The CAQ vowed to lower immigration levels during the last Quebec election campaign, but now says that was a temporary measure.

The party decreased immigration by about 20 per cent this year to 40,000 from 52,000.

Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette said he now aims to raise immigration by 3,000 to 4,000 people per year from now until 2022, when it will return to about 52,000 per year to address the province’s labour shortage.

The CAQ campaigned on a promise to bring in fewer immigrants, but take better care of them, blaming the previous Liberal government for an influx of immigrants who ultimately left Quebec, remained unemployed for too long or didn't learn French.

Jolin-Barrette says the CAQ's proposed immigration reform, which would match immigrants' job skills with Quebec's employment needs, is an essential fix before more people can come in to the province.

Bill 9, which addresses those issues, is not yet passed and until it is, the immigrant selection system will stay the same.

“That's really important that we need a step back for the year 2019 and after that, when the immigration system is repaired, we'll be able to get more immigrants but in the immigration categories to answer the need of the Quebec work market,” he said. 

The government's immigration budget will also rise by $146 million per year to help immigrants adapt better and learn French.