Poilievre pledges to tie immigration levels to homebuilding

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Poilievre’s Conservatives have consistently topped recent surveys on Canadians’ federal voting intentions for the next election. In an Abacus poll conducted between January 4-9, the Tories were the favoured party among 41% of respondents, followed by the Liberals on 24% and New Democratic Party (NDP) on 18%.

The pace of homebuilding has remained sluggish in Canada despite surging immigration in recent years, with 2022 – the most recent year with full data – seeing 219,942 new homes completed. In September, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reiterated its stance that an additional 3.5 million housing units are needed to restore full housing affordability by 2030.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that there was no “magic solution” to Canada’s current housing shortage, highlighting government programs to incentivize speedy development approvals by cities and noting a shortage of labour in key construction positions.

“Construction workers and availability of labour is a challenge we’re facing, which is why we continue to have ambitious immigration targets,” the prime minister said in Guelph.

The federal government has stayed the course on its target of 485,000 permanent residents for this year, with permanent resident levels to hit 500,000 and stabilize at that level beyond 2025.

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