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Montréal
Mardi, 21 mai 2024

Immigration – La familia Ortiz Cortès

Emigrating to another country is not an easy decision! However, it is almost always a positive and profoundly renewing experience.

Story by Sebastián Krieger

Eduardo, Karla and their five children arrived in Montréal on the evening of December 31. Everything that had been their life up to then was summed up in what they were wearing and five suitcases. Gone were family, friends, home, routines and everything that was theirs. With the New Year also came for them a totally different existence from that of their native Mexico. But why did they come here?

The funny answer is that Canada is huge and there is still a lot of room for lots of people. But Canada ranks among the countries with the best quality of life around the world. It offers a strong health care system, high quality education, safety and a clean and healthy environment. It also has a stable and diversified economy with job opportunities in a wide range of industries. In addition, the country values diversity and inclusion, which can provide opportunities for people from a variety of backgrounds. But especially because it has a generous immigration policy.

It is worth noting here that permanent immigration is essential for the long-term growth of all sectors of any country.

Eduardo and Karla surrounded by their five children.

It is worth noting here that permanent immigration is essential for the long-term growth of all sectors of any country. It is foreign-born labor that largely builds infrastructure (Eduardo, for example, is a construction technician), produces and transports goods, and provides all kinds of services in hospitals, schools (and Karla is an early childhood expert) and even high-tech centers. Immigration is the key to a truly diverse and multicultural society, where people learn and grow by interacting with diverse cultures and ways of living life.

However, there are times when emigrating is the only alternative to stay alive. This is the case of Eduardo and Karla. Violence, generated by an enormous variety of origins (political, religious, economic, and even sexual orientation) pushes millions of people around the world to leave their daily lives behind. The wars in Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine, for example, in addition to death and destruction, have brought the uprooting of human beings who have nothing to do with these conflicts. Canada has been an example in responding to refugees: it has provided them with immediate protection, and a sincere opportunity to rebuild their lives in a safe environment. For thousands of victims of violence, Canada has given them a future.

The federal government will welcome nearly one million new permanent residents…

Most migrants, however, come to study and as skilled laborers. Between January 2024 and December 2025, the federal government will welcome nearly one million new permanent residents (including temporary workers, permanent residents, students and other visitors). This year alone, approximately 485,000 people will arrive. The provinces attracting the most people are Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta.

According to the Institut de la statistique du Québec, the province’s population growth is well below the rest of Canada (in other words, few births compared to the number of deaths, increased by the COVID pandemic). However, immigration is favorably influencing the revival. The Ortiz Cortès family is one of the 64,000 people who arrived in Quebec last year. Another 50,000 more are expected this year. In addition to its economy, natural beauty and the friendliness of its inhabitants, one of the main attractions of this province is its language. Yes, French seduces many migrants, and most of them come from French-speaking countries.

The ranking of foreigners in Quebec is led by three French-speaking or partially French-speaking countries: France, Haiti and Algeria. They are followed in order by Morocco, China, India, Italy, Lebanon, Colombia, the Philippines, the USA, Romania, Syria and Vietnam. Quebec’s great effort so that its new inhabitants accelerate their integration process through francisation is really commendable. Eduardo and Karla are already looking forward to enrolling in classes in Verdun. In this process, MANA Maison d’accueil des nouveaux arrivants is giving them valuable advice.

Eduardo and Karla are already looking forward to enrolling in classes in Verdun.

It is important to highlight the role that organizations such as MANA play in the positive integration of newcomers, offering immediate help to overcome barriers as high as lack of language skills, lack of resources for adequate food or clothing in winter, lack of knowledge of procedures and paperwork, and even lack of friends and family to talk to. MANA is based in Ile-des-Soeurs, where about 40% of the inhabitants are of non-Canadian origin. For Eduardo and his family, MANA has also provided support in finding everything from renting an apartment to furniture and household goods. But above all, MANA has provided them with a network of supportive contacts, of friends who know what it means to start from scratch in an unknown country, of friends willing to help.

Because ultimately, emigrating is an opportunity to create new bonds of friendship, to reinvent oneself as a person, to integrate into a new universe. To learn and grow.

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