Housing to be part of federal immigration plan as criticism grows

The plan will take dwellings, healthcare, infrastructure, and important services into consideration in the country's immigration targets

Housing to be part of federal immigration plan as criticism grows

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has announced its aim to integrate residential planning into immigration policies as criticism surrounding the housing crisis and worsening affordability grows.

Marc Miller, the immigration minister, said this week that the federal government will be taking into consideration factors such as dwellings, healthcare, infrastructure, and important services when the country’s immigration targets will be set. The government also released a report that showcased a plan to strengthen the immigration system.

The plan arrived amidst mounting criticism over the government’s immigration policies, with critics charging that bringing in more immigrants in order to grow the population and economy has worsened current housing shortages and have added more pressure to infrastructure and services such as health care.

A heavy reliance on immigration

The announcement regarding the change in immigration policies came a day before Miller was set to announce the country’s annual targets for permanent residents. Last year, the aimed number by 2024 was 485,000 and half a million in 2025.

Miller said in an interview in August that those targets can either be kept or raised and not reduced because the need remains too great to do so.

The federal government has heavily relied on immigration in adding more workers as a way to address the looming economic decline due to its aging population. In the one-year period to July 1, Canada’s population grew by 2.9%, with 98% of the growth attributed to international migration.

Two-thirds of immigrants who have recently taken up permanent residence in Canada were between the ages of 25 and 54.