Immigration

The primary aim of Canada’s immigration policy should be to economically benefit Canadians and Canada as a whole. It should not be used to forcibly change the cultural character and social fabric of our country. And it should not put excessive financial burdens on the shoulders of Canadians in the pursuit of humanitarian goals.

Despite Canada already accepting more immigrants than almost any other country, both the Liberals and Conservatives support an unsustainable increase in the annual immigration intake, and are using mass immigration as a political tool to buy votes among immigrant communities.

Facts

Right now, only 26% of all the immigrants and refugees who come to Canada every year are directly chosen because they have the right qualifications and work experience to fulfill our economic needs. The rest are dependents (spouses and children), come through the family reunification program or as refugees, do not work, or do not have the skills that we need even if they find work.

Immigrants generally have lower wages than non-immigrants. They pay on average about half as much in income taxes as other Canadians but absorb nearly the same value of government services. A study puts the cost to taxpayers in 2014 at roughly $5,300 per immigrant living in Canada, for a total annual cost of somewhere between $27 billion and $35 billion.

Demographic studies have shown that newcomers are a bit younger on average than Canadians, but not enough to have a noticeable impact on the rate of aging. The Liberal government has made matters worse by increasing the number of parents and grand-parents accepted under the family reunification program.

Mass immigration also inflates housing prices. More than 41% of all immigrants to Canada settle in and around Toronto and Vancouver, which have some of the least affordable housing among big cities in the world.

Our plan

Our immigration policy can benefit Canadians only if we welcome the right kind of immigrants. It should prioritize Canada’s economic interests and be calibrated in a way that does not jeopardize Canadian values and the maintenance of our national identity.

A People’s Party government will:

  • Substantially lower the total number of immigrants and refugees Canada accept every year, from 350,000 to between 100,000 and 150,000, depending on economic and other circumstances.
  • Reform the immigration point system and the related programs to accept a larger proportion of economic immigrants with the right skills.
  • Accept fewer resettled refugees (see Refugees policy) and limit the number of immigrants accepted under the family reunification program, including abolishing the program for parents and grand-parents.
  • Limit the number of temporary foreign workers and make sure that they fulfil temporary positions and do not compete unfairly with Canadian workers.
  • Change the law to make birth tourism illegal.
  • Ensure that every candidate for immigration undergoes a face-to-face interview and answers a series of specific questions to assess the extent to which they align with Canadian values and societal norms (see Canadian Identity policy).
  • Increase resources for CSIS, the RCMP and Canadian Immigration and Citizenship to do interviews and thorough background checks on all classes of immigrants.

Housing has become out of reach for many Canadians, in particular for young families living in big cities. Vancouver and Toronto have become two of the most unaffordable large cities in the world.

Over the past decades, the federal government has spent billions of dollars and created various bureaucratic programs to presumably make housing more affordable, with no results. Among other things, it has manipulated the financial criteria to qualify for mortgages and mortgage insurance, provided tax breaks to first buyers, and funded social housing.

The fundamental problem however is the mismatch between supply of and demand for housing, that Ottawa, the provinces and municipalities are making worse with other policies, in particular mass immigration and zoning restrictions.

FACTS

About 40% of immigrants to Canada end up settling in only two cities, Toronto and Vancouver, where the housing shortage is most acute. The Trudeau government has increased immigration targets from 250,000 per year under the Harper government, to 350,000, and is now planning to increase it to over 400,000. Mass immigration is one of the main reasons for the constantly high level of demand for housing and the exorbitant prices in these cities. Even if a lot more houses were to be built, supply cannot keep up with this level of demand.

Overall inflation has become a major problem in every sector of the economy and is a consequence of inflationary monetary policy – that is, the Bank of Canada printing too much money in order to fund the Trudeau government’s gigantic deficits. This inflationary policy adds to the already overheated conditions in the housing market.

OUR PLAN

Housing is primarily a provincial or local responsibility. Ottawa’s involvement over the years has only resulted in distorting the housing market. There is nothing the federal government can do to change provincial or municipal zoning laws, but it can stop contributing to the overheating of the housing market in different ways.

A People’s Party government will:

  • Substantially reduce immigration quotas, from about 400k planned by the Liberal government, down to 100k-150k per year. This will help reduce demand for housing and cool down these markets, especially in the large cities where most immigrants settle.
  • Modify the Bank of Canada’s inflation target, from 2% to 0%. This will cool down inflation in all sectors, including housing.
  • Stop funding social housing, which unfairly competes with private developers and has historically been a financial, social and urban planning disaster in every city where it’s become widespread. It is not the government’s role to build and rent apartments. Dependency on government handouts is never the solution.
  • Privatize or dismantle the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), a mammoth government agency that fuels the housing crisis instead of helping to cool it down. All it has ever done is encourage Canadians to buy houses they can’t afford, and accumulate massive amounts of debt that the federal government, and ultimately Canadian taxpayers, will be responsible for.
  • Work with provinces to curb speculation and money laundering by foreign non-resident buyers in Canada’s land and housing markets.