CAQ's immigration policies will hurt Montreal's economy: Garber

A prominent Montreal entrepreneur says the CAQ is risking losing out on potential business from abroad, if it goes ahead with its plan to cancel 18,000 immigration applications.

Speaking on CJAD 800's Elias Makos show on Tuesday, Mitch Garber, speaking in his capacity as Chairman of Invest in Canada — a company that helps court foreign Investment — says the province needs to be mindful of the message it wants to send to the rest of the world.

"That sends a terribly negative sign," Garber said. "If, in fact, we have a bad process for processing immigration files, okay, let's improve it. Let's not send home 3,700 who are working, living, and going to school in Montreal and in Quebec. Let's not do that."

Garber also points to the Legault government's proposed religious symbols ban as a deterrent for potential immigrants looking for a country with open values.

It's also a deterrent, he adds, for businesses looking to set up shop in Montreal, as opposed to other places in North America.

Meanwhile, Garber also talked baseball on the Elias Makos Show — suggesting if they don't know within the next three years in Montreal is getting a new major league team, it will be like to take another look as to whether it'll happen at all.

Garber added he isn't looking for a government handout, but he does see a role for government.

"This is not a bunch of rich people looking for the government to build them a ballpark. Absolutely not. I wouldn't be part of anything like that,"  Garber said. "However, if Major League Baseball coming to Montreal is going to have really positive repercussions on the economy in general, well, the government should sit at the table and think about how they can help us bring Major League Baseball back here."

CJAD 800's Matt Gilmour contributed to this report.