Quebec’s immigration minister is hoping to bring what he called “better matches” to the province and the process he has in mind could have employers swiping left and right.

Simon Jolin-Barrette said he wants the province to implement a system that would help match up newcomers to job vacancies.

“It’s like a Tinder of immigration,” he said.

The proposed program would allow the government to decline 18,000 backlogged applications from skilled workers, tossing out the paperwork and refunding the applicants in order to start from scratch.

Jolin-Barrette said that would serve the labour market’s needs instead of having a first come, first served system.

Applications to immigrate may be thrown out

The Quebec Liberals said tossing out the applications is a mistake with big repercussions.

“It’s not only a piece of paper, we’re talking about the lives of people,” said MNA Dominique Anglade. “Now, we’re saying ‘We don’t even care, we’re not even going to open the files. Sorry, too bad, too late, we’re doing something different now.’ The impact? Very negative on the image of Quebec.”

Quebec Solidaire also criticized the bill.

“We’re worried about that bill, we have big apprehensions,” said co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. “I mean, this party has a lot of times a rhetoric based on division, based on saying that immigration is a burden for Quebec society.”

But Jolin-Barrette said the goal is to “personalize” the selection process.

“What we do is, we look at the profile of the person who wants to immigrate in Quebec and we say ‘Ok, you have the profile that corresponds to the job we have. First step. So, we have a match between the two.”

He added that the system would give incentive to skilled immigrants to work and live in Quebec’s regions. That aspect of the bill is one the Parti Quebecois supports.

“That’s a good thing, to make an incentive for the immigrants to go work in the regions because the labour shortage is mainly in our regions,” said PQ MNA Catherine Fournier.

Bill 9 would also lay the groundwork to introduce a French and values test for newcomers, one of the CAQ’s signature election promises. However, much immigration policy falls under federal jurisdiction.