Economic migrants seeking to settle in Canada”s mostly French-speaking Quebec will have to pass a controversial “values test,” the provincial government announced Wednesday.
“I think it”s important that we understand the values and the society where you want to live,” said Quebec Premier Francois Legault.
Those include support for democracy, gender equality and a new secularism law that prohibits some public servants from wearing religious symbols such as veils or turbans, he said.
The aim is to ensure better integration, said Quebec immigration minister Simon Jolin-Barrette, who announced a raised ceiling in arrivals from 40,000 this year to a maximum of 44,500 in 2020.
Quebec has the unique option of selecting which immigrants to Canada it wants to take in, and assigns them a so-called selection certificate — the first step toward permanent residency.
The test, which starts on January 1 but does not apply to refugees, requires applicants to answer 15 of 20 questions correctly.
Critics say it risks sending a negative message to would-be immigrants but Jolin-Barrette noted that Canada, Australia and some EU nations have similar tests.