Over the last five weeks, protests condemning the Quebec Experience Program (QEP) reform have taken place on Montreal soil. The most recent one happened this past Saturday, June 27. The Facebook event title for the protest was titled "Manifestation contre la réforme du PEQ," which translates to "Demonstration against the QEP reform."
Yesterday, four other places in the province also held protests denouncing the QEP reform: Québec City, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, and Rouyn-Noranda.
We spoke with Thibault Camara from Le Québec c'est nous aussi, one of the protests' organizers, who confirmed the demonstrations began on Saturday, May 30.
On May 28, the government published an outline for reforms to be made to the QEP in the Gazette officielle du Québec.
"Yesterday's protest was important because it's as of this Monday that the new rules will go into effect," Camara told us.
As quoted in a press release shared with MTL Blog, the four main points that the 43 organizations involved are fighting against are:
- the extension of the years of experience required
- the exclusion of low-skilled jobs
- the lengthening of processing times
- the introduction of language requirements for spouses.
Camara shared this post about Saturday's protests.
Hundreds marched to the premier's Montreal office this Saturday, including Manon Massé and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois from Québec Solidaire.
Camara explained that if the QEP reform happens, it will take workers three years, rather than one, to ask for their Québec Selection Certificate, which is only the first step in gaining permanent residency.
Camara explained that this means, "if your employer fires you, you need to quit Canada."
"[People] are not going to come here and live in a precarious situation for three years."
As for the effects the reform will have on students, Camara explained that "in November, [Legault] made a promise for all international students to get the grandfather clause."
A promise which seems to not have been kept.
Thibault Camara ended our conversation with a message to Premier Legault: "We want an answer… These are the lives of people."
"Quebec does not realize that it has an impact abroad… What they do with immigration matters in the entire world."