Simon Jolin-Barrette, minister of Immigration.
January 21, 2020 16h02
Refugees: Legault gives an unconditional support to Jolin-Barrette
The Canadian Press
The kerfuffle that has occurred these last days upon the filing of sponsorship applications of refugees has not shaken the confidence of the prime minister François Legault to their minister of Immigration, Simon Jolin-Barrette.
On Tuesday, in a scrum with reporters, on the sidelines of a meeting of the Council of ministers, the prime minister did not hesitate to assure their minister for his unconditional support, despite the failings of the system put in place to accommodate the refugee sponsorship applications and even if this is not the first time that his minister put the government in embarrassment.
“Simon Jolin-Barrette is one of the best ministers, a youth of the most promising policy”, stated the prime minister, a few hours before leaving Québec in the direction of Switzerland, where he will attend the economic summit in Davos.
He also dismissed out of hand the alleged “lack of humanity” which would be, according to some, the cause of the setbacks of the minister.
Monday, at the end of the day, the minister Jolin-Barrette is committed to reviewing the rules of the game, but on Tuesday, neither the minister nor the prime minister could not say why the current methodology had not been changed earlier, so as to avoid hundreds of people to make the foot of crane for days in the building of the ministry, without knowing what fate would be reserved for their valuable sponsorship application.
Solutions are beginning to emerge. On Tuesday, the minister Jolin-Barrette has indicated that the controversial system of couriers would be abolished. Aspiring sponsors will no longer have to pay hundreds of dollars to a messenger just to file their application in their place, as is currently the case. The practice, which has given rise to all kinds of blunders (such as the attempt to monetize its place), was to not penalize applicants living outside of Montreal.
The minister has also not ruled out the idea of not requiring people to attend in person. A hypothesis: the future sponsors may submit their application electronically.
The idea of a lottery will be another avenue explored.
The minister Jolin-Barrette, and the prime minister have rejected the blame on the previous liberal government to explain the turn of events. “We are in the process of changing most of the programs of the liberals that didn’t work,” said Mr. Legault.
In total, this year, 750 folders of refugees will be accepted, of which only about 100 from individuals, who can form a group with a maximum of five people. The other refugees will be sponsored by organizations.
The small number of applications accepted by Quebec, which favours the approach of “first come, first served”, has contributed to the disorder observed in the last few days and the frustration of the plaintiffs, who were to play from the elbow in order to increase their chance to promote their case.
But it is not a question to increase the number of refugees hosted in Quebec, ruled by the prime minister.
“We will never be able to accept all the refugees of the Earth in Quebec,” said Mr. Legault.