Quebec party leader says, adding Immigrants who cannot speak French will be suicidal


On Wednesday, Francois Legault, the Quebec said started the controversy upon his statement of calling for the move to add immigrants who cannot speak French as “suicidal.” According to him, it should be ensured first whether the immigrants can talk in French beforehand. Francois is favored to win the next provincial election. 

Mr. Legault is currently the head of the Coalition Avenir Quebec party which has center-right ideologies. In the chamber of commerce of metropolitan Montreal,  Legault addressed reports where he declared to them that we(as in the people) must stop the decline of the French language. 

Adding more immigrants to the province without first addressing the language is “a bit suicidal” according to him. 

CAQ Party Leader Francois Legault

Throughout the news conference, Mr. Legault repeated his statement multiple times about increasing immigration as “suicidal” for Quebec. 

Francois Legault is a former executive for airlines and turned 65 this year. In 2018, Mr. Legault swept the Coalition Avenir Quebec party to victory with promises of preserving French as an important language in North America which is an English-dominated continent, and cutting the flow of immigrants in his province. 

According to, an election prediction website, the CAQ party is projected to win a majority of seats in the member house, and supposedly sweep 98 out of 125 seats in the house, which will be ahead of Parti Quebecois(PQ), Quebec Solidare (a left-leaning party), Liberals, and conservatives. 

Credit: Tronto Star

Francois Legault had promised his potential voters that he will cap the immigrant numbers this year to only 50,000 people. 

Among many other things, a bill had been raised by his government that mandates immigrants that are new in the country to receive all government services in French after six months of stay in the Quebec province. 

Reportedly, employers have raised questions about this bill which will trouble them to attract talent which can get potentially more difficult. 

According to Reuters, Quebec is the second most populous province in Canada and it has been observed that this province contributes to fewer new permanent residents annually, and mostly relies on temporary settlements. 

CAQ immigration minister also seems to consider immigrants as threats who Quebec’s language and people. Jean Boulet, CAQ’s candidate for Trois-Rivieres says that 80 percent of the newcomers in the province don’t do any work, they just go to Montreal, and they also don’t speak French. He says they don’t adhere to the values of Quebec. He made these comments during a debate on Radio-Canada. 

According to him, immigration poses two main challenges, one is trouble for the economy and the second is threatening the importance of the French language. 

Credit: Reuters

Boulet also says that the Coalition Avenir Quebec government has set up nine helpful regional directors who will be tasked with making sure the immigrants learn French, assimilate and settle properly in the province. 

Canada is one of the most immigrant-friendly nations and the visa process is completed in a matter of months rather than in its neighbor the United States achingly long process which could extend up to decades. One of Canada’s largest provinces, Quebec’s anti-immigration government, and its reinforced policies could end up hurting many potential immigrants from applying to the country.

The French speaking Canadian province, Quebec’s elections seem to be shaped upon identity and Immigration. The constant question that is brought upon during the election speeches is whether immigration will threaten the unique identity that Quebec has build upon the French language. Despite immigration being quite a controversial topic during elections, the current ruling party is not afraid to play politics concerning identity, and it is perhaps working as well because they are potentially going to win the next election in a few weeks.

Quebec has stood a bastion of french-speaking people in the English-speaking North America. They have fought hard to secure their french identity through politics and the next governing party is also not ready to give up this fight at all. At the same time, Quebec is also facing the problems of aging population and many of the older Quebec residents are retiring, which as opened up 260,000 potential job positions. The unemployment rate in the province is also at a historic low and the government has also reported that job position numbers will keep rising, by 2030 reaching up to 1.4 million.

It is uncertain what strategy will Quebec play in the face of needing a good number of working class people or turning away potential candidates coming in through immigration.


Misha Sharma
Misha Sharma
Misha is currently a journalism and Mass communication major. She has several areas of interests and excels in writing and speaking skills. She has done some coding in High school and is well-versed with some technical knowledge. She is determined and motivated to learn and grow in the journalism industry. She has done two internships as a marketing and research intern. She is passionate about drawing, learning languages and loves to play trivia geography/science questions on Sporcle.





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