- After a week of protest and backtracking, the CAQ is abandoning its plans to restrict foreign student immigration through the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ), according to reports from Radio-Canada and the CBC.
- This news comes after Montreal students protested in front of the Ministry of Immigration.
The CAQ has decided to suspend the proposed changes to the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ). The PEQ gives foreign students and temporary workers a streamlined path to permanent residency. The Quebec government has been under attack all week after immigration Minister Jolin-Barette first proposed changes to the PEQ on November 1, when he proposed reducing the number of eligible fields of study for the program.
If it seems like the CAQ has been in the news all week, you're right. François Legault's government is facing a ton of backlash not only over the PEQ but for installing a policy that forbids new residents from getting services in English and for raising the legal age for cannabis consumption to 21.
Oh, and let's not forget about their proposed Values Test, which was praised by far-right nationalists.
Earlier this week, Minister Jolin-Barrette backpedalled on enforcing the changes to the PEQ on those who are already participating in the program.
There was an immediate firestorm from foreign students in Quebec who today, showed up to the Jolin-Barrette's office with their CVs in protest.
It seemed that few in the CAQ was on board with Jolin-Barrette's proposal. On Thursday, the CAQ lost a parliamentary motion to overturn the proposed changes because only three CAQ MNAs showed up to the vote.
Translation: Excellent news. Can we now take away the Department of Immigration from @SJB_CAQ? Improvising when you are literally dealing with the future of thousands of people is not a good idea. #PEQ #SJB_Démission
The news this evening was met with celebration and praise for a government that seemed to actually listen to students.
Many criticize the CAQ for constantly backtracking on what they say, however.
Translation: This backtrack by the PM, @SJB_CAQ and the #CAQ is a great victory for thousands of people who choose to contribute to the economic and social development of Quebec. It's also a victory for our CÉGEPs and universities, especially in the regions! #PEQ#PQ#polQC
According to CBC News, official opposition parties accused the CAQ of having a plan that wasn't properly thought out. Many accused the government of being in disorder.
Translate: @SJB_CAQ Oh you must have cried. Quebec is rising up against your inhumane side. Rarely heard a guy as hard to understand like you. In private, you will be successful because you have a heart in stone. You make me ashamed to be Québécois, Simon.
Some criticized the plan as yet another CAQ attempt to reduce immigration levels. Despite how unpopular this was, Legault said that he saw a lot of support for the changes to the PEQ on his Facebook page.
Stay tuned for more updates on the CAQ's plan to end restrictions on the PEQ program.