- Montreal students are bringing their CVs to the immigration ministry in protest of the CAQ's proposed changes to the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ).
- The CAQ reform would cut the number of acceptable programs of study and fields of work for PEQ candidates.
Students in Montreal have taken to the streets to protest the impromptu changes to the Quebec Experience Program or Programme d'éxperience québécoise, also known simply as PEQ, and are gathering outside the office of Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette. Student and immigrant populations were shocked with the news that the PEQ had changed effective November 1, 2019, with major cuts to lists of eligible programs of study and fields of work, even including students that were already enrolled and working towards degrees or diplomas that were made ineligible overnight.
The Minister of Immigration, Francisation and Integration, Jolin-Barrette, along with Premier François Legault then began to backtrack on their changes after countless students showed up to the National Assembly, tearful, frustrated, and afraid.
The Premier conceded that they hadn't considered all angles of the issue and decided they were open to altering the reforms, particularly to include grandfather clauses for individuals that had already been accepted.
News broke yesterday that a motion had been adopted in the National Assembly to overturn these recent changes to the PEQ after only three CAQ MNAs were present during the vote, not even enough to ask for the vote to be postponed.
Now it seems that students won't be letting up with their pressure on the CAQ until they see a commitment to have the rules changed back to their previous form.
Despite adopting a motion this week presented by official and secondary opposition parties in the National Assembly, the motion remains non-binding and therefore only works so far as to pressure the CAQ to revert the PEQ back to its original form.
Students hold sit-in outside @coalitionavenir immigration minister’s office in MTL to protest reform to PEQ, a fast… https://t.co/BvLI55K80s— Tina Tenneriello (@Tina Tenneriello) 1573227367.0
This is why students felt they needed to keep the pressure on from their side, as well, by showing up outside the office of Simon Jolin-Barrette with their CVs, in a move that says to me, "How could you discount all the education and experience we bring to the Quebec?"
Local news ninja Shuyee Lee of CJAD News was at the scene and captured the photos and videos below that highlighted the theme of the protest, which was "Bring your CV."
Theme of protest was “Bring your CV to minister @SJB_CAQ.” Despite him walking back on the fast-track immigration p… https://t.co/ZZcgEzMcUT— Shuyee Lee (@Shuyee Lee) 1573231880.0
Representatives from Québec Solidaire were also present and invited "students and workers who are thinking of using the PEQ" to bring their CV to Jolin-Barrette's office.
Andrés Fontecilla a invité ce matin les étudiants et les travailleurs qui songent à avoir recours au PEQ à apporter… https://t.co/mJA6ucZ0Mp— Québec solidaire (@Québec solidaire) 1573226179.0
The tweet above reads, "Andrés Fontecilla this morning has invited students and workers who are thinking of using the PEQ to bring their CV to the office of Simon Jolin-Barrette in protest."
"We are asking for nothing less than the withdrawal of the improvised reform by the minister."
The improvisational nature of the reform is something that both the Liberals and Quebec Solidare focused on while presenting the motion to overturn at the National Assembly on November 6, 2019.