Québec Immigration Policy = False Advertising or Lying to Your Best Friend

with 35 comments

All newly arrived immigrants to Québec, especially the French-speaking ones, take down this number:


The above number is the complaints line for the Québec’s consumer protection agency: the Office de Protection des Consommateurs du Québec.

If you came to Québec under the impression that you were entering a thriving job market in need of your education and skills of if our were led to believe that your knowledge of French would be an advantage to you, you should call this number.

You were lied to.

If you read the Immigration Québec website you will read that: “According to labor market forecasts, 640,000 positions must be filled by 2008.” You will also read that the current unemployment rate for Montreal is 9,4%.

Actually, hum… no. Immigrants who’ve been in Montreal 1 to 5 years have an 18% unemployment rate. Three times that of native Montrealers.

The Immigration Québec website also informs you that “Québec is committed to preserving and promoting its official language. French represents not only an essential communication tool, but also a common symbol of belonging to Québec society.”

Again.. Apparently not. According to a new study by our good fried Jack Jedwab of the Center for Canadian studies, an allophone who only speaks French is two times and a half more likely to be unemployed than one who only speaks English. A bilingual immigrant only gets a statistically insignificant advantage of 0.4% over one who only speak English.

If you are a French-speaking North African your unemployment rate is an appalling 28%! (Google English) You are a sub-Saharan African? It’s 20%. Haïtien? It’s 18%, pathnais!

These are the French-speaking immigrants we were told were going to put an end to the demographic decline of French-speakers in Montreal and Québec. The ones that would be the easiest to integrate. Well, the above numbers tell me something is already going very wrong and that it’s time we address this problem before it catches fire.

We owe it to these guys. They left country and family to come here out of many possibilities in a very competitive immigration market because we told them we valued their skills, culture and language.

To increase immigration levels to 50 000 new people a year when 30% of North Africans can’t find work is a curious way of increasing the market value of immigrants who are already here. A cynical person might say it only serves to keep wages down for Québec’s struggling manufacturing sector.

What seem especially treacherous is that it is done at the expense of Francophones who were told that speaking French would be an advantage to them in Québec, and who will slowly realize that it is nothing more than an obstacle to their mobility, further reducing their market value.

Of course the idea is not that immigration is a bad thing and certainly not that we should stop encouraging Francophone immigration. Quite the contrary.

There are jobs out there and an enormous amount of people not being hired for these jobs. Is the problem discrimination? Racism? Education? I don’t know but it seems urgent that we find out.

I only suggest that perhaps the current economic news coming from the US could be the signal that the time might be appropriate to re-examine not only our immigration policy, but the use and value of French in the workplace, and ways to increase it.

We are now recruiting immigrants based on the job market we want, not the one we have. Employers are still demanding that employers speak English. Is it always necessary to do the actual job or is it only because, well, English kind of became the default common language in the office? Is it only because the Toronto office only writes reports in English? Is it only because it makes meetings more efficient?

The right to work in French is only very loosely enforced in Québec and not much thought has been given on how to harmonise that right with the internationalization of the markets. Those are complicated questions indeed in a global economy.

As we figure these things out, perhaps it could be time to ask ourselves how filling Montreal with young overqualified and underemployed poorly mobile young people lured into Québec under false pretences is a desirable move as we head into a recession?

Written by angryfrenchguy

April 14, 2008 at 10:00 am

35 Responses

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  1. Good point about the employment market Quebec WANTS versus the employment market it HAS.

    Yes, of course, it’s a wonderful message that’s being sent to these people. A francophone immigrant can’t even get a job delivering pizzas or pumping gas on Montreal Island (even in eastern areas) if he doesn’t speak English, but the same immigrant gets served by unilingual English store staff when he goes shopping downtown on Ste-Catherine.

    This all ties in to what I said in my comment on the private/public school issue in the previous thread: have the practical limits of Bill 101 been exhausted? If so, where do we go from here?


    April 16, 2008 at 10:54 am

  2. For a complete and up to date overview of the question of language at work, read “L’anglais, première langue d’intégration à Montréal” by Charles Castonguay on the Web site of L’Aut’ journal.

