Quebec To Employ 1,500 Asylum Seekers In Health Care Industry 

Quebec To Employ 1,500 Asylum Seekers In Health Care Industry
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Quebec wants to recruit around 1,500 asylum seekers to work in the province’s health care industry over the next three years, Employment Minister Kateri Champagne Jourdain says.

The placement of the workers will be done by two community organizations, one in Montreal and one in Quebec City.

Open positions include patient-care aides, kitchen and maintenance staff, and administrators, applicants to which are expected to hold a valid work permit and have an intermediate level of French.

The Canadian Press’ report on this story detailed that Champagne Jourdain has recognized 1,098 would-be refugees to have expressed their interest in working in the tourism industry, after the launch of a similar program in May that connects asylum seekers with jobs.

This news follows reports of a surge of asylum seekers at Canada’s domestic airports after Ottawa closed an unofficial land crossing and eased some requirements for visitor visa applicants. wrote in October that from January to September 2023, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) processed 26,585 asylum claims at airports, which represented a 54 percent increase from 2022’s 17,165 claims.

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Most of the claims (17,080) were made at Quebec airports, followed by Ontario (8,735), British Columbia (430), Alberta (320), and Nova Scotia (15).

One of the primary causes for this uptick is Ottawa’s closure of Roxham Road in March, which was a popular land route for asylum seekers. Would-be claimants have since started relying on other entry points into Canada.

Canada’s waiving of some eligibility requirements for visitor visa applicants further contributed to this trend. In particular, asylum seekers now have no obligation to prove the availability of sufficient funds or demonstrate that they will leave Canada when their visas expire.

Put into force on February 28, this policy is set to stay operational till the end of 2023 as a means to clear the immigration application backlog in Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) inventories.

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“The accumulated visitor visa inventory is limiting Canada’s attractiveness for tourists and business persons, in addition to keeping families separated. Facilitating the processing of applications currently in the inventory by streamlining eligibility requirements will position Canada for a clean start and a return to pre-pandemic processing times, thereby ensuring our international competitiveness moving forward,” read the IRCC website page on this public policy.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller has commented on the recent surge in asylum seeker numbers by calling it “not a problem that’s going away.”

“Asylum seekers are finding their way into this country. Frankly, I am not going to fault them for it.”

“Getting our act together means a number of things. It means looking at the federal government for investments. We have put a lot of money into the city of Toronto. We are willing to make significant investments in addition, but it doesn’t come without some assurances that the city of Toronto is also doing what it needs to do, and that the province of Ontario is stepping up.”

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.