Severe homelessness is causing a growing number of Canadians to question the government’s immigration policy. Justin Trudeauwho aims to accept almost 1.5 million immigrants between 2023 and 2025, something that could put an end to the “Trudeaumania”.
A survey released last week found that three out of four Canadians, a 75% of the population, believes that the high levels of immigration that Canada receives each year are causing the housing crisis and problems in the health system.
At the same time, the population, many of them people who were not born in Canada, recognize that the country needs immigrants to continue growing economically.
In September, another survey, this one carried out by the firm Nanos, revealed that the 53% of Canadians want the government to reduce its immigration levels in the coming years.
Days after the publication of the Nanos survey, the Canadian Government announced that after more than a decade of constant increases in the number of immigrants accepted each year, starting in 2026 the figure will remain stagnant at 500,000, the same number as the approved for 2025.
In announcing the goal, Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, accepted what Canadians are expressing in surveys: high rates of immigration are negatively impacting the lives of citizens.
“What Canadians and economists are telling us is that we have to study the microeconomic impacts of immigration”Miller declared.
Since current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won his first election in late 2015 until the end of 2023, his Government will have admitted 2.85 million immigrants into the country. In addition, between 2024 and 2026 the objective is the arrival of another 1,485,000 immigrants.
This represents 4.33 million new arrivals between 2016 and 2026.
Anil Verma, professor emeritus at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and immigration expert, told Efe that the problem is not the arrival of half a million people each year.
“I came as an immigrant to Canada from India in 1971. I have spent my entire adult life here and have been successful in my professional life. “I am a great supporter of immigration policies as a tool”he explained.
The problem, he said, is the Canadian government is not coordinating its policies with provincial and local authorities so that the arrival of new people does not represent a loss of quality of life.
“Canada is not doing a good job of coordinating its policies. And this poor coordination could create social discontent due to problems with the health system, schools, housing,” he added.
The Nanos poll indicated that the main reason a majority of Canadians want lower levels of immigration is the housing crisis.
The average price of housing has gone from 365,700 Canadian dollars (US$ 270,893 or 248,834 euros) in January 2013 to 705,000 Canadian dollars in January of this year, although in cities such as Toronto, the largest city in the country, or Vancouver, the price The average housing price is already around 1.2 million Canadian dollars.
Steady house price increases over the past decade coupled with rapidly rising interest rates since early 2022 have made it impossible for many to buy a home in Canada.
According to a report from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) from June 2023, in Toronto a family has to allocate at least one 79% of their income to pay for housing.
This despite the fact that Toronto has for years been a swarm of cranes that has been working tirelessly erecting new residential towers, which, for more than a decade, has turned the Canadian city into one of the fastest growing cities in all of North America.
In September, a report from the federal agency Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) estimated that to make housing affordable again, 5.8 million homes need to be built by 2030. The problem is that, at the current pace, by 2030 Only 2.3 million homes will have been completed in the country.
In the midst of this discontent, Canadians are looking for those to blame for the situation. And polls indicate that the population is pointing to Justin Trudeau.
On Sunday, a poll by the firm Abacus Data placed the opposition Conservative Party with a voting intention of 42%19 points above Trudeau’s Liberal Party, which has a 23%.
The survey is the latest in a series that confirms that the “Trudeaumania”, that swept the country in 2015 with an open-door policy on immigration issues, seems to have come to an end.
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