Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is hiking the country’s already high immigration intake, worsening housing costs, crashing birth rates, dragging productivity, and eroding public support despite the damage.
Trudeau’s 2023 intake of 465,000 will rise to 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 yearly after, per the immigration minister. More “newcomers” are supposedly needed to build housing and offer healthcare for past arrivals.
But the government also hides migration by not counting 700,000 supposed “short-stay” foreign students entering in 2023’s first half. With this, over 1 million actually entered last year, inflating Canada’s population to 40 million.
Long-term, Trudeau’s plan would annually add five permanent migrants for every four Canadian high school graduates, not counting “students.”
The policy aids investors but does vast damage. Trudeau’s immigration has produced a “demand shock” for housing, dramatically spiking costs beyond what Canadians can pay. In September 2023, the average home price was $475,000 US dollars while half of Canadians earn under $50,000 yearly.
“The dream of homeownership is quickly turning into a nightmare,” said researcher Sean Simpson, with two-thirds of renters now abandoning hopes of buying homes.
An economist stated housing is getting even less affordable and “shared beds” are now being rented out monthly in Toronto due to severe shortages.
The crisis has sparked increased homelessness. News articles spotlight homeless workers living in makeshift camps who were priced out of apartments on regular incomes.
Many migrants are even returning home, unable to secure housing. But Trudeau has blamed local governments instead.
The flood of new workers allows businesses to profit via low-tech, unproductive jobs instead of investing in innovation. Canada’s declining productivity will likely hinder taming inflation, necessitating more rate hikes despite economic slowing.
Workers’ wages are also taking a hit in real terms due to high inflation. Younger Canadians face stagnating incomes over their working lives rather than rising prosperity.
Rapid population growth is also crashing birth rates as home costs become prohibitive for family formation. The 2022 birth rate hit a historic low, with over a third of youth now saying they’re foregoing children because housing is unattainable.
Multiple polls show Canadians believe immigration is fueling housing unaffordability. Support for current high levels has plunged while the view it’s “too much” has surged.
Yet the business lobby wants even higher intake, with banks profiting from construction lending and growth. Politicians also back acceleration, unwilling to cut access to cheap labor and consumer growth.
The U.S. would benefit from adopting Canada’s “nimble” immigration approach, says the Biden administration. Since 2021, Biden has imported at least 4 million migrants and 2 million visa workers, following Canada’s investor-first playbook.