The Canadian government is sticking to its ambitious plans to introduce newcomers to the country, although its borders remain largely closed.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino is trying not to reduce the government’s immigration targets for the coming years, according to two sources. This includes attracting 351,000 new permanent residents in 2021 – at most a century. The government will update its three-year forecasts next month.
Since coming to power in 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s liberal government has sought to accelerate immigration, a policy that had helped accelerate population growth for three decades before the Covid-1
Current travel restrictions and border closures have thwarted the flow of people to Canada. The high unemployment rate, which seems likely to continue, and the fact that Trudeau’s minority government must rely on the support of opposition political parties to pass legislation create additional challenges.
In March, Mendicino unveiled a plan for increase in immigration over the next three years – targeting 341,000 permanent residents in 2020, 351,000 in 2021 and 361,000 in 2022
So far, the figures for 2020 are not even close.
Between January and August, Canada admit itted 128 128 permanent residents. If the flow returns to 2019 levels, that number will rise to 240,000, or about 70% of the target, according to Andrew Agopsovich, an economist at the Royal Bank of Canada. But even that can be optimistic.
“It may be possible if people delay moving to Canada,” Agopsovic said in an email. “Of course, heightened fears of a Covid revival could affect those plans.”
A similar trend has emerged in study permits, as international students have largely failed to travel to Canada.
Reduces immigration significant impact effects on the housing market. For example, the vacancy rate for apartments for rent in the Toronto area exceeds 2% for the first time in 10 years, according to data from the third quarter of research firm Urbanation Inc. Offers for renting condominiums have doubled over the period and average monthly rents have fallen by more than 9%, the company said.
Mendicino’s office has consulted with various business, labor and settlement organizations to assess the current demand for immigration. The minister is expected to announce the new targets by November 1st, which is the deadline for the ministry to present its plans to parliament.
(Updates detailing the vacancy rate in the last second paragraph.)