IluvMTL Posted April 10, 2021 Share Posted April 10, 2021 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/06/quebec-language-requirement-test-residency Pardon my French: dismay in Quebec as francophones fail language test Exam once again draws attention to province’s notoriously difficult language requirements to gain permanent residency Leyland Cecco in Toronto Tue 6 Apr 2021 14.35 EDT Language exams have long struck fear in unprepared students as they nervously stumble over verb conjugation and struggle to get their tenses right. Yohan Flaman, a long-haul truck driver from Limoges, France, however, was confident that proficiency in his native tongue would be enough to satisfy officials in the Canadian province of Quebec. But after taking a French proficiency exam required for permanent residency, Flaman was dismayed to learn he had failed. “I was shocked,” he told the Guardian. Despite apprehensions over taking the test by computer, he had anticipated a far better result. “It’s not great to be French and to fail an exam like this.” Flaman’s fumble has once again drawn attention to Quebec’s notoriously difficult language requirements. Quebec denies Frenchwoman residency for failing to show command of French In 2019, Emilie Dubois, a French doctoral student was denied residency in Quebec after officials ruled that she had an inadequate command of her mother tongue. The decision was later reviewed and reversed. Both Dubois and Flaman, were required to demonstrate their knowledge of French as part of the programme d’expérience québécoise, a program that gives foreign students and workers a quick path to permanent residency. A key component of the exam is demonstrating proficiency in French. The governing Coalition Avenir Québec, which has increasingly pushed for immigrants to the province to demonstrate a strong proficiency in the French language, has previously come under fire for its language and residency requirements. A previous version of the program would have potentially forced hundreds of temporary workers and foreign students to return home because of strict work and study requirements. Last year, the government amended the program amid outcry from those affected by the changes. Quebec’s French language policy is nothing to rebel against | Letter Quebec, the only Canadian province which is majority French-speaking, has at times taken provocative steps to preserve French as its official language. In October 2019, the government proposed banning the popular greeting “Bonjour-hi”. Flaman asked if the province had set too high a bar for new immigrants. “A person who hasn’t yet mastered French will find it far harder to succeed with the system in place,” he said. “Especially someone coming from a country where French isn’t spoken, but still has to pass the test to be able to live here.” While Flaman retook the test in July and passed, he says the initial failure has slowed the status of his permanent residency application, which has languished for months within the province’s bureaucracy. “There’s a slowness to the immigration process and a lack of follow-up,” he said. “I don’t want to criticize the system, but everything is done over the internet. It feels like Canada [and Quebec] are victims of their own success. The pipes are clogged and this seems to be the result.” … we have a small favour to ask. Millions turn to the Guardian every day for vital, independent, quality journalism. Readers in 180 countries around the world now support us financially. Now is the time to support a free press and truth-seeking journalism. With no shareholders or billionaire owner, we are free from political or commercial influence. We can investigate, challenge and expose those in power, and report without fear or favour. And because we believe everyone deserves access to trustworthy, fact-led news and analysis, we keep Guardian reporting open for all readers, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. We rely on readers’ generosity to power our work and protect our independence. Every contribution, however big or small, makes a difference for our future. Support the Guardian from as little as CA$1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. © 2021 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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