Canadians are currently struggling with a housing crisis due to a shortage of new houses in proportion to the rapid increase in population.
Immigration is the major contributing factor that drove the Canadian population past the 40 million mark on June 16, 2023.
However, Marc Miller, as well as his predecessor, Sean Fraser (now housing minister), see immigration as a solution to the ongoing housing crisis.
In a recent interview with a leading Canadian news provider, Marc said, “Given the levels that we recently approved as a cabinet and as a government, we cannot afford to reduce those numbers at this time.”
Furthermore, Miller said that the federal government is open to reconsidering international student enrollment, particularly amid fraud concerns.
It is important to note that the annual immigration levels plan is only set for the number of new permanent residents to be landed, not the temporary residents.
The Canadian population grew by more than one million individuals in 2022, with 437,180 new permanent residents and 607,782 temporary residents contributing to the increase.
Additionally, TD issued a report at the end of July warning that “continuing with a high-growth immigration strategy could increase the housing shortage by approximately 500,000 units in just two years.”
Former IRCC Minister Sean Fraser, who is now Housing Minister, says closing the door on newcomers is not a solution to the housing crunch; rather, they need to welcome immigrants who can help build more houses.
Immediately after being sworn in as the new Minister of Housing, he said, “When I talked to developers, in my capacity as a minister of immigration before today, one of the chief obstacles to completing the projects that they want to get done is having access to the labour force to build the houses that they need.”
StatCan’s April 2022 report reveals that the country’s working population has never been older, with more than one in five individuals approaching retirement age.
Adding to this, the fertility rate reached a record low of 1.4 children per woman in 2020.
A leading financial institution, the TD Bank, released a report, observes that economists have been warning about the economic consequences of an aging population.
The report says that the increase in immigration has provided a solution, and government policies did produce results, but this sudden population gain based on immigration might have gone “too far, too quickly.”
Marc Miller will be revealing the new Immigration Levels plan 2024-2026 in November 2023, but he has made it clear that they will not cut down on the annual targets.
He said in an interview, question is whether we should raise or maintain the annual levels, but there is no question of reducing them.
“It is something that I need to look into to determine whether or not we should update them upward. However, I don’t think we’re in a position where we should be considering lowering them by any stretch of the imagination.” Marc said
The federal as well as provincial immigration departments are now focusing more on welcoming individuals in Skilled Trades (which include plumbers, carpenters, welders, etc) to get more help in building new homes.
Miller says that construction is one of the industries with the most severe labour deficit, and immigrants can help construct the new homes needed to alleviate the housing crisis.
263,180 new permanent residents have already landed in the first half of 2023 and we are on track to surpass the annual target for 2023.
What are the current Canada immigration levels plan?
Canada has set a target of welcoming 465,000 new permanent residents in 2023, 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025.