The governing Coalition Avenir Quebec is to push ahead with its plan to introduce a values test for new immigrants.
A regulation amendment published in the Official Gazette on October 30, 2019, will require immigration candidates and their family members to pass the test as a condition of obtaining a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ).
The CSQ is the document which Quebec immigration candidates take to the federal government to apply for permanent residence.
The regulation will take effect from January 1, 2020.
The CAQ’s original plan, announcing during its 2018 election campaign, was to make passing the test a condition of permanent residence. The new regulation means candidates must pass the test before becoming a permanent resident.
According to the amendment, candidates and their family members “must obtain an attestation of learning about democratic values and the Quebec values expressed by the Charter of human rights and freedoms”.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault said the test is similar to the one for Canadian citizenship.
“If you compare our test to the test that already exists in Canada about knowing Canada, it’s not very different,” he said.
“I think it’s important in Quebec because we are a nation, we are a distinct society, we have our values, we have our charter.”
Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette outlined example questions for the test in a press conference on Wednesday.
- Since March 27, 2019, Bill 21, the secularism of the state, says every new police officer cannot wear religious symbols on the job. True or false?”
- Who is allowed to legally marry in Quebec? Circle the options: M/F, F/F, M/M
- Men and women in Quebec have the same rights. True or false?
- Identify the situation(s) where there could be discriminatory hiring practices: A woman who is pregnant, a person who doesn’t have the right qualifications or a person of color.
Dependent children under 18 and candidates with medical conditions preventing them from taking the test will be exempt.
According to the regulation, candidates will need a score of 75 percent or more to pass the test.
Candidates will have 90 minutes to complete the exam. Quebec democracy, francophone culture, secularism, rights and responsibilities and equality between men and women are some of the subjects it is likely to cover.
Those who fail the test must wait two weeks before taking it again. Those who fail twice have the option of taking it a third time, or attending a course to learn about Quebec values.
Candidates who choose to take the test a third time and fail do not have the option of taking the course.
Candidates who complete the full Quebec values course automatically obtain the required ‘learning attestation’.