, Integration and National Identity (Eric Besson), aims to establish a "permanent mechanism" of consultation and coordination on migration and integration of immigrants.

During this five-day trip, with opened with an interview with the newspaper Le Monde, Yolande James reiterated that Quebec would have 700,000 positions to fill by 2012 due to the aging of the population. To face this need it needs more immigrants: 50,000 just in 2010, including a growing number of French.

In the interview after her stay, she noted however that Quebec would need to compete with other destinations, such as Vancouver or Australia, locations that attract many young French.


She has also signed during her visit an agreement that allows Quebec enterprises to publish their job offers directly in France, in the agency of Pôle emploi international, the agency that manages employment and unemployment insurance. The measure is aimed primarily to the benefit of small and medium-sized enerprises.
The article Le Monde published during her visit seems to be this one, and it answers a question I had about the article on whether Quebec was seeking immigrants from other French countries or just France: the answer is that they are welcoming French speakers from all locations, but that those from France are preferred for their high level of education / professional attitude. Francophones made up 14% of immigrants in 2008, mostly from Algeria, France and Morocco. For the others, the Quebec government carries out "francisation" of immigrant candidates that have been selected, either through online French courses, in Alliance Française locations or schools in their country of origin, and more French courses are provided after arriving in Quebec as well.


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