    In it, Castonguay reviews the result of a CD Howe study clearly showing the hierarchy of revenues of men in Québec from the poorest (allophones knowing only French as a second language) to the richest (bilingual anglos and francos)

    Not surprisingly, one is better off being a unilingual anglophone than a unilingual francophone.

    Immigrants recruited in former French colonies were lied to very badly by the Québec government. They were told:

    “Move to Québec, l’Amérique en français!” (America in French)

    They should have been told:

    “Move to Québec and once there learn that you must either enrol in a secular fight against the predominance of the English language, or like, a great deal of people, submit to the requirement to learn English to get a high salary. Otherwise, as a person unable to function in English you will be discriminated against.”

    The fault rests mostly on Quebecers as they are the ones promising something that is a not there yet:

    America, in French, with high wages.

    Mathieu Gauthier-Pilote

    April 16, 2008 at 4:51 pm

  3. If one considers how omnipresent (and even dominant) English is in the job market in Montreal in comparison to French, one can also say that Quebec is being unfair to all immigrants (not just the francophones it naturally attracts) by forcing them to have their kids schooled in French.

    An education system is one of the building blocks of a society. This is why young American learn in English, and young Germans learn in German. Because in almost all cases they will be mainly using the language of their schooling for their professional careers. This is somewhat different in Quebec, and especially in Montreal, where there is a significant disconnect between the language of the school system (most kids are educated in French in Montreal) and the local economy’s language.

    If current trends continue, the most advantaged kids will be those who went to English Quebec schools, since they will have the English native speaker skills required to work in an environment where internally pretty much everything is in English (reports, research, e-mails, meetings, etc.), yet they’ll still have enough basic skills in the other language (Quebec’s official one, actually) for the handful of occasions when a bit of token French is absolutely necessary to preserve appearances.

    One final point regarding francophone immigrants: a good proportion of them actually end up in places like Toronto, where national companies scoop them up for call centres and other customer service functions. (Speaking French is a much rarer skill in Toronto than in Montreal, don’t forget, so they’re actually very much in demand there.) So they can’t get a job in Montreal because they only speak French, but they can get one in Toronto because they do!


    April 16, 2008 at 10:10 pm

  4. Another problem is that many immigrants land in Quebec as foreign students at Concordia and McGill where french is viewed as a foreign language. Many of these people then find a job in Montreal with virtually no knowlege of french.

    The presence of a small number of these people on the job mean that everything (emails, meetings) has to be done exclusively in english. French become an ethnic code for informal conversation.

    My personal experience is that the job market is not the place to teach french. It simply doesn’t work.

    quebecois separatiste

    April 16, 2008 at 10:58 pm

  5. Man, those are some pretty depressing statistics you’ve got there.

    For what it’s worth, there’s a severe underemployment problem with immigrants in the ROC (=Toronto & Vancouver); as opposed to an unemployment problem. Every third taxi driver here in Toronto was, like, a brain surgeon back in Bangladesh. Different issue, obviously, since almost all non-refugee immigrants in the ROC will (I presume) have a basic working knowledge of English, and they don’t face the challenge of learning to use a second *and* third language in the workplace.

    So, if I’ve got this straight, either one has to figure out how to have the quotidian language of work in Montreal be French, or one has to both train francophone immigrants in how to speak English (to reduce unemployment) and ensure that their kids end up as francophones. In other words, either the German situation (everybody works in German) or the Dutch situation (everybody speaks Dutch but tends to work in English/German/French). Neither of those countries has the best record on integrating immigrants, though.

    I wish there was more cheerful news on this blog. Or is that over at

    . . . Oh, and, MGP, sorry for implying earlier that you were a hate-filled fanatic. I was really just feeling too lazy to rebut you. But you probably figured that out already, you fanatic.


    April 17, 2008 at 6:36 pm

  6. <– fucking pig of an angryphone, shows how stupid mtl anglos are


    April 18, 2008 at 7:22 am

  7. These days English is certainly making inroads as a workplace language in many places around the world, but I think we should be careful not to overstate how present it is even in places like Amsterdam that are renowned for their English proficiency. I know someone who went to work for Nortel in Amsterdam and, although the research work was done in English, he was very surprised to find that a very large portion of the workday took place in Dutch.

