OTTAWA –The federal government plans to level out the number of new permanent residents to Canada in 2026 in reaction to crunch on housing and other services, the immigration minister announced Wednesday.
Immigration Minister Marc Miller tabled new targets for the next three years in Parliament, which call for the number of new permanent residents to hold steady at 500,000 in 2026.
The Liberals have aggressively increased their targets over the past several years, and surpassed records for the number of permanent residents admitted in a year in both 2021 and 2022.
Those increases have come under increasing scrutiny, as the government has faced greater pressure to address a national lack of available and affordable housing.
Those concerns are balanced against the contributions immigrants make to Canada’s economic growth and labour market, Miller said at a Parliament Hill press conference on Wednesday.
“These immigration levels will help set the pace of Canada’s economic and population growth while moderating its impact on critical systems such as infrastructure and housing,” he said.
Increasing the number of new permanent residents doesn’t create a direct proportional demand for housing, Miller said. The intention in stabilizing the target for 2026 is to take the time to understand what the actual impact is.
“I think the eyes of Canadians are more intensely focused on immigration. They’re not xenophobic, but they’re asking us to get a little more organized,” Miller said.
“We’re gonna have to take the next year and dive into some of the more microeconomic forces that are driving the sentiment that Canadians are expressing to us.”
The majority of new permanent residents are expected to immigrate as part of economic streams under the newly tabled plan.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2023.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marc Miller rises during Question Period, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld