Despite restrictive language laws, a remarkably stable one in five of all immigrants to Quebec, over the past 20 years, arrives here with a knowledge of English and no knowledge of French, says Jedwab. The Quebec government uses a point system to assess immigration applications and Jedwab says anglophone applicants need to score very highly on job skills and education in order to offset the loss of potential points for speaking French.
"If they can't speak French but they're still being accepted by Quebec, then they clearly have something Quebec likes," he says. Quebec has had the right to choose its own immigrants since 1978, although family-reunification and refugee cases are still under federal jurisdiction.
Floch and Pocock conceded in their study that Quebecers of English mother tongue who have remained in Quebec are still better-educated overall than the Canadian average. The researchers also noted that anglos who come to Quebec from other provinces are three times more likely to hold Ph.D.s than the Canadian population as a whole.