Surge in temporary immigrants beyond Canada’s capacity to ‘absorb’: Trudeau

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged on Tuesday that the surge in temporary immigrants to the country was “beyond” what it was “able to absorb” and said his government wanted to get those numbers down.
He was responding to a question at an event in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The reporter asked if the government’s immigration policy has contributed to record-high housing unaffordability?

Trudeau said, “It’s really important to understand the context around immigration. Every year we bring in about 450,000, now close to 500,000, permanent residents a year, and that is part of the necessary growth of Canada. It benefits our citizens, our communities, it benefits our economy,” said Trudeau.

“However, over the past few years we’ve seen a massive spike in temporary immigration, whether it’s temporary foreign workers or whether it’s international students in particular that have grown at a rate far beyond what Canada has been able to absorb.”
Trudeau then cited how temporary immigrants only made up 2% of Canada’s population seven years ago, but now account for 7.5%.
“To give an example, in 2017, 2% of Canada’s population was made up of temporary immigrants. Now we’re at 7.5% of our population comprised of temporary immigrants,” he said.
Trudeau acknowledged that the time had come for his government to get those numbers back under control.
“That’s something that we need to get back under control, both for the benefits of those people because international students we’re seeing increasingly vulnerable to mental health challenges, to not being able to thrive and get the education they want. But also increasingly more and more businesses relying on temporary foreign workers in a way that is driving down wages in some sectors.”
He then said that by holding the line on immigration, Canadian communities would begin to feel less pressure in the future.
“So we want to get those numbers down, it’s a responsible approach to immigration that continues on our permanent residents as we have, but holds the line a little more on the temporary immigration that has caused so much pressure in our communities.”
Canada welcomed around one million new temporary and permanent immigrants in 2022, which ultimately brought the country to a record high population of 40 million.