HOF062: Florent Fortin

Florent Fortin began his career with the Quebec Ministry of Immigration in April 1976. After a year of training, he was assigned to a one-year mission to Argentina where he had the opportunity to familiarize himself with the selection of refugees, mainly Chileans.

Armed with this experience, he was sent on a mission to Southeast Asia in the fall of 1978 to select the Vietnamese refugees destined for Quebec. Subsequently, he was posted to Hong Kong in January 1979. Later, he went to open an office of Immigration Québec at the premises of the Canadian High Commission in Singapore in the summer of 1979. After that, he took over the management of the offices of immigration Québec in Bangkok from 1980 to 1982. During all these years, as an immigration advisor from Quebec, he was responsible for the selection of refugees from Southeast Asia who sought to settle in Quebec. Quebec has deployed several officers to this territory in response to the growing demand for refugees wishing to immigrate the province.

The interviews in the refugee camps took place during joint missions with Canadian immigration officials. The Quebec agents selected the candidates destined for Quebec and the federal government took care of the statutory formalities (medical examinations and background checks) for the issuance of visas.

Since he was posted to Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok, Mr. Fortin was able to meet refugees throughout Southeast Asia, from Thailand to Japan. This gave him the opportunity to be at the heart of an unprecedented humanitarian movement of which he has kept unforgettable memories.

After this assignment in Asia, M, Fortin continued his career as an advisor to Immigration Quebec until his retirement in 1990.