Ottawa won’t be able to resist Quebec demands for immigration powers: Legault


Acquiring extra powers, particularly over momentary employees and the household reunification program, was a key a part of his election marketing campaign.

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If Quebecers need extra powers over immigration, as expressed in Monday’s election, no one in Ottawa can be ready to withstand the motion, Premier François Legault stated Thursday.

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Rising from a primary assembly of his newly elected Coalition Avenir Québec caucus in a Brossard resort, Legault turned up the warmth on Ottawa for its refusal to show over extra powers to Quebec within the identify of defending French.

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“If Quebecers need the Quebec authorities to have extra powers over immigration, no one can be ready to withstand this,” Legault advised reporters on his means out the caucus.

“It turns into a precedence, it turns into a precedence, and, I stated it, even within the subsequent federal marketing campaign.”

His feedback echo these of his minister accountable for Canadian relations, Sonia LeBel, who stated earlier within the day that Quebec doesn’t contemplate the door closed in Ottawa.

“We’ll maintain going,” LeBel advised reporters. “If you happen to take no for a solution, you don’t go ahead, so we don’t take no for a solution.

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“We’re going to maintain discussing.”

Legault and LeBel’s feedback comply with these of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and of his Quebec lieutenant, Pablo Rodriguez, on Wednesday. Each stated that regardless of the province’s calls for for extra energy to guard French, they imagine Quebec already has all of the powers it wants.

Legault made acquiring further immigration powers, particularly over momentary employees and the household reunification program, a key a part of his election marketing campaign.

Twenty-six per cent of recent arrivals fall into the class of household reunification, which Ottawa controls. That represents about 10,600 new arrivals a yr. Quebec desires a much bigger say as a result of about half of these immigrants don’t converse French.

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Trudeau has stated a number of occasions that Ottawa has no intention of ceding the ability to Quebec, however Quebec persists. At one level throughout the marketing campaign, Legault floated the concept of a referendum on immigration to lift the stress on the federal authorities.

Now, with 41 per cent of the vote and 90 seats, the federal government believes its bargaining hand is even stronger.

“For us, the door just isn’t closed on discussions,” LeBel stated. “I take what they stated as a gap to proceed. We are going to pursue the discussions. We don’t contemplate that is over.

“We’re beginning a brand new mandate, and for us it’s a precedence to get extra powers over immigration. We’re satisfied we’d like extra to have the ability to guarantee a stability between the scarcity of labour and the flourishing of French.

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“I heard from Mr. Trudeau a recognition that Quebec ought to have the required instruments to perform.”

However whereas most members of the caucus have been discreet of their feedback to reporters in regards to the election, just a few did acknowledge that the occasion was not at its finest when it got here to the immigration concern.

At one level, Legault appeared to hyperlink immigration with violence. He later apologized.

His immigration minister, Jean Boulet, additionally made controversial feedback throughout the marketing campaign.

“We are going to re-establish issues,” stated Chantal Rouleau, one among solely two CAQ MNAs elected on the island of Montreal. “It’s the dialogue which must be re-established as a result of an error was made. Mr. Boulet apologized.

“They have been remarks which largely went past what the individual thinks.”

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She insisted the remarks didn’t harm the CAQ’s possibilities in sure ridings of the election resembling Verdun and Maurice-Richard, which each went to Québec solidaire.

For the deputy-premier, Geneviève Guilbault, the hot button is higher communications.

“We will at all times talk extra and higher,” Guilbault advised reporters. “I believe we have to talk the concept we’re clearly pro-immigration. It’s essential, it makes our society richer, not solely on an financial foundation however on a human foundation.

“We have to be clear that we’re welcoming.”

For the approaching days, Legault now has to show to the tough activity of forming his new cupboard. With 89 individuals to select from, the job can be extra sophisticated than it was in 2018.

“We now have an excellent crew,” Legault stated. “In fact, the most important problem for the approaching weeks is creating the cupboard as a result of there are such a lot of sturdy individuals that the alternatives can be tough.”

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He should determine between the veterans he already has in place and the numerous new faces that have been elected along with guaranteeing a good stability between women and men and a consultant for every area of Quebec.

Whereas most MNAs cautiously prevented reporter’s questions on whether or not they see themselves in cupboard, Guilbault took the bizarre step of claiming she desires to drop her position because the minister accountable for the Quebec Metropolis area. She didn’t clarify why, however she is thought to have tangled with Quebec Metropolis Mayor Bruno Marchand over the CAQ’s imaginative and prescient for the area.

Sure gamers are out of the roles that they had within the earlier authorities, together with Boulet.

The one minister getting his job again is Well being Minister Christian Dubé. Legault made that clear throughout the marketing campaign.

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Requested by the Montreal Gazette Tuesday whether or not he intends to retain the title of Minister Answerable for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers — a task he assigned himself in 2018 — when he varieties his new cupboard, Legault stated: “I’ll take into consideration that, however to this point, sure.”

On Thursday, the Quebec Neighborhood Teams Community, an umbrella group of anglophone organizations, requested Legault to call a full-time minister for the job as a result of it feels Legault doesn’t have time to do it.

“I’d say we already had a minister accountable for English-speaking relations,” responded Christopher Skeete, the MNA for the using of Saint-Rose and parliamentary secretary to Legault for relations with English talking Quebecers. “His identify was François Legault and he was the premier.

“In order that’s one thing that’s already been given. We’ll see what the premier decides subsequent time.”

Legault did briefly tackle the caucus earlier than reporters have been requested to depart the room.

“Sure, it’s a transparent mandate, nevertheless it means we have now massive duties,” Legault stated.

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Legault additionally advised the caucus that after a gruelling 36-day marketing campaign, he’s affected by a chilly. He stated he had himself examined for COVID-19 thrice and the outcomes have been destructive.

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