Quebec forced to process the 18 000 records of immigrants

Photo: Catherine Legault Duty
The judge Frédéric Bachand has granted an interim injunction to compel Quebec to continue the analysis of applications for certificates of selection of Quebec.

Convinced of being immune to prosecution, the government caquiste, which sought to annul the 18 000 records of immigration, was scolded Monday by the superior Court, to force it to resume processing these files.

The court pulled up the side of the quebec Association of lawyers and lawyers in immigration law (québec immigration lawyers association) and Seeun Park, a woman originally from south-Korean who was personally affected by the measure. Last week, an injunction had been filed at the courthouse of Montreal.

“I am very happy with the judge’s decision and I really appreciate all the support that we have demonstrated over the last few days,” says Ms. Park. She had filed an application to the department in November 2015 from the South Korea, before coming to settle in Quebec in 2017 with her husband and two children.

The judge Frédéric Bachand has granted an interim injunction to compel Quebec to continue the analysis of applications for certificates of selection of Quebec (CSQ) under the regular Program for skilled workers for which a decision had not been rendered as of the date of its judgment.

“It is a glimmer of hope for the mothers and fathers of families, who were affected by this situation,” welcomed Me Guillaume Cliche-Rivard, who represents the 250 lawyers of the québec immigration lawyers association. The injunction, which is valid until 7 march, could be renewed until a decision on the merits is rendered.

The québec immigration lawyers association argued that the decision of the minister of Immigration, Simon Jolin-Barrette, to eliminate almost 18,000 cases awaiting was “completely illegal” because, inter alia, that it was to apply to a bill that has not yet been adopted.

The advocates for the government contended that the minister Jolin-Barrette had not suspended the processing of records, but rather ceased to make decisions. A minister of Immigration has the power to make decisions to apply the general policies that it develops, and this justifies the decision he has taken in the 18 000 records concerned, had argued the lawyer of the ministry, Me Stéphanie Garon.

“The decision of the minister [Simon Jolin-Barrette] obviously can not find a legal justification valid in a statute not yet in force,” says the judge Bachand. “[Mr. Jolin-Barrette] must act in accordance with the law in force, and not on the basis of a legislative amendment proposed “, slice-t-it.

The office of the minister Jolin-Barrette responded in the evening to the judge’s decision Bachand. “We take note of the decision of the superior Court. We will respect the decision of the superior Court. The department will continue to process information and make decisions in respect of applications for CSQ under the regular Program for skilled workers by the adoption of the draft law ” said in a written statement to the minister.

In an interview in the Duty recently, the minister Jolin-Barrette, said he was convinced to be immune to prosecution because, inter alia, that the federal government had won in court in a similar case in 2012. The prime minister, François Legault, had for his part said find “a bit special” as we bring this case before the tribunal prior to the adoption of the draft law.

“The minister Jolin-Barrette and Mr. Legault have a big uphill battle because, obviously, the government is not as safe as they had believed them to be “, argued Me Cliche-Rivard.

Protest of the bill

Strong of this victory, the québec immigration lawyers association now intends to roll back the government on its bill on immigration. The association is expected Tuesday to a parliamentary committee and ask the minister to review several sections of the legislation that it wishes to adopt.

Rather than destroy thousands of pending requests, the québec immigration lawyers association wants to persuade the government to transfer the records which have not been addressed in the new system. “We want to prevent people to start at zero, they do not see their folder is erased, but rather transferred, without prejudice “, calls Me Cliche-Rivard.

The québec immigration lawyers association will ask the government to avoid getting bogged down in the constitutional debate with the federal government looming on the horizon if some of the provisions that are currently provided are not repealed or amended.

“The bill proposes the addition of conditions to permanent resident status, which is under federal jurisdiction, and hereby grants to the quebec minister regulation-making powers broader departmental,” notes the québec immigration lawyers association in its submission of 16 pages.

The association hopes that this meeting will be an opportunity to begin a dialogue with the minister Jolin-Barrette.

“What we want is that he understands that it is still the life of thousands of people we are talking about. One wants to open the dialogue because we hope not to have to go to court each time, ” pointed out to Me, Cliche-Rivard.

In the last days, the government has been accused of proceeding too quickly with the draft law on immigration, to the point that groups such as the law society and the CSN have not been able to participate in the parliamentary commission, due to lack of time to prepare.


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