Living together in Quebec: doing more and doing better

The year 2021 ends on a bitter note when it comes to the issue of living together: on the one hand, those who vigorously criticize the laws of Quebec, and on the other, those who are tired of being called all names, including being racist.

On both sides, consciously or unconsciously, we can take pleasure in “playing” insults and admonitions in this social film, but let’s admit that this dependence will not be able to lead to anything good either for our mental health or for social peace. that Quebec needs to move forward.

The figures are stubborn, the population of Quebec is aging at an exponential rate. It is written in the sky, the history of the next 400 years will be written with Quebecers of all origins. Sooner or later, we have to accept it collectively and work together so that this territory continues to offer people from all over the world a land of anchorage, security and possibilities.

We should be delighted with the progress made in recent decades, but there is still a lot of work to be done. I would like to raise three fundamental issues here: the race for talent, reception and integration measures and the feeling of belonging to Quebec society.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the race for talent between all countries on the planet. Quebec is no exception and failure in this area will have disastrous consequences on our public services and our quality of life. Reforms such as the Quebec Experience Program and the fact that Quebec shares this jurisdiction with the federal government sometimes work against us. The numbers are not compiled, but many talents are slipping away from us because of this double bureaucracy, delays and costs imposed on potential immigrants. The last story is that of French-speaking African students refused by Immigration Canada. Cleaning is needed in Quebec and Ottawa to make our immigration policies simpler and more attractive.

Much ink and saliva has flowed on the question of the reception and integration of immigrants. I would like to point out that Quebec is already doing a lot in this area, but I will not help hitting again on three nails: the recognition of diplomas and skills, in particular by professional orders, the use of public and private institutions to offer newcomers a first work experience in Quebec as well as the effective regionalization of immigration. The recent investment of $ 130 million for the recognition of diplomas and skills is excellent news. However, more and better will have to be done to collectively meet the challenge of welcoming and integrating immigrants.

In March 2021, a doctoral thesis concluded that second generation young people of African origin did not feel Quebecers. Beyond the figures analyzed (21 people aged between 18 and 33) that can be called into question, anyone who meets the youth of different communities knows that the feeling of belonging to Quebec society is an issue that must be addressed. attack now, because the future of Quebec is at stake. It is a responsibility shared between the State, public and private institutions and the families of these young people. Basically, we must successfully implement the measures of the Action Group against racism, put in place initiatives promoting the full participation in public life of young people of immigrant origin and finally rely on parents from of immigration to pass on to their children the feeling of pride in being part of the great Quebec family. I know this is an ambitious project, but we have to succeed.

In closing, I would like to highlight the election, in 2021, of several young politicians of various origins, not only in Montreal, but also elsewhere in Quebec. The results of these municipal elections are proof that Quebec is moving slowly in the right direction and that by focusing on what unites us, we will brilliantly meet the many challenges of living together.

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