Trudeau Liberals anxious to understand new Quebec leader's controversial immigration plan
OTTAWA—Federal Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc says he’s eager to learn more about Quebec premier-designate Francois Legault’s controversial plans for immigration in the province.
Legault’s Coalition Avenir Quebec won a majority mandate Monday following a provincial election that knocked Philippe Couillard’s Liberals from power.
The incoming government led by the centre-right Coalition could clash with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals over several files—with Legault’s contentious pledges on immigration as potential headliners.
Legault won after vowing to lower Quebec’s annual immigration levels by 20 per cent and to force newcomers to pass French and values tests within three years of their arrival—or face removal from the province.
Enforcement, however, for such expulsions would fall to Ottawa.
The federal Liberals have a more open approach to immigration and, while LeBlanc said Tuesday that he’d like to learn more about Legault’s intentions, he noted that governing is different than running an election campaign.
LeBlanc told The Canadian Press he wants to sit down with Legault’s eventual minister responsible for immigration once the Coalition takes office.
“I hope to have a meeting pretty quickly to be able to exactly understand their plan,” he said in Ottawa. “I don’t see, and we’re not at all looking for, moments of disagreement.”
Speaking to reporters Tuesday in British Columbia, Trudeau said he’s looking forward to working with Legault on immigration as well as other issues like job creation, economic growth and climate change.
“There’s a lot of conversations to be had, and I’m sure we will have disagreements from time to time, but we will do so in a constructive way that serves the citizens that have entrusted us with responsibilities,” Trudeau said.