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A meeting between Legault and Trudeau will take place on March 15

Photo: Paul Chiasson Archives The Canadian Press Prime Ministers François Legault and Justin Trudeau during a meeting in December 2022

Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau and François Legault will meet in mid-March, in a context where differences between their two governments have been accumulating for several weeks on the immigration front.< /p>

The date of March 15 was confirmed by a federal source on Tuesday, as well as by Mr. Legault's office. It was not possible to obtain details on the agenda of the meeting, which was requested by the government of Quebec.

The two prime ministers last saw each other in November, during a funding announcement for housing construction in Longueuil. Their most recent bilateral meeting, comparable to the one planned in 10 days, took place in December 2022 in Montreal.

In the immigration file, the processing of applications received under the family reunification program was the most recent subject of confrontation between Quebec and Ottawa.

Federal Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced last weekend his intention to ignore the thresholds established by Quebec for this category of newcomers, which was received as an affront , Monday, by her Quebec counterpart, Christine Fréchette.

Stop the influx

At the end of February, the Minister responsible for Canadian Relations, Jean-François Roberge, warned that the massive arrival of asylum seekers posed a risk to “Quebec identity”.

This statement followed that of Mr. Legault, who, in a letter sent in January to Mr. Trudeau, invited Ottawa to curb the influx of asylum seekers otherwise Quebec will reach its “breaking point” in the availability of housing and services to the population.

This meeting will follow the tabling of the Quebec government's budget by a few days and will precede the presentation of Ottawa's budget, scheduled for April 16.

The Quebec government has requested a reimbursement of $470 million for the reception of asylum seekers in 2021 and 2022 as well as the corresponding amounts for the following years.

At the end of January, Ottawa simply announced an additional $100 million in funding for Quebec.

In addition to immigration, there is no shortage of potential topics for discussion between Quebec and Ottawa, particularly regarding health.

One year after an agreement providing for the provinces to accept an increase in federal transfers for health care, Quebec has not yet concluded a formal agreement with Ottawa. It is expected that approximately 10 billion additional dollars will be paid to Quebec over a period of 10 years.

Last week, the federal government recalled that the payment for the current financial year, approximately 900 million, was conditional on the conclusion of an agreement before the end of the month.< /p>

Medication and dental care

The Quebec government is also demanding the right to withdraw unconditionally from the program that Ottawa wants to establish for the reimbursement of certain medications. Bill C-64, tabled in federal Parliament on Thursday, provides that the government must come to an agreement with the provinces which, like Quebec, already have their own drug insurance plan.

The federal government's new dental insurance program for people whose family income is less than $90,000 arouses the same interest from Quebec, which is asking for the transfer of the sums planned by Ottawa to its own dental fee reimbursement program.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116