More Canada Immigrants Needed To Build Housing, Says Outgoing IRCC Minister

Use the CMHC to build more housing for international students and ease housing affordability pressure, says expert
Canada immigration free assessment

Outgoing Immigration Minister Sean Fraser saysCanada’s immigrants help developers find the workers needed to build more homes so housing can be more affordable.

Fraser, now the minister of housing and infrastructure, defended Canada’s record-high immigration levels.

“I would urge caution to anyone who believes the answer to our housing challenges is to close the door on newcomers,” Fraser reportedly told the CBC.

“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.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost of housing soared throughout Canada and drove inflation.

Statistics Canada’s New Housing Price Index, which stood at 103.8 in February, 2020, jumped to 126.1 by June last year before softening somewhat to 125 for the same month this year.

Read More Canada Immigration News

All You Need To Know About Marc Miller, Canada’s New Immigration Minister
Boost In Number Of New Permanent Residents Through Canada Start-Up Visa
Canada Immigration Invests $85.4m To Improve Client Experience Platform

“Nationally, new home prices were down 0.7 per cent year over year in June, compared with an increase of 7.9 per cent recorded in June of the previous year,” notes Statistics Canada.

In its New Housing Price Index, June 2023, the statistical and demographic services agency noted new home prices softened in 20 of the 27 cities year over year in June 2023, the most ever recorded, as the Bank of Canada raised its rates another 25 basis points, bringing it to 4.75 per cent compared with 1.50 per cent in June of last year.

Housing affordability has become a hot issue politically for the ruling Liberals. Their main political opponents, the Conservatives, have blamed what they describe as unreasonably high immigration and low levels of housing construction for the rising cost of homes.

New Housing Price Index Hit 126.1 During Pandemic

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre once again took aim at the increasing immigration levels under the Liberal government in an interview with True North while shying away from setting a definitive immigration target of his own.

“(Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau has broken our immigration system. We see this on the streets of Toronto where refugees are living on the pavement. It wasn’t like this eight years ago,” said Poilievre.

“When refugees came to Canada, we had them sponsored by charities, churches, mosques, synagogues and other non-profits to give them homes, help them write resume and get them fast work permits so they could get jobs and paycheques.”

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre Decries Canada’s High Immigration Levels

The Opposition leader laid the blame for the housing crisis squarely at the feet of the prime minister whose policies he claimed make Canada unliveable for immigrants and Canadians alike.

“I want to get back to commonsense immigration. The numbers should be driven by the number of employers who have job vacancies that they cannot fill with Canadians, by the number of charities that want to sponsor refugees, and by the families that want to reunite and can support their loved ones here.

Poilievre decried Canada’s current immigration targets as a vanity project of the prime minister.

In its 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan, Ottawa has set its immigration target for 2023 at 465,000 new permanent residents. The country is also to welcome 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024 and another 500,000 in 2025.

Watch Video

That’s a total of 1.45 million immigrants to Canada over three years.

By the end of May this year, the most recent data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals the country had welcomed 220,810 new permanent residents, putting Canada on track to welcome roughly twice as many immigrants this year as the 271,840 eight years ago.

Both Fraser and Poilievre agree on one thing: Canada needs to build a lot more housing.

“If we encourage cities and communities to build more housing where infrastructure already exists or where it’s planned to be, we’re going to be able to leverage more progress for every public dollar that’s invested,” Fraser reportedly said.

Canada immigration free assessment
Previous articleCanada Must Find Right Balance On Immigration, Population Growth And Labour Force: Report
Next articleManitoba PNP Draw: Province Issues 609 Canada Immigration Invitations
Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.