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Canada’s cynical immigration racket Justin Trudeau has engineered a perfect storm

A frosty welcome. Sebastien St-Jean/AFP/Getty Images

A frosty welcome. Sebastien St-Jean/AFP/Getty Images


August 4, 2023   6 mins

When Canada’s population hit the 40 million mark earlier this summer, it was celebrated as a milestone and a “signal that Canada remains a dynamic and welcoming country”, in the words of the country’s chief statistician. The Washington Post, among other foreign observers, cited this as evidence that “Canada is booming like it never has before”. It failed to mention, however, the recent closure of Roxham Road on the New York-Quebec border, an entry point for many thousands of irregular refugee border crossings since 2017.

These two policies — the population-growth plan and the border-crossing closure — may seem antithetical, but they are very much related. Together, they illustrate Ottawa’s distinctive approach to immigration. Notwithstanding the progressive rhetoric of its leaders, Canada has actually been quite proactive at restricting most uncontrolled migration through its “bureaucratic wall”, while ensuring through a highly selective strategy (which includes the lauded “points system”) that the majority of the newcomers who do arrive through controlled channels are, relatively speaking, well-off, well-educated and hailing from middle-class backgrounds.

In this way, Canada has been able to scoop up “the best and the brightest” from all over the world, which explains why immigration has historically always been a popular policy. In fact, this arrangement has been so politically stable that a viable anti-immigration party has yet to emerge at the national level, bucking the trend in other Western democracies.

Yet there are reasons to believe that a reckoning is in store — though not because Canadians’ cultural attitudes to immigrants have soured, as has happened in most European nations. Indeed, they are more likely to think of surgeons rather than Salafists when they look at who’s coming through their migration streams. If a countermovement against the status quo is to come, it will stem from a single factor: there will be nowhere for newcomers to live.

This may sound like a strange thing to say for the world’s second largest country by landmass, but most Canadians live in a handful of cities and, amid a global housing crisis, Canada ranks as among the absolute worst nations in the developed world for affordability. It has the highest household debt and, astonishingly, the lowest number of housing units per 1,000 people in the G7. Needless to say, the housing bubble has greatly reduced Canadians’ quality of life and made already pricey metropolises such as Toronto and Vancouver impossible to live in for those who are not already solidly affluent. And it shows: homelessness has exploded and sprawling tent cities are now a distressingly common sight. With circumstances as dire as this, how did policymakers in Ottawa figure it would be a good idea to welcome 1.5 million new residents by 2025?

A big part of the answer is that it’s all going according to plan. For the main overriding (if unsayable) goal of Canadian policymaking across all levels of government is to do everything possible to boost real estate values and rental prices rapidly and radically for the benefit of established homeowners and investors — and to the detriment of everyone else.

This cleavage, a primarily economic rather than a cultural or identitarian one, pits older home-owning Canadians from the Boomer and Gen X cohorts against struggling Millennials and Gen Zs; landlords against renters; long-settled immigrants against those fresh-off-the-boat: in other words, the insiders against the outsiders.

And it is clear where the loyalties of Canada’s political classes lay. The Nimby orthodoxy favoured by the insiders is evident in everything from steep development charges baked into municipal regulations — which make the cost of building houses prohibitive — to lazy, sticking-plaster solutions such as rent relief schemes, which simply funnel money into landlords’ pockets while doing nothing to address the underlying problems of housing undersupply. Once viewed in relation to this out-in-the-open conspiracy — the Great Canadian Racket — the government’s immigration targets, as well as its student visa policy, start to make sense.

For this purpose, Canada specifically wants prospective immigrants who are financially endowed, not penniless refugees; and it is able to draw in those candidates through its selective policy controls, whether they’re coming in as immigrants or as international students with enough funds to cover exorbitant rents and tuition fees.

The plight of international students is particularly tragic. Bright-eyed applicants to Canadian institutions from India and elsewhere are lured in with promises of a first-world education, only to be suckered into overpriced degrees while being cooped into horrendous housing conditions and forced to compete for menial gig work. Though Canada is not alone in experiencing this kind of steady glut of foreign entrants to its universities, it’s been conspicuous in its refusal to consider the extent of the exploitation involved — unlike in Britain, for instance, where authorities seem at least to have acknowledged the issue. While Canada has set about poaching high-skilled foreign workers from the US, a Toronto international student was found living under a bridge. Ottawa’s response to this and other horror stories seems to be: come on in!

This careless approach of importing boatloads of wealth-bearing immigrants to juice up the economic growth numbers, driving up rents for everyone and lowering the cost of labour, has been referred to by one housing policy commentator as “human quantitative easing”, an appropriately Orwellian-sounding name. Canada’s embrace of it has led to a perverse contradiction whereby its official monetary policy — namely, successive rate hikes to tame inflation (meaning increasingly costly mortgage payments for new homeowners) — is being offset by its unofficial “Human QE” policy, which, of course, exerts an inflationary effect.

