Political Factors Impacting African Single Parents Trying to Gain Employment in Quebec
The Canadian Human Rights Act is a broad-reaching legislation that prohibits discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity and other grounds. Canada’s Employment Equity Act and the Federal Contractors Program require employers to take active measures to improve employment opportunities for specific groups of people.
Government regulations related to daycare
There is a shortage of daycare available in Quebec currently. There are around 51,000 children on daycare waitlists (Wheeler, 2021). Most of these spots are occupied by those receiving subsidized spots. Subsidized daycare spots cost parents $8.50 per child per day (Wheeler, 2021).
A proposed solution is for the Quebec government to invest in family-run daycares to open up more spots faster. Those working in the daycare system say there is a significant staffing shortage, exacerbated by low wages and minimal recruits, which is one of the main challenges to offering more subsidized spots. In June of 2021, the family minister of Quebec announced that $200 million would be invested over the next five years in family-run daycares to convince different daycares to open and others to remain open (Wheeler, 2021). This will help expedite the number of subsidized spots available for children.
Lack of government support
The length of the immigration process in Canada can potentially delay one of these individuals’ ability to work. There is a lack of government emphasis on the importance of reaching out to these women and guiding them to various employment and support groups to help them transition into the community.
Bills 21 and 96
Bill 21 in Quebec significantly impacts immigrants who do not subscribe to Christianity. The bill bans teachers, government employees, and other public servants from wearing religious symbols such as turbans and hijabs. This bill acts as another barrier single mothers from Africa can experiencewhen looking for a job as many Africans practice Islam, Sikhism, and other faiths that use head or face coverings to practice their religion (Afrique au Féminin, 2022).
Bill 96 is still being reviewed, but would greatly hinder any non-French speaking immigrant in finding employment in Canada. The bill pushes for an unrealistic assimilation of immigrants into Quebec. It requires French language fluency and only allows six months for immigrants to learn the language (Afrique au Féminin, 2022). Learning French would become mandatory for a successful transition in Quebec. Forcing immediate integration that limits access to resources for these individuals will force them to spend money they barely have to pay for classes. Even with some free alternatives and subsidies made available, these women will still encounter barriers such as transportation, need for daycare, and potential impact on their school or work schedules (Afrique au Féminin, 2022) will add additional challenges for them.
Wheeler, M. (2021, July 12). What needs to be fixed in Quebec’s daycare system | CBC News. CBCnews. Retrieved April 13, 2022, from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-daycare-problems-1.6096763
Afrique au Féminin. (2022, February 2). Immigration awareness: Helping women find a new life in Quebec: CanadaHelps – donate to any charity in Canada. CanadaHelps. Retrieved April 13, 2022, from https://www.canadahelps.org/en/giving-life/immigration-awareness-helping-women-find-a-new-life-in-quebec/