After increasing its immigration targets several times in recent years, the federal government announced Wednesday it’s aiming to maintain its target of welcoming 500,000 new permanent residents in 2026.
Immigration Minister Marc Miller said the target is meant to support the labour supply while easing pressures on housing and health care.
“What Canadians are telling us, what economists are telling us, is that we have to dive into the micro-economic impacts of immigration,” Miller told a press conference.
The government has steadily increased its immigration targets in recent years to boost the workforce and support an aging population.
Last year, the government released a plan to grant permanent residency to 465,000 people in 2023, a figure that’s set to rise to 500,000 by 2025. The immigration target for 2015 was under 300,000.
Miller said Wednesday the government is now levelling off its planned immigration intake to see what sorts of adjustments can be made to Canada’s immigration programs.
“Those numbers were needed but now we have to take a look at them, where we feel they’re reasonable and plateauing in a space where we think it makes sense,” he said.
“We have a lot of complex calculations that we need to make and measures we need to adjust. I think it’s sometimes politically convenient to come out with a hammer-type approach… It’s more on the level of finer surgery that we need to adjust.”