Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced that Canada will stick with their plan of accepting 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025.
Miller added that Canada will import another 500,000 new permanent residents in 2026, saying that the figures will allow for “sustainable population growth.”
Miller was presenting a scheduled revision of the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels plan, in which Canada aimed to welcome 465,000 new permanent residents in 2023, 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025.
However, this plan only includes permanent residents. Canada also takes in temporary residents such as temporary foreign workers and international students, as well as refugees.
In 2022, Statistics Canada reported population growth in Canada was 1.05 million, with 95.9% of the growth due to immigration.
The number of new immigrants coming to Canada in 2023 is predicted to be over one million.
But many foreigners on temporary visas overstay in Canada.
An August 2023 CIBC Capital Markets report estimated that Canada is undercounting the number of non-permanent residents living in the country by nearly one million.
According to CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal, this underestimation is due to gaps in the census and the fact that many residents stay past the expiry of their visas.
Another bank executive, chief economist at the National Bank of Canada Stéfane Marion, said in an early August memo that the Liberals’ high immigration levels are creating a “record imbalance” between housing supply and demand.
“As housing affordability pressures continue to mount across the country, we believe Ottawa should consider revising its immigration targets to allow supply to catch up with demand,” Marion said.
Even so, Miller hinted back in August that he would not lower Canada’s immigration targets, saying, “Honestly, looking at the numbers and knowing what I know and the needs that exist in Canada, I don’t see a world in which we decrease it currently.”