Government wants input from Quebecers on how to make province more welcoming for immigrants
February 8, 2015 The provincial government is getting ready to launch a consultation, asking Quebecers what they think about immigration, diversity and inclusion. The measure comes as the government prepares to overhaul its immigration policy. Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil says one of the biggest challenges that new Quebecers face is finding a job.
â€œIntegration into the workforce, recognition of professional competencies â€” that is always the number one issue and it is the number one issue that we want to address," Weil told CBC in an exclusive interview.
She also said it will be a priority for the province to recognize foreign credentials.
â€œIt remains a huge frustration for people who come from other countries with quality baggage and we have to find a way for people to contribute.â€_x009d_
Weil says if new immigrants canâ€™t find work, they feel shut out and excluded from Quebec society.
She says itâ€™s critical employers also be involved in the discussions around the new immigration policy.
â€œThe second generation [of immigrants] are not finding jobs at the level of their competencies because they may be from visible minorities or their names donâ€™t resonate as French speakers. So itâ€™s important that we develop measures and have an action plan,â€_x009d_ Weil said, adding that she does not want to get into a debate over a secular charter.
â€œI think we have to talk about les vraies affaires (the real issues). A charter of values is not les vraies affaires,â€_x009d_ she said.
â€œPeople do not want a divisive debate. They want a responsible debate.â€_x009d_
PQ leadership candidate Bernard Drainville is set to announce a new version of his secular charter bill.
He says integration and the secularism go hand in hand.
â€œI strongly agree that a neutral state is the necessary complement to diversity.â€_x009d_
Consultation on the Liberal government's new policy on immigration, diversity and inclusion will begin soon.
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