(Ottawa) Federal Housing Minister Sean Fraser and his immigration colleague Mark Miller say the government is working to stabilize the number of people entering the country each year, amid immigration pressures and a housing surge.
The Canadian Press on Thursday reported internal documents from 2022 showing that senior immigration officials warned their deputy ministers that a significant increase in immigration could impact access to housing and services.
The federal government has finally decided to increase the number of permanent residents Canada will welcome to 500,000 in 2025, almost double the 2015 threshold.
In a joint statement issued on Friday, Ministers Fraser and Miller defended the decision to increase these immigration thresholds, noting that the economy would have otherwise declined in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
They argue that businesses facing labor shortages would have closed and that health care and other services would also have been affected by delays or difficulty accessing them.
But Ministers Miller and Fraser also say pressures on housing have prompted the Liberal government to adjust its immigration targets as well as the admission of temporary residents.
Minister Miller decided to set the number of permanent residents coming to Canada at 500,000 by 2026, and the same number in 2025.
The Liberal government has also made changes to the International Student Program to address fraud and cost of living issues for these newcomers.
Liberal ministers say the federal government is prepared to take further action if post-secondary institutions do not ensure the housing needs of international students are met.
“We expect educational institutions to accept only the number of students they are able to accommodate or help them find off-campus housing,” the joint statement said.
“We stand ready to take the necessary measures – including significantly reducing visas – to ensure that designated educational institutions provide adequate services and support to students as part of the academic experience.”
“Music guru. Incurable web practitioner. Thinker. Lifelong zombie junkie. Tv buff. Typical organizer. Evil beer scholar.”