Dealing with immigration is the best way Trudeau could help on housing

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In the middle of a housing crisis, Canada added one million new people in nine months, it’s unsustainable.

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“We’re focused on fairness for every generation,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.

It was Trudeau’s latest pre-budget news conference, and this one was focused on housing. Like his announcements on the “renters bill of rights” and a national school food program, the measures Trudeau is looking to introduce in housing are clearly provincial jurisdiction.

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Like those other two program announcements, the Trudeau government didn’t consult with provinces ahead of time.

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The real problem, though, is that while Trudeau is once again dabbling in areas of provincial jurisdiction, he’s ignoring the issues that he is responsible for. If you don’t think that matters, just consider the impact immigration is having on all three of these issues – rental markets, housing costs and the general cost of living.

Last week, Statistics Canada announced that our population had crossed the 41 million mark, a feat accomplished just nine months after we crossed over the 40 million mark.

Imagine that, we added 1 million people in nine months, in the middle of a housing crisis, at a time when Canadians don’t have access to family doctors, when our health-care system is stretched and when wages are not keeping up with inflation. Trudeau even stated that he’s worried about the rapid growth suppressing wages when asked about the impact of immigration during his news conference.

“Increasingly, more and more businesses are relying on temporary foreign workers in a way that is driving down wages in some sectors,” Trudeau said.

Could that be why more people are at food banks, need help with things like school food programs?

Asked about the impact of immigration on housing costs, Trudeau seemed shocked at how high the numbers are. While he defended the nearly 500,000 permanent residents Canada brings in each year, he said in other areas the numbers are too high.

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“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 said.

“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. That’s something that we need to get back under control.”

Now, if only he knew someone he could call to fix that.

Who is in charge of immigration again?

That’s right, it’s Marc Miller, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. Miller is a minister in Trudeau’s government, which means he reports to Trudeau and carries out Trudeau’s policies.

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Yet, here we have the PM acting surprised at the massive spike in immigration when it was his government that allowed this to happen.

This massive immigration spike has had a horrible impact on the rental market across the country but especially in major cities. And with this spike in immigration happening during an already existing housing crisis, it has had an impact on housing affordability, as well.

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Could it possibly be that when families need to spend more and more of their income on housing, they have less money for food?

Which brings me back to why it’s important for Trudeau to pay attention to the things he’s responsible for, rather than running around the country trying to be premier of each and every province.

Trudeau dropping the ball on immigration didn’t create any of these problems. They were, however, made worse by his government’s complete negligence on this file.

A country in the middle of a housing and affordability crisis cannot import 1 million new people every nine months and expect to solve this major problem.

It’s time to hit pause, on Trudeau’s provincial interference and on Canada’s massive immigration numbers.

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