Lawyers for an association of Quebec immigration lawyers will be in a Montreal courtroom this morning trying to overturn the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government’s decision to cancel 18,000 immigration applications.
The association, known as the AQAADI, is taking aim at Bill 9. It was tabled in the National Assembly by Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette on Feb. 7.
If adopted, the bill would discard 18,139 untreated immigration files from skilled workers, the immigration program that is managed by Quebec. The AQAADI says applicants have already received a notice saying their applications will no longer be treated.
The association will be seeking an emergency injunction that would force the government to continue processing the applications until a new law is adopted.
The AQAADI says cancelling the permits will leave thousands of families in limbo.
The court challenge comes as a number of groups line up against the cancellation of the permits, including unions, business groups and the Canadian Bar Association.
The CSQ labour federation, which represents 200,000 workers, issued a statement yesterday calling the CAQ’s decision to cancel the permits “cavalier” and “heartbreaking.”
The Conseil du Patronat, which represents Quebec’s largest businesses, also issued a statement. It says the move “undermines Quebec’s credibility on the international scene and reinforces cynicism about our immigration system.”
And the Quebec chapter of the Canadian Bar Association sent a letter to Jolin-Barrette, saying it considers the move “illegal.”
The letter says cancelling the applications “tarnishes Quebec’s image among the applicants it seeks to attract.”
Jolin-Barrette declined to comment on the bar association letter yesterday, and said the government will defend itself in court.