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Government announcement
7 March 2016

Minister Kathleen Weil introduces new immigration policy promoting participation and inclusiveness

Today’s announcement was the result of the public hearings which took place in January 2015 and subsequent collaboration between government ministries and agencies.  This flagship policy will inspire the strategic orientations and the future actions of the Government of Quebec with regard to immigration, participation and inclusiveness.

Our new policy responds to today’s challenges.  In the last 25 years, there have been important changes, both in Quebec and throughout the world.  Individuals are more mobile than ever before, competition for the best talent has increased and Quebec society is clearly more diverse.

This policy and the action plan that accompanies it emphasize the contribution of immigration to Quebec’s prosperity and to the vitality of the French language, as well as our government’s commitment to build mutual trust and solidarity between Quebecers, regardless of their origins, and achieve substantive equality for all Quebecers.

–  Kathleen Weil

Montreal, March 7, 2016. – Today, the Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness, Ms. Kathleen Weil, accompanied by the MNA for Jeanne-Mance-Viger, Ms. Filomena Rotiroti, introduced Quebec’s new immigration policy, Together, We Are Quebec, which will promote participation and inclusiveness, and her ministry’s action plan for the period from 2016 to 2021.  About 150 people, representing local partners in the economic, community and institutional sectors, attended this event, which took place at the Marché Bonsecours in Montreal.

Quebec’s immigration, participation and inclusiveness policy will serve as a basis for the implementation of a modern and optimal immigration system that will allow Quebec to stand out on the international stage by offering high-quality, easily available and simplified services to persons wishing to immigrate to Quebec.  A new and innovative selection process, which will be inspired by international expertise, will be at the heart of this new immigration system.  Based on the declaration of interest, this process will allow Quebec to target, in real time, candidates who possess the best profile and can respond effectively to evolving regional labour market needs.  In addition, foreign students and temporary skilled workers will be assisted in moving from temporary status to a more permanent status.  Pilot projects will also bring flexibility to the system by encouraging innovation and reinforcing partnerships with regional stakeholders.  The implementation of this new selection process will be possible if the National Assembly adopts Bill 77, the Quebec Immigration Act.  The bill was adopted in principle on February 18, 2016, and is currently being thoroughly examined by a parliamentary committee.

Among the measures provided for in the action plan are the improvement and adaptation of French courses, with particular emphasis on the professional needs of immigrants.  The range of French courses available will also be promoted in order to reach clienteles with varied needs.  To enhance the ability of our citizens to live together in harmony, the action plan recommends that more attention be paid to educating individuals about democratic values we all share and about human rights.  This type of education will be offered in the schools, in workplaces and in other places where people gather.  The Government of Quebec will continue to encourage measures that bring together all stakeholders in society to create welcoming environments which support immigrants in remaining in the region in which they first settled when they came to Quebec.  Major initiatives are also proposed to increase diverse representation in our institutions, particularly State institutions, since the State must have an exemplary record in this regard.

It should be noted that the Government of Quebec’s 2015-2016 Economic Plan, introduced in March 2015, recognized the contribution of immigration to Quebec’s prosperity.  An investment of $42.5 million will be made over a five year period to implement the Economic Plan and to promote the contribution of immigrants and cultural communities to the development of Quebec society.

This new policy replaces the policy statement released in 1990, Au Québec pour bâtir ensemble, which served as a guide for the Government of Quebec’s actions in the fields of immigration and integration.

Quebec is an open and inclusive society, which has a long history of intercultural relations and vast experience in bringing individuals from diverse backgrounds together to live in harmony.  We are proud of our diversity, of our distinctness and of being francophones.  Quebec’s new immigration policy is a concrete expression of our common ambition to make our society even more prosperous, while allowing for individual and collective self-expression.  This is because, together, we are Quebec!

– Kathleen Weil

Quebec’s immigration, participation and inclusiveness policy, “Together, We Are Quebec”, and the 2016-2021 action plan that accompanies it, can be found by visiting the following website:

Together, We Are Quebec

Quebec’s immigration, participation and inclusiveness policy and 2016-2021 Action Plan

In 1990, the government of Robert Bourassa drafted Quebec’s first-ever immigration and integration policy, Au Québec pour bâtir ensemble.  25 years later, the Government of Quebec will continue to ensure that Quebecers work together to build a more prosperous Quebec.

A policy that is consistent with Quebecers’ ambitions

Capitalizing on Quebec’s strengths and taking into account the challenges we currently face, the new policy will guide the actions of the Government of Quebec with regard to immigration, of course, but will also focus on integration and living together in harmony, so that we may all

  • affirm our distinct and pluralistic identity
  • and promote diversity, which is of great benefit to Quebecers and allows them to achieve their full potential.

The new policy places emphasis on an inclusive vision of a francophone society that welcomes diversity in return for greater prosperity, a society based on immigration and on the full participation of Quebecers, regardless of their origins.

A flagship policy

Quebec’s new immigration policy is designed to be adaptable:  26 government ministries and agencies helped develop it and will be called upon to implement it.

New strategies are proposed which reflect Quebec as it is in 2016.  Over the next few decades, these measures will inspire government action with regard to immigration, participation and inclusiveness. The selection process will be transformed to adapt immigrant profiles to labour market needs in Quebec; this approach will place emphasis on inclusiveness and on the participation of immigrants and cultural communities in our society, promote living together in harmony, by bringing together stakeholders from all walks of life – government, business, municipalities, community organizations and the education sector.  We call upon each and every Quebecer to participate actively in the building of a prosperous, open and inclusive society.

A firm commitment to guide government action

The new policy is accompanied by an action plan which will cover the period from 2016 to 2021 and which will include concrete, innovative measures developed with a view to :

Choosing better – Integrating better – Living together in harmony

The measures which will be introduced will allow Quebec to :

  • modernize its immigration system in order to simplify processes, methods and services offered to immigrants;
  • accelerate employment integration of immigrants in a way that is consistent with their skills;
  • offer French-language education that is flexible and adapted to the particular needs of immigrants, in order to promote their socio-professional integration;
  • bring together community stakeholders so that workplaces and other places in which people gather become more and more inclusive;
  • reinforce mutual trust and solidarity between Quebecers, regardless of their origins;
  • promote the full participation of immigrants and cultural communities, in French, in the development and growth of Quebec society;

A policy that resembles Quebec society:  francophone and proud of our diversity.

A policy which is the concrete expression of our ambition to build a society that is more prosperous, and that promotes individual and collective self-expression for each and every Quebecer.