Managing Immigration in the Canadian Federation: The Case of Quebec
International Affairs and Canadian Migration Policy (2020), en ligne.
Résumé (en anglais)
Quebec is the only province that benefits from a formal decentralization agreement with the federal government in the field of immigration. This agreement allows Quebec’s provincial government to select its economic-class of immigrants, but not refugees or immigrants associated with the family reunification program. This chapter explains the context in which such asymmetric decentralization gradually took place. First, the authors outline the constitutional foundations and the historical evolution of provincial and federal legislative powers related to immigration policies. Then they provide an outlook of the political and historical circumstances that led Ottawa to grant additional powers to Quebec. We also discuss the main reasons that led Quebec to ask for more decentralization. These include Quebec’s linguistic specificity, as well as its distinct, intercultural approach to integration, which contrasts with Canada’s multicultural defining policy. After having assessed the most recent developments in Quebec’s immigration policies, we provide some international comparisons suggesting that the Canada-Quebec asymmetric system is a unique modus operandi and one that, in Canada, gives Quebec a distinct voice with respect to the process of immigration selection.