Quebec’s Minister of Immigration, Kathleen Weil has recently announced a new ground-breaking promotional campaign that’s purpose is to encourage immigrant enrolment in French classes in Quebec. The initiative that already has an astounding starting budget of $750,000, will focus on promoting courses by making use of marketing strategies and platforms such as social media and community websites, and to make sure this initiative reaches everyone, they will also advertise on the radio, in newspapers, and on public transport. Weil outlined the entire plan on July 11, 2016.
In the Canadian province of Quebec, the official and most-used language is French. Weil stated that this language is an essential vector of integration. Quebec’s Ministry of Immigration, Diversity, and Inclusion (MIDI) claims that the French classes in Quebec is absolutely necessary for the socio-professional integration of immigrants, as well as the obligation to provide resources to learn French is a core part of MIDI’s mandate. Due to this, the upcoming campaign will be launched in a total of eleven languages to reach out to newcomers from all around the world.
Currently the provincial government is offering free French classes in Quebec to all new permanent residents on a full-time or part-time basis, with additional financial support available in order to cover childcare and travel expenses. Part-time enrolment has significantly grown recently, since many newcomers to Quebec obtain employment straight after arrival. However, statistics suggest that these free French classes in Quebec are still significantly underutilized as new arrivals may not be aware of the opportunity.
While proof to knowledge of French language is not always a requirement for candidates applying for a Quebec Selection Certificate via the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, it is certainly an important factor in the programs’ eligibility criteria. Weil specified that in recent years Quebec has been welcoming more and more immigrants with existing knowledge of French prior to their arrival in Canada, and that this accounts in part for the enrolment decrease of immigrants in government-sponsored French language classes.
For the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, candidates can gain up to twenty-two eligibility points by providing test results from a valid French language test that is recognized by the government of Quebec. Candidates for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program need to meet a minimum of 49 points per single applicant, or 57 points for an applicant who is accompanied by a spouse or common-law partner, in order to be eligible to apply for immigration to Canada through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.
The first stage of the promotional campaign is set to roll out by August 30, 2016.