Trudeau says record high immigration not the cause of housing crisis
Trudeau blames international students and temporary workers on Canada’s housing affordability crisis.

Mike Campbell

April 2, 2024

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the housing crisis in Canada while making an announcement in Nova Scotia, stating that the issue is not with permanent immigration, but rather with the spike in temporary immigration over the past few years.

Trudeau says record high immigration not the cause of housing crisis

Trudeau was asked by a reporter if his government’s “immigration policy has contributed to record high housing unaffordability.”

The Prime Minister said that his policy has not affected the housing market, and Canada will continue to pack in a record high number of permanent residents, saying it’s necessary for a strong economy.

However, he noted that there has been a “massive spike” in temporary immigration, particularly with temporary foreign workers and international students.

“In 2017, 2% of Canada’s population was made-up by temporary immigrants. Now we’re at 7.5% of our population comprised of temporary immigrants. That’s something that we need to get back under control,” Trudeau said.

In other words, it’s those pesky international students and temporary workers who are driving up housing costs, and not the 500,000 permanent residents who come in every year that have anything to do with housing supply that can’t keep up.

The Prime Minister further said that the Liberals’ approach to immigration will continue to focus on permanent residents, while holding the line on temporary immigration “that has caused so much pressure in our communities.” 

Immigration Minister Marc Miller revealed in January that the feds are setting a cap on undergraduate study permits, and will approve 360,000 student visas in 2024, which represents a 35% decrease from the 2023 figures.

Trudeau implicated in housing crisis

In September 2023, documents obtained by The Counter Signal revealed that Trudeau was informed by the Secretary of the Cabinet, Janice Charette, that his immigration policy was directly causing the country’s housing affordability crisis.

The memo informed Trudeau that Canada’s housing supply shortage is the “key factor” behind the affordability crisis, and the country’s homebuilding pace is woefully short of filling the gap by 2030.

“There is broad agreement among experts that homebuilding has been insufficient in comparison with housing demand in recent years, particularly with the increase in immigration since 2015,” referring to the year Trudeau took office.

Five months after digesting this report, Trudeau released his 2023-2025 immigration targets, which not only disregarded the dire warning given to him, but instead accelerated the rate of immigration.

In December 2023, the Bank of Canada Deputy Governor also linked Canada’s housing crisis with the Trudeau Government’s immigration policy.

A recent Leger poll, consisting of 1,529 respondents nationwide, found that about 75% of Canadians believe that increased immigration is straining both the housing market and the health-care system. 

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