The Premiers of Canada’s provinces and territories have settled on an immigration target for French-speakers outside the province of Quebec of 5%, exceeding the federal government’s target of 4% by the year 2018.
Although Quebec is usually the first province French-speakers look to when immigrating to Canada, the other provinces also have a considerable francophone population of over one million people, which is approximately 4% of the population outside Quebec. One of the Canadian government’s goals is to grow these French-speaking communities through immigration. The federal department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is looking for methods of increasing the number of French-speaking candidates who are interested in immigration to Canada.
One initiative to increase francophone immigration in provinces outside Quebec is Mobilité Francophone which launched on June 1st. This stream of the International Mobility Program allows Canadian employers in provinces other than Quebec to recruit French-speakers and bilingual (French and English) skilled workers without the requirement to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA is required to prove that there is no other Canadian citizen or permanent resident who could fill the same position that an employer is recruiting a foreigner for. This is a great opportunity for French-speakers who would like to work in Canada, and later obtain Canadian permanent residency.
In addition to the Mobilité Francophone initiative above, all Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) allow applicants to increase their selection factor points by submitting test results of an approved French language testing center to support their French language proficiency. Both English and French proficiency are equally valued in most Canadian provincial programs.
The Premiers of the provinces and territories are also petitioning for an agreement equal to the Canada-Quebec Accord, which grants Quebec jurisdiction to select its immigrants to meet the province’s needs. All provinces are now requesting such agreement to give them the power to select immigrants to meet each province’s unique needs.
The French language is already well-entrenched in Québec, where French is the first language of the majority of the population and French has increasingly become a common language. The rest of Canada now wants to strengthen their minority francophone communities to help support Canada’s multicultural and bilingual character.
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