    I suspect the same to be true (or even moreso since Nortel is a Canadian rather than a European company) at Volvo in Sweden and Nokia in Finland. Sure, pretty much everyone in these places CAN speak English, but many of them would likely not speak it all or very little during a typical workday. There as most elsewhere, English is chiefly used for communications outside the country, even with certain non-anglophone countries I am sure as well.

    And of course all of these places would probably at some point have some people from abroad working there who don’t speak the national language, but their numbers would be nowhere near the numbers of English-only speakers you’ll find at places like CN, CAE, Air Canada and other large companies based in Montreal. Numbers that are of course used to justify, for example, holding all meetings in English just because one or two people out of 30 can’t understand French. (Of course, on the other hand little consideration is usually given to the fact than many francophones might have a very limited understanding of English, but hey, that’s the way it goes, les amis.)

    Another difference between Quebec and these places is that one can be locally trained in a highly-specialized field here while not learning a single word of the local language. Like Quebec, a place like Sweden or Norway welcomes immigrants. And your average Nigerian or Chinese person arriving in Sweden or Norway usually has some knowledge of English and next to no knowledge of the local language of their new country. The difference between Quebec and most other places, though, is that in Sweden or Norway or Denmark or Slovakia for that matter, it is impossible to become a doctor or an engineer or whatever without learning the local language. Whereas in Quebec, lots of people are locally educated to a high level without even acquiring a basic knowledge of French! Francophones complain of doctors and nurses in Montreal that can’t speak French, but where do you think these people went to university? The number of health care professionals from abroad who can successfully obtain a permit to practise in Quebec is minute, and most of those who are accepted come from francophonie countries like France, Lebanon, Algeria, etc. So most unilingual English health care professionals are pure products of Quebec.

    The situation is even more problematic when one considers that McGill University is home to 25% of all the medical student spots in the entire province (I am not making this up). Aside from the demographic lopsidedness of this situation, consider that 2/3 to ¾ of medicine graduates from McGill skip out of Quebec as soon as they graduate. (The retention rate for francophone medical schools is the other way around, and even higher, perhaps in the 80 to 90% range.) So do the math: 2/3 of 25% means 16.5% of our medical students are effectively write-offs for the province and will never take care of Quebec patients. And I’m sure many of them will complain of a negative “linguistic climate” when citing their reasons for moving to Ontario, Alberta or the States.


    April 18, 2008 at 8:41 am

  8. Hmm, yeah, food for thought. Are you saying you can get a job with, say, Bombarier or Hydro-Quebec and not speak French? If so, what would motivate a francophone boss in those companies to want to hire someone who can’t communicate in the boss’s own language? I don’t get it.

    The health care langauge thing cuts both ways, incidentally, at least from a patient POV. A roommate of mine (anglophone student at McGill from Vancouver) almost died from apendicitis at Hôpital Jeanne-Mance for essentially linguistic reasons; none of the nurses were apparently familiar with the English phrase “It fucking kills!” . . . or something. Of course it might have been just severe understaffing.

    I don’t see why the QC government can’t redistribute med school spots a bit; what’s stopping them? Also, don’t you have to pay a bundle to go to med school (like law school)? Finally, I don’t quite see how you can complain about the anglicisation of the medical system if all the anglo doctors are fleeing the city . . . Shouldn’t that be a cause for celebration on this blog?


    April 18, 2008 at 4:42 pm

  9. Acajack, I note your unassuming repetition of that old sovereignist canard about McGill doctors. I suggest to you that Quebec and Montreal are very fortunate to have a university like McGill. As Professor Richard Florida has explained in his work universities like McGill provide a major economic boost to cities like Montreal because of the “creative class” which they harbour. Universities are economic engines. The more the merrier. McGill is not simply a provincial institution and it has not been one for well over a hundred years. Its widely considered to the best university in Canada and was recently ranked #12 among the top 100 universities in the world. So naturally it attracts some of the best students in the world to its medical school and that in turn helps it to maintain its high international ranking. If an Alberta student gets an MD at McGill why would anyone be surprised if that student returns to Alberta to practice. Do you think Harvard Med School grads all stay in Massachusetts? If Quebec is concerned about subsidizing medical studies at McGill for out of province students they can increase the fees (again) for those students. But that won’t change the number of students seeking a spot at McGill.

