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Faced with Ottawa's pre-budget announcements, Legault rebrands the immigration referendum

Photo: Ryan Remiorz La Presse canadienne «Au lieu de faire des annonces dans les champs de compétence du Québec, occupez-vous de vos propres responsabilités : en particulier l’immigration», a lancé François Legault au gouvernement Trudeau.

Prime Minister François Legault can no longer stand hearing his counterpart in Ottawa, Justin Trudeau, make “fireworks of pre-budget announcements” within Quebec’s areas of jurisdiction. He invites the federal government to focus instead on increasing the number of temporary immigrants and revives the idea of ​​a sectoral referendum on immigration.

“Instead of making announcements in Quebec's areas of jurisdiction, take care of your own responsibilities: in particular immigration,” said the elected CAQ leader on Tuesday during a press briefing held a few minutes before question period, at the Parliament Building.

Mr. Legault was reacting to a series of announcements made in recent weeks during which Justin Trudeau's government announced its intentions to spend billions of dollars on housing. Two weeks ago, the announcement of the creation of a new Canadian Tenants Charter and the equivalent of a uniform lease for all of Canada caused the ministers of the Legault government to fume.

“What I say to Mr. Trudeau is: listen to the Quebecers. Then, instead of […] saying: “we are going to give you money for health, we are going to give you money for housing”, go to the root of the problem. There are too many temporary immigrants,” argued the CAQ Prime Minister.

Mr. Legault criticizes his federal counterpart for having “let the number of temporary immigrants explode to 560,000”, at the last count. After dismissing it in February, the Prime Minister is therefore reviving the idea of ​​a sectoral referendum on immigration, depending on the “result of discussions” with his counterpart, which will lead to a summit meeting on the subject by the end June.

“We’re going to go into detail. Should temporary immigrants be pre-approved by Quebec ? If that were the case, that would mean that one, we would control the number and two, we would control the French language requirements,” he said. -he said, Tuesday. “Are we having a referendum on this possibly ? Are we having a broader referendum on other subjects ?”

Also read

  • Trudeau wants to create a Canadian Tenants Charter, no way, says Quebec
  • Trudeau says no to giving full immigration powers to Quebec
  • New increase in temporary immigrants in Quebec at the end of 2023

Excluded, then considered

In February, however, François Legault ruled out a possible sectoral referendum on immigration. “I don’t think we need to hold a referendum to ask Quebecers if they would like to repatriate powers to Quebec,” he said.

However, Justin Trudeau has an “obligation of results” in view of his June meeting, ruled Mr. Legault on Tuesday. After a meeting last month, the Quebec Prime Minister said he felt that Mr. Trudeau was open to Quebec being able to decide on the number of temporary workers admitted to its territory and that a “part” of them “be refused » when renewing their work permit.

Otherwise, “we have to see, do we need to hold a referendum to ensure that the majority of Quebecers support ?” asked Mr. Legault out loud.

In Ottawa, Tuesday, the federal Minister of Immigration, Marc Miller, assured that discussions with Quebec were going well. “I really felt in the last weeks of [Quebec Immigration Minister Christine] Fréchette a passion for work, a desire to really find solutions to our challenges,” he said.

If there are “points of difference” with the Legault government, the elected Liberal intends to work on “the common language of Quebec” and on Quebec's desire “to reduce the people who are here temporarily.” The idea of ​​entrusting all immigration powers to Quebec, as requested by the CAQ government last month, is however not on the table.

“A country that gives all its powers to someone else is no longer a country,” he maintained.

Quebec will request unconditional compensation for all federal programs interfering with Quebec's powers, Mr. Legault said on Tuesday. “There’s no way we’re going to accept that.” The federal budget is scheduled for April 16.

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