Housing Minister Sean Fraser and Immigration Minister Marc Miller have announced that the federal government is taking significant steps to stabilize immigration levels amid increasing housing pressures. This announcement follows reports by The Canadian Press on internal documents from 2022, revealing concerns from Immigration Department employees about the impact of increased immigration on housing and services.
In 2025, Canada is set to welcome 500,000 permanent residents, a figure nearly double that of 2015. This decision, as defended by the Liberal ministers in a joint statement on Friday, is an effort to support Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery. “Increased immigration post-pandemic was essential to prevent economic shrinkage and to address acute labor shortages that threatened the closure of businesses and the accessibility of social services, including healthcare,” the ministers stated.
However, acknowledging the strain on housing, Ministers Miller and Fraser highlighted the government’s decision to maintain the number of permanent residents at 500,000 for 2026, mirroring the 2025 figure. This decision reflects the government’s commitment to balance immigration with the capacity to provide adequate housing and services.
Further, adjustments have been made to the international student program to address fraud and the rising cost of living. The ministers emphasized the government’s readiness to take action if post-secondary institutions fail to meet international students’ housing needs. “Learning institutions must only accept the number of students they can house or assist in finding off-campus housing. We are prepared to limit visas significantly to ensure that institutions provide adequate student supports,” the statement read.
In response, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre criticized the Liberal government’s housing policies, advocating for an immigration approach aligned with the country’s homebuilding capacity. “Common sense Conservatives will ensure our immigration policy matches our ability to house, employ, and care for newcomers, especially in our healthcare system. We need to build more homes to accommodate incoming people,” Poilievre stated.
The federal government’s approach to immigration and housing reflects a delicate balance, striving to support economic recovery while ensuring the sustainability of housing and essential services.