    You are correct- there is something lopsided about university education in Quebec. There are not enough francophone university students. And to compound that problem there are far too many francophone high school dropouts in Quebec. The anglophones have historically always created more university opportunities on a per capita basis than francophones. And unfortunately there is simply no comparison between the amount of financial support which McGill, Bishops and Concordia receive from their alumni and the meagre support which Laval, U de M, U de Quebec and Sherbrooke receive from their graduates. Every dollar of that enormous anglo alumni support is used to raise the standards of the anglo universities. But when Quebec becomes a “normal” county, as the sovereignists love to say, they’ll soon fix that. See, for example, the recent piece by one Bernard Desgagnes on the Vigile website about the “language psychosis” in Quebec. Those sort of fellows would make short work of McGills international reputation. But thankfully they will never get that chance.

    The critics of McGill and the other english speaking universities are looking through the wrong end of the telescope. They should stop trying to reduce the role of these institutions and work on improving the quality of francophone universities and the number of places available for students, including medical students. That is the way forward. McGill sets the standard for university education in Quebec, not the University of Montreal. That fact really upsets some parochial nationalists but they should try and overcome their envy. That useless emotion doesn’t help to improve medical education in Quebec. There are no francophone universities on that top 100 list. Its time to change that fact. So get out your chequebook and send $10,000.00 to the U de M. Or better still, you and the AFG should get some wealthy friends together and start a new francophone university, with a medical school.


    April 18, 2008 at 5:43 pm

  10. Harvard graduates don’t stay in Mass but then Mass does not finance Harvard like the Québec governement finances McGill.

    McGill could get 8 or 10% of the government subsidized doctor training spots for people who made some sort of reasonnable comitment to practice in Québec and the other students could pay their own way like they would at Harvard: 38 000$ a year.


    April 18, 2008 at 7:02 pm

  11. But the Francophone immigrants don’t speak REAL French. They speak, you know, the French from France, that poncy kind, the kind that carefully enunciates words and pronounces words with the right accent, uses proper grammar and is comprehensible.
    My experience so far, as an immigrant from the U.S., ( where I grew up after coming from France at the age of nine and relearned some French during a six month bumming around in France in my late twenties), is that there’s an immense dislike of people who speak “proper” French by Quebecois who don’t.
    That, I think, is the real reson why the immigrants have difficulty.
    The English the Quebecois can accept. It’s the implication that their French isn’t quite up to snuff that they can’t accept.
    But the fact is…their French isn’t.


    April 18, 2008 at 8:29 pm

  12. I can’t believe I’m getting into this for the millionth time in my life, but here we go…

    Considering the history of Quebec, and of its relations between francophones and anglophones, it is a little bit galling to have someone gloat about how great the anglos of Montreal are and boast of all these fabulous institutions they built for themselves over the years. Like almost all dominant ethnic minority groups in the world, their success was essentially “seeded” (in the same way that tennis players are seeded at tournaments) in order to give them competitive advantage and a head start over everyone else. In the case of the Anglo-Quebec elite, this was largely in the form of access to capital (in London especially), lucrative government contracts, favourable immigration policies to bring in more newcomers to swell the ranks of the “chosen people”, and other government favouritism measures. Of course, the francophone (majority) group never had access to any of this, at least not in a big way until the latter third of the 20th century. By that time, Anglo-Quebec already had close to a 100-year head start.

    And if there’s one thing francophones should be vehemently criticized for, it’s actually for tolerating the situation for so long before standing up and doing something about it. But I don’t think we should have to apologize to anyone for advocating and provoking change when change was needed.

    These types of self-congratulatory posts also conveniently ignore the fact that Quebec’s anglo instutitions like McGill have essentially been financed by the broader community of Quebec taxpayers (the vast majority of them French speakers) for the past 40 years. (Alumni contributions are nice, and they provide “value-added” for sure, but they are only a fraction of what it costs to run a university let me tell you.) Now, one might think that given the ambient separatist rhetoric about “freeing the people from its anglo oppressors”, that places like McGill would have taken direct hits from the government over the years, but the reality is that pretty much all of the institutions have remained intact. In fact, places like McGill and Concordia have flourished and grown larger. Contrast this with what happened to many francophone institutions in the ROC when control passed from the Catholic Church to provincial governments. In almost all cases outside New Brunswick, the result was bilingualism being imposed on French-language institutions, which almost always led to near-total anglicization a few years later. A classic example is the University of Ottawa, which retains a bilingual (actually French only, English second) facade, but which has great difficulty in maintaining the French side of its bilingual character and is routinely taken to task on this.

