Statistics Canada figures show Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s record-breaking immigration to Canada has resulted in net quarterly migration soaring to more than 15 times the level it was when he first took office.
In the fourth quarter of 2015 when Trudeau was sworn into office, net international migration in Canada, the difference between the number of new immigrants to the country and those permanent and non-permanent residents who chose to leave, was 27,030 people.
By the third quarter of last year, the most recent period for which figures are available, net international migration was 413,579 people.
That surge in net quarterly international migration is due to both the current, record-breaking number of foreign nationals becoming permanent residents and the growing number of temporary residents, including temporary foreign workers and international students.
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There were 69,742 new permanent residents during the fourth quarter of 2015. By the third quarter of last year, that level of immigration had risen by 54.8 per cent to hit 107,972 new permanent residents.
The biggest change during the Trudeau years so far, though, has been the dramatic rise in the number of temporary residents.
While Canada saw a net loss of 27,030 temporary residents in the fourth quarter of 2015, it saw a net gain of 312,758 of them in the third quarter of last year, or almost 12.6 times as many.
Canada has also seen a drop in emigration, with those choosing to emigrate falling from 15,882 in the fourth quarter of 2015 to less than half that number, 7,151, in the third quarter of last year.
Although economists generally agree Canada needs immigration to provide enough workers to meet the challenge of the country’s current labour shortages, Ottawa is increasingly coming under fire for the inflation – particularly housing inflation – that has resulted from not enough housing being built for the country’s growing population.
“Frankly I’m surprised we screwed it up because we sit in such a privileged position in Canada,” Beata Caranci, chief economist at Toronto Dominion Bank, has reportedly said.
“We designed our own policy, we put it in place, we implemented it, and we still screwed it up.”
Stéfane Marion, chief economist at National Bank of Canada, seems to agree, describing Canada’s immigration policies as a “population trap”.
Immigration Is Absolutely Necessary For Canada To Build More Housing, Says Miller
Immigration Minister Marc Miller has responded to the calls to curb immigration in light of the housing crisis by vowing to closely examine the influx of international students and temporary workers entering Canada.
“Housing remains a pressing concern, especially in the post-COVID landscape, with the rise in interest rates, supply constraints, and affordability issues,” Miller has said.
A majority of Canadians surveyed now believe the country’s high levels of immigration are at the very least contributing to the housing affordability crisis and to strains on the healthcare system.
But Miller has steadfastly maintained Canada must keep its immigration levels at the current levels to get the workers it needs to build more homes.
“The federal government is making housing more affordable and bringing in the skilled workers required to build more homes,” Miller reportedly said in August.
“Without those skilled workers coming from outside Canada, we absolutely cannot build the homes and meet the demand that exists currently today.”
Under the 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan, Canada is now planning to welcome 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024, another 500,000 in 2025 and then hold the line on immigration in 2026 with another 500,000 newcomers.
That’s a total of 1.485 million immigrants to Canada over those three years.