Ottawa, November 2: Canadian government has announced that it is aiming to maintain its target of welcoming 5,00,000 new permanent residents in 2026, reported CBC News. Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller said that 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 said in a press conference. Canada Bans WeChat and Kaspersky on Government Phones Citing Privacy and Security Risks.

According to CBC News, the Canadian government has steadily increased its immigration targets in recent years to boost the workforce and support an ageing population. Last year, Canada released a plan to grant permanent residency to 465,000 people in 2023, and it was set to rise to 500,000 by 2025.

However, the immigration target for 2015 was under 300,000, reported CBC News. Miller further emphasized that Canada is now levelling off its planned immigration intake to see what all 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. India-Canada Tension: US Raises Concern Over India's Demand to Reduce Canadian Diplomatic Presence.

"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," he added. Reportedly, Canada's population grew by a record one million people in 2022, and surpassed the 40 million mark earlier this year, according to CBC News.

The population growth has come at the same time when the country is also facing a housing shortage. Notably, almost 5.8 million new units will have to be built by the end of the decade in order to fix the housing supply, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said in a report released in September. However, Miller admitted the housing shortage was a factor in the decision to level off immigration targets, adding that, although it was not the main factor, CBC News reported.

"If that were the sole reason, it would totally be misunderstanding the challenges I think we're facing as a country," he said. Miller further stressed that Canada will need to maintain immigration levels, to provide the workers who can build houses. Earlier this year, the government announced changes to the express entry system that would prioritize tradespeople for permanent residency.

Miller noted that those changes have attracted roughly 1,500 tradespeople from abroad, CBC News reported. Meanwhile, a political science professor, Phil Triadafilopoulos, who has a specialization at the University of Toronto, said that high levels of immigration will still put pressure on the housing market.

"I don't know whether pausing at a historically high level of immigration is really going to do much to ease affordability issues around housing," he said. "Those pressures are going to persist, I think." Moreover, according to the new plan, Canada's target for economic immigrants is holding steady at 60 per cent of total immigration.

Goldy Hyder, president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada, said the government should boost that portion to 65 per cent. "Unfilled job openings for highly skilled and educated professionals remain stubbornly high. If not addressed with urgency and ambition, this shortage of leading talent will have a large and lasting impact on Canadian technological innovation, labour productivity and capital investment," he said.

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