(Montreal) Temporary immigration must be addressed during the multi-year consultation on immigration which will take place this fall, opposition MPs are demanding. The Minister of Immigration, Francisation and Integration, Christine Fréchette, refused to allow this issue to be discussed during the study of her party’s budget appropriations on Thursday.

“Now it’s temporary that we have in Quebec. So we can no longer have the right portrait of the immigrants who settle here, ”said Monsef Derraji, Liberal Party spokesperson for immigration, in an interview. “The exercise will be incomplete, and the results will be skewed,” he added.

During the study of budgetary appropriations, Minister Fréchette revealed that nearly 300,000 temporary immigrants were in Quebec in December 2022.

The Member of Parliament for Québec solidaire, Guillaume Cliche-Rivard, also asked the Minister that temporary immigration be addressed during the multi-year consultation, which will define the province’s orientations in terms of immigration between 2024 and 2027. He hopes that a “guideline” be established regarding temporary immigrant targets, including foreign students and workers.

“What I would ask of you today [is] a commitment together, that we can have your forecast targets temporarily, and not just permanently,” Mr. Cliche-Rivard said.

“It’s obvious that the context is important when you do this kind of exercise,” replied Ms. Fréchette to the supportive MP, during the study of budget appropriations, without accepting that permanent immigration is directly at the heart of the multi-annual consultation. “As for the directions as such, for multi-year planning, that one is about permanent immigration,” she added.

The Minister of Immigration also mentioned that temporary immigration reflects “the specific needs of businesses”. “It’s important to ensure that companies can be nimble in finding the talent they need to continue to grow,” said Ms. Fréchette.

For Monsef Derraji, however, temporary immigration must be at the heart of the discussions in order to anticipate the needs of these immigrants in terms of services.

“We cannot ignore, in the development of our public policies, ranging from immigration to housing, to take into consideration the arrival of temporary immigrants, temporary workers,” he said.