Quebec’s Immigration Targets May Be Too High: Parizeau

Quebec's immigration targets may be too high: Parizeau

Canwest news service
Published: Friday, June 13, 2008

MONTREAL – Former Quebec premier Jacques Parizeau says he is worried that Quebec may be trying to integrate too many immigrants with its new targets.

“At 40,000 immigrants a year it's fine, but to go to 55,000?” he said of the province's new immigration targets in an interview with Journal de Montral.

“That is a lot of people to integrate. There are risks that you don't take.”

Quebec increased its targets last fall for the next three years so that by 2010, it will take in 55,000 immigrants a year. Premier Jean Charest has said that Quebec needs to take in more immigrants to offset a low birth rate and a looming labour shortage.

Mr. Parizeau, who resigned after losing the 1995 referendum and blaming “ethnics and money” for the Parti Qubcois and Yes side's defeat, said that resources are already stretched to integrate 40,000 immigrants.

At the higher levels, he said, “it could be a real problem.”

Mr. Parizeau said some European countries have rapidly increased immigration and it has caused social problems there.

“What resources have they put in place to integrate them? I'd really like to know.”