Photo: Spencer Colby The Canadian Press “Temporary immigration is a bad model,” said Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois on Thursday, seen here in November during the QS congress.
François Carabin in Laval
There are too many temporary immigrants in Quebec, admits Québec solidaire (QS), which however does not come forward with ways to reduce their number. “These questions are complex,” said the party’s co-spokesperson, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, at the opening of his caucus on Thursday.
At last count, nearly 530,000 temporary immigrants resided in Quebec. These are foreign students, temporary workers and even asylum seekers.
And in the current context, “temporary immigration is a bad model,” said Mr. Nadeau-Dubois in the press scrum, a few minutes before launching the pre-session solidarity caucus in Laval. “Yes, it’s too much. »
The elected official thus jumped head-on into the debate on immigration, which had become the political backdrop in Quebec since the start of the year. “It’s a bad model for immigrants, because it’s synonymous with precariousness. It’s a bad model, too, for Quebec,” said the Gouin elected official, flanked by his co-spokesperson, Émilise Lessard-Therrien, and the party’s immigration critic, Guillaume Cliche- Rivard.
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Last week, the Parti Québécois (PQ) suggested that it could revise the migration thresholds so that there would not be too much pressure on Quebec's reception capacity. Then, the Coalition Avenir Québec government ordered the federal government to put a brake on the arrival of asylum seekers to avoid a “breaking point.” The Quebec Liberal Party instead established this week that Quebec would have “no choice” to open its doors to more immigrants in the coming years.
“Who can we do without ?”
While he agrees that it is impossible for Quebec to continue at the current pace, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois avoids saying for the moment what his party would cut — a portion of temporary or permanent immigration — to better respect the capacity of the rental stock, the education network and the health sector. “Quebec’s reception capacity must stop being a political toy. We must define it once and for all on objective bases,” he said, reiterating his desire to see the creation of a committee of experts on the issue.
“Who do we want ? Who can we do without in Quebec ? Do we leave strawberries in the fields, is -what we take away from the staff who work in [seniors' residences] ? All these beautiful people are temporary foreign workers. »
“GND” also took advantage of his speech to denounce the PQ’s speech on immigration. “No one is proposing thresholds as low [as them] in Quebec,” he said.
Last weekend, the PQ leader, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, and Guillaume Cliche-Rivard debated, through texts published on social networks, the state of temporary immigration in Quebec, accusing both of creating “a climate of fear” or “cutting corners.” The elected Cliche-Rivard finally proposed to the PQ to debate immigration on television, but “PSPP” refused Thursday morning to do so alone.
“If a television network invites the five leaders to explain their position on immigration and to debate it, Paul would be happy to be there,” said Louis Lyonnais, a PQ employee, Thursday morning. “I’m disappointed,” said Mr. Cliche-Rivard. “We can’t just have debates on Twitter,” added Mr. Nadeau-Dubois.
Based on a study by the National Bank, Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon denounced last week the “significant” effects of immigration on the housing crisis. A shortcut, according to Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. “He [Paul St-Pierre Plamondon] says: “There are not enough [new constructions] for immigrants.” But there’s not one person per house,” he said. MP Pascal Bérubé replied on X. “The PQ did not say that there was one new arrival per house. He said that last year, there were 225,000 new people in the territory for 30,000 housing starts. How many people per dwelling is ?” he wrote.
During the 2022 general election campaign, QS set its permanent immigration thresholds at a range of 60,000 to 80,000 new arrivals per year. Like the entire political class, the party had not established a reception level for temporary immigration.
Last October, citing that the amendments he had proposed had not been accepted by the government, QS had rejected at the Salon Bleu a motion requesting that the federal government review its reception policies for temporary to respect Quebec's capacity.
With The Canadian Press