Political Party in Quebec Proposes Deporting Immigrants Who Fail 'Values Test'

Alex Hall | September 28, 2018
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According to LMTonline, only a few days before a provincial election in Quebec, a centrist-right party has promised to slash immigration and deport immigrants who fail tests that determine whether they embrace local "values" as well as the French language.

The Coalition Avenir Quebec, led by businessman Francois Legault, remains in a close tie with Philippe Couillard's Liberals, with each party supported by 30 percent of decided voters, according to an Ipsos poll for La Presse and Global News. 

This will be the first election in nearly six decades in which Quebec's push for national independence from Canada is not a central campaign issue. Instead, like many elections across America and Europe, the debate has become one of immigration and national identity rather than the size, scope, and jurisdiction of government. 

"Young Quebecers are less attuned to independence, so the old nationalist discourse on sovereignty is not as strong," said Chedly Belkhodja, a Concordia University's School of Community and Public Affairs professor said, "The big questions now are about identity and what Quebec will look like."

Legault has proposed to cut immigration by no less than 20 percent. as well as administering French language tests and "Quebec Values" exams to migrants within three years of entering the province, expelling those who fail. 

His Liberal opponent Couillard proposes to raise the immigration quota for the province to be 60,000 people a year.

While some may argue that higher levels of immigration are needed to compensate for low national birthrates as well as greying populations, some conservatives have considered instead establishing incentives so their already integrated local populations are in a better fiscal position to raise families themselves rather than importing those who may not share their values.