Quebec Immigration Minister goes extra mile to welcome more Haitian Immigrants

Immigration to Quebec made easier for Haitians

Flag-Haiti.svgLast week, the Province of Quebec stated that it was preparing to open its door to welcome more Haitian immigrants affected by the recent earthquake despite federal government protocols

90 per cent of the 135,000 members of the Canadian Haitian population currently reside in the province of Quebec. Quebec Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities Yolande James has said she is prepared to use the “power of selection”, a clause in the federal and provincial immigration agreement, for allowing an implementation of the expanded definition of family to increase the amount of eligible Haitian immigration sponsorships by Canadians. This particular clause is very rarely used.

But the Federal Government is still refusing to expand the Family Class for Immigrants

Canada’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney has firmly maintained that the Canadian government will not change the definition of family with regards to whom Canadians can sponsor for citizenship from Haiti. The definition of the Family Class for Immigrants is limited to spouses, parents, grandparents and dependent children and does not include other family members such as aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Kenney’s main argument for the lack of flexibility with this rule is that it would be unfair to others who have experienced massive events of destruction in their home countries whom Canada has provided assistance for, using the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami as a prime example. It is estimated that over 200,000 people were killed or washed away during the tsunami, which was the result of the second largest earthquake ever recorded. The devastation caused by the tsunami was significant, destroying many coastal regions in several countries

However, in the case of the Haitian earthquake, an entire country, its infrastructure, its population and its means of survival may have been irreparably destroyed. The total death toll, numbers of Haitians left homeless or critically injured may never be known. Further, in my view, two wrongs don’t make a right. The Feds should have expanded the Family Class for Tsunami crises. Now they have an opportunity to correct their mistakes but it does not look like they will.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

Tags: canada to quebec easier immigration Family Class Haitian Immigration Immigration to canada Quebec Immigration quebec immigration minister Quebec minister for immigration Spousal Sponsorship

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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