Quebec's plan to reduce immigration levels won't help newcomers: study

A Quebec think tank says the province's plan to cut immigration levels is misguided and will not accomplish its intended goal of better integrating newcomers.

The Institut de recherche et d'informations socio-economiques published a study today concluding from publicly available data that immigrants are faring better in Quebec than the government claims.

Researcher Julia Posca says the employment rate among immigrants has risen steadily over the past decade, and almost 60 per cent of immigrants who arrive in Quebec are fluent in French.

While Posca says the employment rate for immigrants still lags behind that of the general population, part of that is attributable to how the province recognizes newcomers' work and education experience.

The institute says it is in favour of maintaining 50,000 as the number of immigrants accepted annually by the province, citing the province's aging population as one factor. The government plans to reduce immigration to about 40,000 this year.

Quebec Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette tabled Bill 9 in February, which lays down a legal framework that would overhaul the system for selecting newcomers to the province and allow it to be more selective.