Opposition calls out Quebec government over plan to cancel immigration applications

In this file photo, CAQ MNA Simon Jolin-Barrette holds a press conference in Quebec City. Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. Global News

Quebec’s official Opposition is calling on Premier François Legault’s government to back down from its plan to cancel some 18,000 pending permanent residence applications as it looks to overhaul its system for selecting newcomers.

Liberal lawmaker Dominique Anglade says the Coalition Avenir Québec government’s move would affect some 50,000 people, many of whom are already working and living in Quebec.

WATCH: Quebec tables controversial immigration bill

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Quebec tables controversial immigration bill – Feb 7, 2019

Quebec Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette tabled Bill 9 on Thursday, setting out a legal framework that would allow the province to be more selective with immigrants.

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He said the new system would better match applicants to the needs of the labour market, and emphasize the need for immigrants to speak French and respect Quebec’s values.

READ MORE: Ottawa opposes giving Quebec power to force immigrants to settle in regions

But Anglade said today there’s no need for the government to cancel existing applications as it puts a new system in place.

She says the government should take the $19 million it has set aside to reimburse fees for cancelled applications and instead apply it towards processing the files.

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