    More specifically with respect to our medical students and where they end up working, I was going to say the same thing as AFG regarding public post-secondary education funding in Quebec vs. the U.S., but I would also add that I don’t think Massachusetts has a doctor shortage. Quebec does. It’s not a “sovereignist canard” to bemoan the fact that 16.5% of all the doctors my taxes are paying to train are jumping ship before ever treating a single patient here.

    BTW, in spite of the best efforts of people like Grant over the years, I am not a separatist/sovereignist/independentist…


    April 18, 2008 at 9:03 pm

  13. Hoo boy:

    “Hmm, yeah, food for thought. Are you saying you can get a job with, say, Bombarier or Hydro-Quebec and not speak French? If so, what would motivate a francophone boss in those companies to want to hire someone who can’t communicate in the boss’s own language? I don’t get it.”

    Yes, you can work with Bombardier in Quebec if you do not speak French. But you cannot work for Hydro-Québec if you do not speak French as it is a provincial Crown corporation that was precisely created in order to allow the emerging 1960s class of technical professionals (engineers, etc.) a place where they could work in their own language – or work full stop. The presumption being that the job market in the 60s was either completely closed to francophones (remember Mr. Gordon from CN, who when asked why his company didn`t have a single French Canadian in a management position, responded with a straight face that it was because there aren`t any that are qualified!), or would force them to assimilate to English.

    And why do francophone bosses hire unilingual anglos? Well, for starters there aren`t as many francophone bosses as you might think in big business in Quebec. Francophones have made tremendous progress since the 60s, but a much larger proportion of the economy is still today controlled by Anglo-Quebecers than their demographic weight would suggest. Some francophone bosses also believe that money doesn’t speak French, as the saying goes, and that the road to prosperity is through anglicization.

    “I don’t see why the QC government can’t redistribute med school spots a bit; what’s stopping them?“

    The Government of Quebec has over the years witnessed members of its largest minority, sometimes standing alongside victims of Bosnian and Rwandan genocides and other great human tragedies, complain with a straight face about the fact that English letters on signs have to be half the size of French ones, at places like the UN and in other international human rights fora. So let`s just say it treads carefully when it comes to the anglo minority. It doesn’t need the bad publicity.

    “Finally, I don’t quite see how you can complain about the anglicisation of the medical system if all the anglo doctors are fleeing the city . . . Shouldn’t that be a cause for celebration on this blog?“

    I for one don`t think we celebrate the departure of productive members of society. But also consider that one third of the doctors produced by McGill sticking around in Quebec is still more than 10% of all of the doctors graduating in all of Quebec in any given year, and that almost all of them are going to practise in Montreal.


    April 18, 2008 at 9:26 pm

  14. Whatever the merit of Mcgill, the fact remain that the presence of McGill in Montreal has a negative effect on the goal to establish french as the common language in Montreal in the workplace.

    I work in the Montreal software industry and my experience is that McGill graduates are often the most hostile to french.

    quebecois separatiste

    April 19, 2008 at 12:47 pm

  15. Michel:

    I have heard this many times before but the reality is that Anglo-Canadians (in Quebec and outside) and Americans don’t exactly speak “the Queen’s English”, yet newcomers to these places are falling all over themselves to learn Calgary English or Chicago English nonetheless.

    The problem has nothing to do with the quality of French spoken by francophones in Quebec, and has everything to do with the “power relationship” here between French and its rival language English.

    Any immigrant to Quebec who tells you they prefer English over French simply because the quality of French spoken in Quebec is terrible is just, er, “joshing” you. (Not sure if they’d know what that means at Buckingham Palace…)


    April 19, 2008 at 9:31 pm

  16. If the purpose of Québec’s policy of trying to attract Francophone immigrants is ultimately to preserve North American French, how about supplementing that policy by teaching non-French speakers–both inside and outside Québec–the phonology, lexicon, and cadence of colloquial North American French without worrying whether one or another variety of French is “up to snuff?” It is true that the French you hear in Montréal or St. Jean-sur-Richelieu is different from the French spoken in Paris or Reims, but isn’t that all the more reason for us Anglos to learn it–rather than the Parisian French that we are usually taught in school–if we want to be able to function in Québec?


