Quebec immigration is investing a further $70.3 million in improving access to French classes for new immigrants as it aims to improve immigrant integration services.
The move by the ruling Coalition Avenir Quebec will increase the number of immigrants with access to French lessons, as well as increasing allowances for taking part.
A Quebec immigration ministry (MIDI) statement said: “These francization measures announced today are part of the reform and modernization of the immigration system initiated by the government.
“They will both encourage more immigrants to learn French and ensure that they have the best possible tools to support them in the success of their francization process.”
The majority of the new funding ($40 million) will be spent on expanding access to French lessons and allowances.
This includes access to full and part-time French lessons for immigrants who have been in Quebec for more than five years.
Increased access to lessons will also be provided for temporary workers, international students and their spouses.
A further $12.8 million will go towards increasing allowances for full-time French courses, while $17 million will be spent on introducing allowances for part-time courses.
Candidates for full-time courses will receive $185 per week, up from $141, while part-time course candidates receive $15 per day.
Lastly, $500,000 will be spent on covering daycare expenses for candidates attending part-time French courses. The daycare allowance will increase from $7 to $9 per day for part-time courses.
The funding will the full-time equivalent of 80 new teachers hired, providing capacity for 300 new French classes.
“Knowledge of French is an essential factor for the successful integration of immigrants,” said Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette.
Since coming to power, the CAQ has moved to overhaul the Quebec economic immigration with the introduction of a new Expression of Interest system, via the Arrima portal.