Coalition Avenir Quebec's provincial election win could pave way for immigration cuts

The Coalition Avenir Quebec's resounding election victory could clear the way for the party to make good on its vow to cut immigration, a position that worries Quebec businesses and experts.

Leader Francois Legault, a former businessman, pledged during the campaign to chop the number of immigrants to 40-thousand a year from 50-thousand and require them to pass a language and values test after three years in the province.

The target number would mean a 24 per cent drop from the roughly 52-thousand immigrants Quebec accepted last year.

Michel Leblanc, Montreal Board of Trade president, says many areas of the province are now ``beyond full employment,'' with a demand for more qualified workers in sectors from hospitality to transportation to Quebec's flourishing tech scene.

Legault, whose party won Monday's election with 74 of the province's 125 ridings, has said he wants to increase efforts to integrate immigrants and ensure they learn French, rather than ramp up the number of new arrivals.