Decline of French: Quebec has turned off thousands of French-speaking investors

Millions of dollars in lost investments, derelict business networks, buyers of SMEs who have gone elsewhere… The Legault government, anxious to “stop the decline of French”, has been targeting rich French speakers over the past three years investors deprived.

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“We have lost thousands of investors and entrepreneurs who speak French or are Francophiles. We will have neither their capital nor their network of business contacts. It could have made our economy thrive,” laments lawyer Marc-André Séguin, partner at Exeo.

“By barring French-speaking business people from the Entrepreneurs and Investors section, they were told to go to another province,” summarizes Alex Côté, Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (CRIC).

Since November 2019, the Immigrant Investor Program has been suspended by the CAQ government.

Basically, this program is aimed at immigrants with managerial experience with over two million net worth (legally acquired). They also have to lend the Quebec Treasury $1.2 million interest-free for five years.

Since 2019, this program, which started on 1ah Nov 2019

Of these, 567 applications were accepted, equivalent to $680.4 million, which the state can make profitable because even if immigrant investors leave Quebec en masse, the money stays here for five years (see other text below).

En route to English Canada

However, since these wealthy French-speaking investors can no longer apply to us, they have started looking to Canada.

“People with an advanced level of French should always be welcome and have extremely quick turnaround,” said advisor Alex Côté.

Inducted into Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, entrepreneur Brian Bui, who was able to come here through this program shortly before his suspension, continues to travel back and forth to his home country to build business relationships.

“I feel comfortable doing what I do in Quebec,” says the entrepreneur, who runs an SME with 24 employees in Vietnam, a Francophone country.

Revised program

Asked by The newspaperJean Boulet, the outgoing minister in charge of the file, recalled that the program had been suspended due to the candidates’ insufficient knowledge of French and their lack of commitment.

“A revision of the regulations is in progress. In fact, we intend to implement a revised program that will give priority to immigrant investors and entrepreneurs who speak French before arriving in Quebec,” the minister explained.

“This comes in line with the CAQ’s commitment to haggle with Ottawa during a future mandate to regain all immigration selection powers,” he concluded.

♦ According to the Aviseo Conseil, Québec’s immigrant investor program has generated more than $1.02 billion in revenue over ten years, of which $477 million has been used to offer subsidies to small and medium-sized businesses here.

More than 80% of immigrant investors leave Quebec

Though more than 80% of Quebec’s 8,291 immigrant investors left between 2018 and 2020, recent changes to the program are likely to change things soon.

“From now on we should see an increase in the retention rate,” analyzes Alex Côté, adviser on regulated immigration in Quebec and Canada.

While 81.5% of immigrant investors had left Quebec in 2018 and that number rose to 83% in 2019, in 2020 the phenomenon began to weaken and leveled off at 70.5%, a decrease of 12, corresponds to 5%.

Optimistic

at protocolAlex Côté specifies that the data for these reflect three-year-old submitted applications and that the new numbers should show that Quebec is more successful at maintaining them.

“In 2015, the then immigration authorities changed the declarations to ensure that the candidates actually intended to settle here. It has avoided all sorts of misrepresentations,” he explains.

However, the program was suspended in November 2019, leaving Quebec deprived of good French-speaking candidates while French is in decline.

“Business people won’t go through student or skilled worker programs, they will go to wealthy people who have done well in management or business in their home country,” he concludes.

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