Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

Housing: Ottawa wants to stabilize the number of immigrants

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Senior Immigration officials had warned their deputy ministers that a significant increase in immigration could affect access to housing and services.

The Canadian Press

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, amid pressures on housing increases.

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 to 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 on Friday, Ministers Fraser and Miller defend the decision to increase these immigration thresholds, emphasizing that the economy would have otherwise declined after the COVID-19 pandemic.

They argue that businesses facing labor shortages would have closed their doors and that health care and other services would have also been affected by delays or more difficult access.

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Federal Housing Minister Sean Fraser.

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.

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The Liberal government also made changes to the foreign student program, in order to resolve the problems fraud and cost of living for these new arrivals.

Liberal ministers say the federal government is prepared to take more action if post-secondary institutions do not ensure international students' housing needs can be met.

We expect educational institutions to only accept or accommodate the number of students they are able to accommodate help find off-campus housing, the joint statement said.

We are prepared to take the necessary measures – including significantly limiting visas – to ensure that designated educational institutions provide adequate services and sufficient support to students as part of the academic experience. p>

Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre, who has heavily criticized the Liberals for their housing policies, said Friday that the government should calibrate its housing policy. x27;immigration depending on the pace of housing construction in the country.

The conservatives' common sense will return to an approach to immigration that invites a number of people that we can house, employ and care for into our health system, Poilievre said.

It is obvious that we need to build housing if we want to bring people in. And for the moment, we are not building enough housing, he added.

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