    April 20, 2008 at 10:18 am

  17. It may be more complex for English Canadians learning a second language from scratch in their own schools with teachers who teach `French from France` but generally speaking the people who already speak ‘international French` reasonably well when arriving in Quebec from francophonie countries (France of course, but also places like Haiti, Lebanon, Algeria and francophone sub-Saharan Africa) are generally up to speed with local Quebec French in a matter of weeks or even days in some cases. I have quite a few of them as neighbours and colleagues at work and no one appears to have any problems.

    Plus, the French taught in the Quebec government`s immigrant welcome centres (COFI) is what one might call ‘educated Québécois`, and is the French equivalent to the English immigrants would learn in Toronto or Chicago, where a car hood is of course a hood rather than a bonnet, and the trunk is a trunk and not a boot.

    Bottom line: anyone who blames the particularities of Quebec French for not learning it is just making excuses. Period. Or full stop, if you prefer proper English. ;-))


    April 20, 2008 at 9:07 pm

  18. Acajack–I think we are more or less in agreement–at the risk of deviating from the topic here, I guess I was just trying in my clumsy way to express my frustration at amateur linguists who assert that spoken North American French is in some way “inferior” to International French. I have heard such stuff off and on ever since I started learning French, and my experience is that such attitudes obstruct the education of those of us for whom French is an acquired language, and that they obstruct in particular the education of those of us who want to use our French in Québec.


    April 22, 2008 at 6:02 pm

  19. I agree.

    A personal anecdote: my sister-in-law taught French to adults in Toronto some years ago and, invariably, at the start of the session someone would ask if they were going to learn “Quebec French” or ‘real French”. Her response was that they would be learning North American French, which is by far the most useful French for someone on this continent to know.

    Interestingly enough, a few years later I was learning Spanish with a bunch of Québécois adults, and someone asked the Spanish teacher if we would be learning Latin American Spanish or the REAL Spanish!


    April 22, 2008 at 8:48 pm

  20. Angryfrenchguy….you can substitute UC Berkeley (a state funded US school) for Harvard and the argument still stands. Education is something society pays for because it is good for society in general. An uneducated workforce is less effective and less competitive.

    French is indeed the language of 90% of life in Quebec, but if businesses find that they can hire better workers or make more money if they use English in the workplace then why shouldn’t that be allowed? Indian businesses don’t insist that their call centers work in Punjabi instead of English. It would be suicide. Yet Quebec has enough of a Francophone economy to limp along insisting that only French be used. It always amazes me that Montreal, one of the only places on Earth where the two most important European languages (English & French) are spoken nearly perfectly bilingually by a majority of residents, fails to exploit this advantage in the global market. Instead there seems to be a constant effort to kill it.

    Edward Scott

    May 25, 2008 at 5:32 pm

  21. […] are feeling very secure linguistically right now, aren’t they? And there is no way the 55 000 new immigrants the Québec governement wants to recruit every year will have any effect on the demographic balance […]

  22. […] Unemployment in Montreal’s Haïtian community – a very important community in Montréal-Nord – stands at a scandalous 18%. For North Africans, another important community in the area, it’s 28%. […]

  23. The Government constantly tells us that employers and that most submissions to the Public Consultation were positioned favourably to higher levels of immigration. What we need to know is that the needs of Quebec are qualitative, not quantitative. The labour market is sufficiently large in Quebec: What’s lacking is people with specialized degrees. When employers are in favour of increased immigration levels, they first think to their own interests. They don’t care if unemployment rate among immigrants is high and that many live in poverty. What is important for them is that their businesses can find the few specialized employees they need. Logically, the greater are the level of immigrants, the greater are their chances to find some specialized employees. Thus, it is absolutely not for the common welfare or the welfare of immigrants that they favour an increase of immigration level: it’s good only for them, without any consideration for social repercussions and what would happen to thousands of immigrants who are on unemployment.


