The Canadian government has revealed a major change in its immigration policy, opting not to raise the intake of permanent residents from 2026 onwards. This decision comes as public sentiment in the country shifts against high levels of immigration. It is the first time since the Trudeau government came into power in 2015 that immigration levels have not been increased.
While Ottawa will maintain its targets of welcoming 485,000 permanent residents in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025, as previously announced, starting in 2026, the government will stabilize permanent resident levels at 500,000. The objective is to allow time for successful integration and simultaneously enhance Canada’s labor market.
In addition to this shift, the government is considering changes in other categories of newcomers, including temporary workers and international students. A statement from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) suggested that they will recalibrate the number of temporary resident admissions to ensure the sustainability of Canada’s immigration system.
Immigration has come under scrutiny due to concerns about its impact on housing affordability, healthcare, and infrastructure, particularly during a time of economic uncertainty and inflation. The IRCC acknowledged these concerns in its release, emphasizing that the plan aims to support economic growth while addressing these pressing issues.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Marc Miller, stated, “By stabilizing the number of newcomers, we recognize that housing, infrastructure planning, and sustainable population growth need to be properly taken into account.”
Notably, immigrants from India form the largest country cohort among new permanent residents in Canada. Last year, 118,224 individuals from India comprised nearly 27% of the total 437,539 permanent residents admitted, according to the IRCC’s annual report.
Despite the policy change, the IRCC maintains that newcomers play a crucial role in stimulating innovation, fostering economic growth, and supporting local businesses and communities. However, the recent shift in public opinion towards concerns about immigration levels has been noted.
A survey released recently by the Environics Institute for Survey Research found that a growing number of Canadians are now questioning whether there is too much immigration to the country. The poll indicated a significant shift, with more than four in ten Canadians either strongly or somewhat agreeing that there is “too much immigration to Canada.”
While 51% of respondents expressed satisfaction with the current level of immigration, the researchers highlighted that Canadians are increasingly questioning the quantity of immigrants arriving in the country, marking a significant shift in public perception. This change comes after decades of rising support for immigration in Canada.
Sources By Agencies