Immigration minister 'can't see a world' where influx is reduced

Immigration Minister Marc Miller can't envision Canada reducing immigration targets, despite admitting there are links between the high number of immigrants and unaffordable housing prices.

Immigration minister 'can't see a world' where influx is reduced
Facebook/ Marc Miller
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Canada's immigration minister acknowledged the country's high rate of immigration is contributing to the housing and affordability issues, but remains committed to increasing the number of admissions.

When commenting on the role of immigration in the ongoing affordability crisis at a Charlotteville retreat on Tuesday, Minister Marc Miller had this to say: 

"I don't see a world in which [changing the target] happens, but again, I'm going to be looking at the facts and I'm not a dogmatic person.”

Immigration has seen a consistent influx in Canada since 2015, rising above 300,000 immigrants in 2019, and reaching 431,645 in 2022. Prior to setting a new record for admissions in 2021, the last time Canada welcomed such a large number of newcomers was in 1913. Still, this is nothing compared to the current target for immigration under Trudeau’s Liberal government, which estimates 500,000 arrivals in 2025. 

"We have to look at what that impact is, and what the impact of immigrants actually is on the housing supply,” Miller said. "Volume is volume, and it does have an impact. There's no denying that. But the specific role that immigration plays in certain areas is something we have to kind of break down a little more.” 

Over the last year, experts have predicted that difficulties with housing affordability in Canada are unlikely to relent, largely due to higher mortgage rates and a continuous lack of supply. The issue of immigration also made it into these projections, with Bob Dugan, chief economist for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, writing that “economic recovery and high immigration will add to housing demand in 2024 and 2025, but challenges related to affordability and supply will persist.”

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  • By Ezra Levant

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