Documents obtained through an access-to-information request show that federal public servants were warned the effects mass immigration would have on housing affordability over two years ago.
The records, obtained by the Canadian Press, revealed that the federal immigration department analyzed the negative effects high immigration would have on the economy, housing and services, before the Trudeau government prepared its newcomer targets for 2023 to 2025.
The analysis cautioned that housing construction had long since fallen behind the pace of population growth in 2022.
“In Canada, population growth has exceeded the growth in available housing units,” reads the documents.
“As the federal authority charged with managing immigration, IRCC policy-makers must understand the misalignment between population growth and housing supply, and how permanent and temporary immigration shapes population growth.”
Almost all population growth in Canada is directly attributed to immigration due to an aging population and a low birth rate.
The Trudeau government decided to raise the number of annual permanent residents in Canada to 500,000 per year, nearly doubling the targets set in 2015.
“Rapid increases put pressure on health care and affordable housing,” warned public servants. “Settlement and resettlement service providers are expressing short-term strain due to labour market conditions, increased levels and the Afghanistan and Ukraine initiatives.”
The Bank of Canada conducted its own analysis and came to a similar conclusion in December.
“Canada’s housing supply has not kept up with growth in our population, and higher rates of immigration are widening the gap,” said Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem, while speaking at Toronto’s Royal York Hotel Dec. 15.
Canada’s population growth has been hitting record highs historically, largely in part due to international students and temporary foreign workers.
In the third quarter of 2023 alone, Canada’s population grew by 430,000 people, the highest quarterly growth on record since 1957.
Housing affordability is now perhaps the main problem facing Canadians today, and has dramatically hurt Trudeau’s administration across a number of public polls.
Canada’s immigration targets have even exceeded the levels that were recommended by experts with the Century Initiative, an organization which aims to have the country’s population reach 100 million by 2100, according to the Globe and Mail.