A French woman who moved to Quebec to become a truck driver feels that the federal government is getting in her way by delaying providing her with the right permit to work.
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“We saved for 15 years to be able to come here. If I still don’t work, and I can’t in the coming months, it’s going to be complicated to stay,” says Aurélie Becker, 34, who left her life in Nancy, France, to come and live in Stoneham. -and-Tewkesbury, a year and a half ago.
Since mid-September, Aurélie Becker has had her Quebec truck driver’s diploma in her pocket, but she still cannot earn a living and denounces the slowness of the system.
For her, this is all the more surprising since it was the Quebec government that paid for her training under an agreement.
“I really have the feeling of having given everything for a country which ultimately does not seem to want me and my skills”, confides the one who worked for ten years for Lidl supermarkets in France before crossing the ocean. .
Basically, Aurélie Becker regrets that Immigration Canada refused her application for an open work permit after three months, telling her to get another one, because each day of waiting without work is bleeding her budget.
In the midst of a driver labor shortage, she finds it hard to understand that she is not being helped to resolve her situation quickly with the right papers.
What irritates her is that her rejection letter states that she is “not a person whose work will create or maintain employment, benefits or significant opportunities for Canadian citizens”.
“It looks like there’s not so much shortage for the government,” laments the slowness of the slowness of Canada.ca’s website, which has also delayed its already tedious process.
However, despite her pitfalls, the thirty-year-old refuses to give up her dream, which has lived in her for a good ten years. “Truck driver, it’s not just a job, it’s a way of life,” she breathes.
For Aurélie, however, it all started off with a bang in 2012 when she visited Quebec for the first time for a vacation.
At the time, love at first sight for the country had been so strong that the couple had taken to visiting transport companies to take the temperature of the water.
“We were watching videos of drivers on YouTube. My spouse has always wanted to come here to Quebec to discover American roads in larger trucks than those we have in Europe,” she says.
While her spouse from Belgium had no trouble finding a job here given her experience as a driver in Europe, Aurélie Becker, a graduate from a Quebec school, still cannot drive.
Good placement rate
Yesterday, Julien Paré, who teaches at the Center de Formation du Routier de Montréal, said he was surprised to hear Aurélie’s story. “Normally, the placement rate is close to 100%,” he said.
But for Benoit Therrien, president of Truck Stop Québec, Aurélie’s case is the tree that hides the forest and it is wrong to shun this workforce.
“We need these people, but all waiting times are unacceptable. Why wouldn’t she participate in the collective effort? She would pay taxes, ”he denounces.
“I know other French people who have had to wait and wait. Some were even forced to return to France. It’s stupid,” he lamented, saying it’s hard to navigate through the red tape of the programs.
Ottawa fights back
Joined by The newspaper, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) declined to comment on the case of Aurélie Becker without her written consent.
The ministry pointed out that it appeared to be “an application for a work permit as the spouse of a skilled worker, not as a transport truck driver with a valid job offer”. .
“From January to November 2021, 215 transport truck drivers applied for a work permit to work in Quebec under the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program and obtained one,” added Isabelle Dubois, analyst. in communications at IRCC.
For foreign students, truck driver training costs vary between $1401.52 to $23,318, but these courses are free for French people, who meet certain conditions.