AngryFrenchGuy

Does Montreal need more immigrants?

with 61 comments

That’s the fascinating and highly controversial question a small but determined group of scholars have been debating in Québec newspapers lately.

49 000 new brothers and sisters. That’s how many new immigrants the Québec government decided to recruit for Québec in 2008. That number, which is proportionally much higher than the immigration levels in the United States and most of Western Europe, will be increased to 55 000 in 2010.

The standard justification for this high level of immigration is that it necessary to compensate for the low birthrate in Québec, to maintain the province’s demographic and economic weight in the federation and simply because we need the workers.

Last week demographer Marc Termotte publicly denounced the Québec government for not publishing his study–that the same government had commissioned–demonstrating that French was declining in Montreal at least partly because Montreal Francophones were having a hard time integrating an always increasing number of immigrants.

In a December 28th letter to Le Devoir (google’s robot translation), demographer Guillaume Marois takes another look at Québec’s seldom questioned immigration policies and concludes that immigrants already in Québec will be among those who have the most to lose with a more ambitious immigration policy!

Pointing out that in Québec, as in Ontario and the rest of the Western World, immigrants move to urban areas and stay away from far away regions, he argues that increased immigration will do nothing to solve the shortage of workers in Rouyn and Alma.

The true question is not, according to him, if Québec need more immigrants, but:

Does Montreal need more immigrants?

“In December 2007 the unemployment rate in on the island of Montreal was 8,5% while it was only 7% for Québec as a whole. How are immigrants doing? According to the latest ISQ (Institut de Statistique du Québec) compilations, more than 10% of immigrants are unemployed…”

So if there is no worker shortage in Montreal, why are we bringing more people in, Guillaume?

“We often hear that “immigrants don’t steal our jobs, but occupy jobs that Quebecers don’t want because of bad conditions”. But if working conditions are staying bad, it is precisely because employers find in the immigrant community people who are ready to take these jobs. Employers don’t have to raise salaries or improve working conditions.”

“Although immigrants are generally better educated than average Quebecers, they are over represented in menial and manual jobs. They’ve been promised a lot of nice things but, in the end, they have to go towards this type of employment for various reasons (not recognized diplomas, false promises, etc…) or be unemployed. A good proportion of immigrants who are here will pay the price of an increase in immigration.”

More immigrants means lower wages for poor working-class Quebecers. Guess who are the poor working-class Quebecers of 2008?

That’s right! Immigrants.

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Written by angryfrenchguy

February 4, 2008 at 11:22 am

61 Responses

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  1. It’s french imperialism at it’s best not to mention that Rouyn n co will soon have to compete with the cleaning and black fly catching job vacancies soon to open up at the Desmarais, that is powercorp, estate in Sagard unless of course Mme.Desmarais sheds her kryptonite necklace, reveals her true superwoman nature and does it all herself which considering the size of the estate: http://www.idesignarch.com/billionaire-paul-desmarais-stunning-estate/
    and weight of the necklace is highly unlikely.
    Now if Paul and the kids were to pitch in….

    spaesani

    March 29, 2013 at 11:28 pm


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