Legault asks Trudeau for full immigration powers

By Patrice Bergeron, The Canadian Press

On Friday, Premier François Legault will ask Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to transfer all immigration powers over to Quebec.

The two leaders are meeting in Montreal to discuss Legault’s concerns about the immigration situation. He is calling for a reduction in the number of temporary immigrants and asylum seekers.

As of Dec. 31, Quebec has received 160,651 asylum seekers, representing 55.6 per cent of the country’s total and putting a lot of pressure on public services – Legault has said.

“Yes, that’s going to be one of the points. It was I who asked for the meeting with Mr. Trudeau, and it’s going to be one of my requests to repatriate all immigration powers,” he said, answering a question from Parti Québécois (PQ) leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon during the question period at the National Assembly.

“Coup de théâtre this morning,” the PQ leader wrote on X, admitting that he had been baffled.

“I’ve been leader of the PQ for three-and-a-half years now, and I’ve been constantly asking the premier to keep his promise and formally ask Ottawa to give him full powers over immigration. I wasn’t expecting this, but in response to my umpteenth question on this issue, the Premier finally said yes.”

Legault is already thinking about Plan B if the federal government refuses to transfer all immigration powers to the province.

“We’re going to evaluate our options,” he said. “There are options on the table, and we’re already evaluating them.”

The demand for full immigration powers for Quebec has been part of Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) platform since 2015, but the party has never been successful.

—This report by La Presse Canadienne was translated by CityNews.

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