Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says Quebec is “once again” getting special treatment from the federal government, after learning an immigration program axed in this week’s budget will continue in Quebec.
Mr. Wall made the comments Wednesday as reaction to the federal budget continued to roll out. Among its many provisions was the cancellation of the Immigrant Investor Program, which was essentially a fast-track to permanent residency for wealthy foreigners willing to invest in Canada.
Ottawa argued the program was ineffective. “This is not a program that was achieving its objectives. Canadian citizenship and permanent residency is not for sale,” Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said Wednesday in a statement released by his office. But the program will endure in Quebec – under the Canada-Quebec Accord, the province has authority over selecting its immigrants, and appears set to keep the Immigrant Investor system.
Nonetheless, Mr. Wall is crying foul, saying the government shouldn’t cancel the program if it leaves provinces with different options. “Based on what we know right now, we have, again, Quebec being treated differently than the rest of the country… What I am concerned about here is more asymmetry in the federation, where Quebec is going to get a different deal that the rest of us,” the premier, who leads the right-wing Saskatchewan Party, told reporter Wednesday.
Le Québec c’est un peu comme un élève « spécial » dans une classe…