Quebecers flocking to Ontario, real estate agents say
Language laws and higher taxes scaring Quebecers away
Some real estate agents in Ontario say many Quebecers have been eager to leave the province since the Parti Québécois was elected in the last provincial election.
Diane Chrétien, a real estate agent in Lancaster, Ont., said she's been getting more calls than normal from prospective buyers in Quebec.
"Since the election, it seems as though that was sort of the last straw — they want to make the move," she said.
Chrétien said many people fear the tax increases for higher income earners that the PQ had promised during its election campaign in August.
According to Chrétien, buyers say they want to close deals before new tax rules could come into play, as early as Dec. 31.
But Chrétien is not the only one receiving calls from eager movers. Sheila Gatien, a Re/Max mortgage broker based in Cornwall, said Montrealers have been making her phone ring off the hook.
She said some have mentioned higher taxes, but many anglophones claim to be worried about the PQ's crackdown on language laws.
"Everybody's just saying they've had enough. The French language laws are a big thing and these people all speak French," she said.
Gatien said some of her clients are small business owners who say the proposed changes to Bill 101 would likely cost them money and hurt their business.
Both Chrétien and Gatien said they have deals closing in the coming days with Quebecers, and believe this is just the beginning.
The PQ government said it would adopt a newer version of Bill 101 that would be "stronger, more coherent and more ambitious," according to newly-elected Premier Pauline Marois.
The bill would require all businesses that employ 11 or more employees to use French in all staff communications. The current law applies to businesses with more than 50 workers.