Ignoring Growing Concern Nationwide, Liberal Government Says They Will Maintain – And Potentially Raise – Immigration Levels

A growing number of institutions are warning that surging immigration targets are becoming less and less sustainable in the absence of proportionate housing construction.

As I’ve noted in some recent columns, the Liberal response to criticism often seems to be to double-down and implement the criticized policy even more aggressively.

Having so thoroughly convinced themselves of their own righteousness, the Liberal government seems to view all criticism as being inherently misguided and regressive. Thus, they do the exact opposite of what their critics say.

This has the unfortunate result of turning small policy errors into increasingly disastrous policy errors.

And that is what we are seeing with the Liberals’ refusal to reconsider Canada’s surging immigration targets.

Canada is one of the most pro-immigrant countries on Earth. A huge portion of Canadians – myself included – are directly descended from recent immigrants. Canada – like the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand – are among the countries who view nationality and citizenship as being about the embrace of a set of values, rather than being about having a specific ethnic background.

And Canada does indeed need immigration, with our low birthrates and aging population.

With all of that said, even a good thing can be taken too far, which is what we are seeing amid Canada’s surging immigration levels over the past few years.

A direct link to the housing shortage

For all their supposed depth and embrace of complexity, top Liberal government officials seem woefully ignorant of some basic things like supply and demand.

If you significantly increase the population without building a comparable amount of homes, then there will be a growing shortage of housing.

And that is what the Liberal government is doing.

As noted by BNN Bloomberg, there are now about 4.5 migrants per unit of housing starts. That is up dramatically from about 2 a few years ago, and from an historical average that bounced around between 1-2.

What this means is that far from addressing the housing shortage, the Liberals are making deliberate policy choices that are making the shortage even worse.

Yet, they show zero sign of reversing course.

Raising the target?

Marc Miller – the new Immigration Minister – is making it clear that not only will the Liberals refuse to reduce immigration targets, they may raise them even more:

“In one of his first interviews a week into his new cabinet role, Immigration Minister Marc Miller said the government will have to either keep — or raise — its annual targets for permanent residents of about half a million. That’s because of the diminishing number of working-age people relative to the number of retirees and the risk it poses to public service funding, he said.

“I don’t see a world in which we lower it, the need is too great,” said Miller, who’s expected to announce new targets on Nov. 1. “Whether we revise them upwards or not is something that I have to look at. But certainly I don’t think we’re in any position of wanting to lower them by any stretch of the imagination.””

Note that as the Liberal government says this, they are also distancing themselves from any responsibility for housing. Thus, even as they contribute to the housing shortage, they act as if that shortage has nothing to do with them.

Balance is needed

What the Liberals are choosing to ignore is that growing concern about surging immigration levels isn’t based on any kind of animus towards immigrants. After all, given how many Canadians are either immigrants or the recent descendants of immigrants, it stands to reason that a significant number of those concerned about the impact of surging immigration levels are immigrants themselves.

The concerns being expressed are legitimate, and are a sign that our immigration policy has become unbalanced. Canada can still remain an open and welcoming country while recognizing that yearly immigration level increases without any regard to the impact is not a wise approach.

Spencer Fernando


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