Elections Quebec 2022 | Increasing immigration would be ‘suicidal’, says Legault

Raising immigration thresholds beyond 50,000 people a year will be suicidal for the Quebec nation as long as French continues to decline, CAQ leader Francois Legault said Wednesday.

Mr. Legault made these remarks during a speech before the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. He then answered questions, including on the labor shortage and immigration.

“As long as we have not stopped the decline of French, I think that for the Quebec nation which wants to protect French, it would be a little suicidal to go increase,” he replied.

During a press briefing that followed, Mr. Legault took responsibility for his remarks and ruled out any possibility that he would apologize.

« It’s an expression in Quebec to say, if we increased the number of immigrants when French is in decline, then it would be a little suicidal for French, » he repeated. Everyone understands what that means. We have to stop the decline, it’s certainly not by increasing the number of immigrants that we’re going to stop the decline of French, that would be a bit suicidal. »

The Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) wants to maintain the annual immigration threshold at 50,000, while the Liberal Party of Québec and Québec solidaire are proposing to raise them.

Boulet lacks judgment

Mr. Legault also judged that his Minister of Immigration, Jean Boulet, had lacked judgment and made an error in affirming, during a debate last week, that « 80% of immigrants go to Montreal , do not work, do not speak French or do not adhere to the values ​​of Quebec society ».

“I very much regret the words of Mr. Boulet, said the chief caquiste. […] I know Jean doesn’t think that, but he made a serious error in judgment. He regrets his words. »

The minister’s error is « to have said that a majority does not work or speak French, it is not true », specified Mr. Legault.


As his caravan heads for Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Mr. Legault minimized the health risks associated with arsenic emissions from the Horne smelter in Rouyn-Noranda.

Before hitting the road to Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Mr. Legault reacted to criticism from doctors who accused him of having told Everybody talks about it that the situation was safe on Sunday.

« It depends on the definition of security, » he said in a radio interview with 98.5 FM. I invite everyone in Rouyn-Noranda to read the Public Health report. It’s not as dramatic as some say. »

The CAQ government wants to limit the concentration in the air of arsenic emitted by the Horne smelter to 15 ng/m³ within 5 years, while the provincial standard is 3 ng/m³. The company had previously obtained permission to emit a maximum of 100 ng/m³.

In July, a report by the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ) concluded that, over a period of 70 years, between one and fourteen more residents of Rouyn-Noranda would develop cancer if the Glencore company does not reduce arsenic discharges from the Horne smelter.

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