    Le gouvernement nous dit sans cesse que les employeurs et que la plupart des mémoires présentés à la Consultation publique se sont positionnés favorablement à une hausse des niveaux d’immigration. Ce qu’il faut savoir, c’est que les besoins du Québec sont qualitatifs et non quantitatifs. Le marché du travail est suffisament grand au Québec: ce qu’il manque, c’est des gens avec des diplômes spécialisés. Lorsque les employeurs se prononcent en faveur d’une hausse des niveaux d’immigration, ils pensent avant tout à leurs intérêts personnels. Ils s’en foutent que le chômage chez les immigrants soient élevés et que plusieurs vivent dans la misère. Ce qui compte pour eux, c’est que leurs entreprises puissent trouver les quelques employés spécialisés dont ils ont besoins. Logiquement, plus on augmente le nombre d’immigrants, plus les chances de trouver la main-d’oeuvre recherchée sont grandes. Ainsi, ce n’est absolument pas pour le bien-être commun ou pour le bien-être des immigrants que ceux-ci se prononcent pour une hausse de l’immigration: c’est pour leur bien à eux, sans aucune considération pour ce qui adviendra des dizaines de milliers d’immigrants qui seront sur le chômage ou sur les répercussions sociales de leur choix.

    G. l'Incorrect

    August 20, 2008 at 12:14 pm

  24. Edward:

    ‘It always amazes me that Montreal, one of the only places on Earth where the two most important European languages (English & French)’

    uhhh, sorry, but the most important European language in the world after English is Spanish–by far! For many, many reasons… Sorry dude, but times change.


    November 17, 2008 at 9:34 am

  25. And please don’t get me wrong. I have been toying with the idea of moving to Québec, and living in French, for a long time. I love French! And I particularly value the American versions of languages: French, Spanish and English.

    I lived 9 years in NYC and I remember many examples of USians thinking that for example the Spanish, French or Portuguese versions spoken in our huge continent are somewhat inferior. A friend once told me, upon hearing that I was enrolling in a Brazilian Portuguese class, why I would not learn the real Portuguese. I told him, for the same reason u don’t speak real English. It’s amazing how many USians think they are beyond the American experience…

    I actually find Quebecois French way more exciting, and often sing along to Mes Aieux enjoying the Quebecois variations…

    I was born in the Spanish caribbean, but my grandparents are from Spain and I moved to Barcelona some years ago. ¡Que viva Québec libre!


    November 17, 2008 at 9:45 am

  26. “¡Que viva Québec libre!”

    y la Catalunya libre tambien!


    November 17, 2008 at 9:52 am

  27. AGF: there is really a MAJOR difference between the desires of the Quebec people and the Catalonian People. Based on the previous referenda, I can see that about half of the Quebecois have voted for independence. Here in Catalonia the independence party rarely gets over 7% of the vote. So the reality is that the great majority of Catalonians are against political independence. Also, absolutely every single Catalonian also speaks Spanish, and the great majority have at least one Spanish speaking parent. I generally support Quebec’s independence, but not Catalonia’s. The people don’t want it.


    November 18, 2008 at 5:53 am

  28. I don’t know if anyone will read this and I really hope this doesn’t delve into a debate about Israel-Palestine, but consider this:

    In the early 90s Israel had about 6 million people. Over the next ten years Israel integrated almost a million immigrants from Russia. No the integration wasn’t perfect, but it did wonders for Israel’s economy. Remember we’re talking about immigrants who largely spoke no hebrew and are today occupying important positions in all levels of Israeli society.

    Although it doesn’t do the job perfectly, Israel has proven expertise in integration of immigrants. So what do they do? They basically treat immigrants very well. Free Hebrew classes, grants, programmes to help people get jobs, housing loans. Israel values immigrants and is very serious about integrating them into society. This would be a good strategy for Quebec to adopt.


    February 27, 2009 at 11:21 am

  29. I am soon-to-be immigrant, live in Montreal. I can speak English and my native language only. I can’t speak French. I just wanted to tell you that I feel the lack of my french a lot. If there is any dominating language in Montreal, it is certainly French. I tried to learn but it cost a lot of money. Even in Quebec, if you want to learn German, you pay less than you pay for learning French. Also, the Quebec government is really good at state propaganda claiming that they offer French courses. (Even they pay for it). If you are not “selected” by Quebec, you cannot hae any French course in this province. In order to be selected, you have to pass a face-to-face interview in French language. If this sounds normal to you, I have nothing more to say.


    May 16, 2009 at 3:28 pm

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