Quebec expects to welcome between 13,000 and 18,000 fewer immigrants than planned in 2020, a deficit it will make up in the next two years, the provincial government announced on Thursday.

The coronavirus pandemic's impact on Quebec immigration levels means 2020 admissions will fall to a maximum of 30,500 newcomers, 70 percent of the expected total. The number could drop as low as 25,600 new permanent residents, just 59 percent of the planned admissions.

The numbers were revealed as Immigration Minister Nadine Girault tabled the Quebec Immigration Plan for 2021 before the National Assembly.

Girault revealed the governing Coalition Avenir Quebec plans to make up the 2020 shortfall over the next two years.

It will start by welcoming up to 47,500 newcomers in 2021, with 7,000 immigrants added from the 2020 shortfall.

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