Sean Kilpatrick archives The Canadian Press The Liberal government also made changes to the international student program to address issues of fraud and the cost of living for these newcomers.
Nojoud Al Mallees – The Canadian Press in Ottawa
January 12, 2024
Federal Housing Minister Sean Fraser and his Immigration colleague Marc Miller say the government is working to stabilize the number of people entering the country each year, while Housing pressures are increasing.
The Canadian Press reported on Thursday internal documents from 2022 showing that senior immigration officials had warned their deputy ministers that a significant increase in immigration could affect access housing and services.
The federal government has finally decided to increase the number of permanent residents that Canada will welcome to 500,000 in 2025, almost double the 2015 threshold.
In a joint statement released Friday, Ministers Fraser and Miller defended the decision to increase these immigration thresholds, noting that the economy would otherwise have declined following the COVID-19 pandemic.
They argue that businesses facing labor shortages would have closed their doors and that health care and other services would also have been affected by delays or more difficult access.
But Ministers Miller and Fraser also say that pressures on housing then pushed the Liberal government to adjust its immigration targets as well as the admissions of temporary residents.
Minister Miller has decided to stabilize the number of permanent residents coming to Canada at 500,000 for 2026, the same number as in 2025.
- Ottawa had been warned that a sharp increase in immigration would harm access to housing
- Analysis | Immigration thresholds to justify fear of others
- Chronicle | Immigration, Justin Trudeau’s Achilles heel
The Liberal government also made changes to the international student program, in order to resolve problems of fraud and cost of living for these newcomers.
Liberal ministers say the federal government is prepared to take more action if post-secondary institutions do not guarantee that the housing needs of international students can be met.
“We expect educational institutions to only accept as many students as they are able to accommodate or to assist them in finding off-campus housing,” indicates the joint press release.
“We are prepared to take necessary measures — including significantly limiting visas — to ensure that designated educational institutions provide adequate services and sufficient support to students in the experience academic. »
Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre, who has been widely critical of the Liberals for their housing policies, said Friday that the government should calibrate its immigration policy based on the pace of housing construction in the country.< /p>
“Conservative common sense will return to an approach to immigration that invites a number of people we can house, employ and care for into our health care system,” Poilievre said. “It’s obvious that we need to build housing if we want to bring people in. And right now we're not building enough housing,” he added.