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Rights for all

Integration and discrimination

Integration and discrimination

Integration and discrimination

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Integration into Québec society begins with employment

The Québec Government has been selecting its immigrants in the skilled workers category for the past 15 years. Using a number of criteria, it chooses candidates who are more likely to integrate well.

Despite this, newcomers face considerably more socioeconomic challenges than those who were born in Québec or immigrants from European origin who came to Québec in earlier years.

The fact is that the unemployment rate of immigrants is almost twice as much as for those who were born in Québec.

The Commission believes that the main factor hindering employment integration of immigrants and members of racialized communities is discrimination.


A foot in the door: getting a job interview

The Commission conducted a study that demonstrates that employment problems facing certain ethnic and racialized groups, whether recent immigrants or born in Québec, are caused in part, by the discriminatory preferences of employers.

According to this study, candidates with equal skills and qualifications are 60% more likely to be called to a job interview when their family name is of Québécois origin than a person who has a name that appears to be of African, Arab or Latin-American origin.

The study found that a person named Traoré, Ben Saïd or Salazar, even if he or she is born in Québec, has more difficulty landing a job interview than someone named Morin or Bélanger. In fact, these people are not often called for an interview when they send their CVs to potential employers.

Thus a person who has a family name identifying him or her as a member of a racialized group has been unfairly excluded from the interview process 1 out of 3 times.

3 graduation hats labelled « immigrants » and 1 graduation hat labelled « Quebec-born » representing the data indicating that the unemployment rate of university graduate is 3 times higher for immigrants in Québec.  


Systemic Discrimination

The Commission also conducted an investigation which revealed the existence of systemic discrimination against foreign-trained doctors (those who obtained their qualifications in another country than Canada or the United States). The investigation revealed they are victims of discrimination based on their national origin when they apply for residency in one of Québec’s faculties of medicine.

This investigation also showed that the universities question the equivalence of the degrees of foreign-trained doctors, although it is recognized by the Collège des médecins du Québec. In the wake of the Commission’s investigation, a special training program which helps candidates meet the universities’ entrance requirements was set up which should, in theory, dispel concerns of faculties of medicine about the qualifications of foreign-trained doctors. However these faculties appear to doubt the value of this program and refuse to admit a significant number of the doctors who successfully complete the program.


Fighting against racism and discrimination

The Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms which protects all individuals against discrimination based, among others, on ethnic or national origin, religion, race and colour, should allow each and every one to take his or her place in society no matter their personal characteristics. The government has promised to develop strategies to foster newcomer integration. The Commission believes that these strategies should include concrete measures to fight racism and discrimination in employment. It’s for this reason that the Commission has been recommending for a number of years, the adoption of a genuine governmental policy to combat racism and discrimination.

Find out more: Mémoire sur la Charte de la langue française (in French only)

Immigration and employment

In 2010, 53 985 immigrants were admitted to Québec

  • Who are they? They are largely young workers with professional work experiences, who have a graduate degree (14 years and more of education), who know French and intend to join the workforce.
  • Where do they come from? Permanent residents admitted in 2010 were from the following continent of origin:
    • Africa 36.8% (including the Maghreb, 20,7 %)
    • Asia 25.4%
    • America 21.1%
    • Europe 16.6%.
  • The unemployment rate of immigrants in Québec is almost double the rate of persons born in Québec.
  • The unemployment rate of immigrants who have a university degree (10.3%) is 3 times higher than for those born in Québec.
  • 1 recent immigrant in 3 is overqualified for their job.

This information complements the Commission’s comments published on October 17, 2013.

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