If there is one ray of hope, it is that the immigrants and students themselves are beginning to rise up. Because of the genteel, middle-class character of many of these newcomers, they often have amour-propre — a keen sense of one’s own worth. The words of a Punjabi architect who decided to move back home are emblematic: “I respect myself too much to stay [in Canada].”

The ruling Liberals have all but abdicated moral responsibility on the issue, with Trudeau going from lofty rhetoric about “housing is a human right” to declaring that “housing isn’t a primary federal responsibility”. And though carrying a kernel of truth at an abstract, technical level, his words nonetheless struck many as offensively tone-deaf. After all, Trudeau’s willingness to confront the provinces on issues such as carbon pricing merely highlights his studied indifference on housing.

This negligent stance is reinforced by members of the government caucus, such as ex-housing minister, Ahmed Hussen, who recently insisted that housing “is not a political issue” after purchasing his second rental unit; and Vancouver MP Taleeb Noormohamed, who made millions buying and flipping houses. In any event, the Trudeau Liberals are cruising towards a well-earned defeat at the polls.

The bad news for Canadians is that the alternative, the Conservative Party of Pierre Poilievre, is no better. Much like Hussen and Noormohamed, Poilievre is a card-carrying member of the investor-rentier oligarchy (private investment is, of course, key to funding more construction but this class has gone about it in all the wrong ways, presiding over the hyper-financialisation of new and existing supply). The Conservative “plan” is apparently based on pushing cities to build more homes with carrots and sticks; and though phrased in colourful populist language (“Fire the gatekeepers!”), it is essentially a weak mirror image of Trudeau’s feckless initiatives. Poilievre’s bluster about fining cities that fail to comply — which Ottawa may not even have the power to do — would almost certainly just result in municipalities retaliating by jacking up fees and charges even more to pay the new fines.

Furthermore, Poilievre shows no sign of breaking with the status quo on immigration, refusing to contradict Trudeau’s immigration targets. There are two possible reasons for this, both of which could be true. The first is that Poilievre fears being tarred as “Trump North” and doesn’t want to risk losing the Conservatives’ long-cultivated relationship with multicultural communities (the subject of an admiring 2014 essay by Rishi Sunak) — even though the young people in those same communities are suffering just as much from housing scarcity and would greatly benefit from a slowdown in the rate of new arrivals. The second is that Poilievre is an anti-statist libertarian who worships at the altar of Milton Friedman, the US monetarist who helped make the case for immigration maximalism, when he argued it would supercharge growth and kill the welfare state. It could just be that Poilievre genuinely believes, on ideological grounds, that such heedless immigration targets are a good idea.

Canada faces a perfect storm: a population bomb and a housing crunch, both the consciously engineered products of national policy. Staving off disaster will require heroic leadership to chart needed course corrections on housing, immigration and student visas, while acknowledging the hard political trade-offs that need to happen: the insiders must incorporate the interests and demands of the outsiders, or trigger a complete social breakdown. In the past, Canada’s storied Laurentian elite excelled at this kind of astute brokerage politics and built a nation with it, but their courage and vision have now given way to the reign of cowardice and mediocrity.


Michael Cuenco is a writer on policy and politics. He is Associate Editor at American Affairs.

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Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
9 months ago

Canada Australia faces a perfect storm: a population bomb and a housing crunch, both the consciously engineered, et cetera, et al, and the rest…

We’ve just raced through 25,000,000 on the way to a projected 56,000,000, by which time Canada and Australia will have answered the nuanced demographic question: is it easier to live on an iceberg, or in the desert?
Not sure about our selection processes, but first and third for country of origin are India and the UK, which is good for cricket; surprisingly, fifth is Nepal, which is good for Sherpas, which we have a shortage of (along with mountains); and second is China, which is good for sabre rattling.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Tony Taylor

Good luck!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
9 months ago
Reply to  Tony Taylor

Canada Australia the UK faces a perfect storm: a population bomb and a housing crunch, both the consciously engineered, et cetera, et al, and the rest


Dominic S
Dominic S
9 months ago

The UK not only suckers in those brighter students to expensive education and no accommodation, it also ships people in from within French territorial waters to join the rapidly growing troubles we face here.

Last edited 9 months ago by Dominic S
Dominic S
Dominic S
9 months ago

The UK not only suckers in those brighter students to expensive education and no accommodation, it also ships people in from within French territorial waters to join the rapidly growing troubles we face here.

Last edited 9 months ago by Dominic S
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
9 months ago
Reply to  Tony Taylor

I once went into a UK hospital after an injury.
Two things stood out.

There were numerous people working on safe, low skill, low stress jobs, receptionist, doling out hand sanitiser, walking around leisurely. All locals, mostly women.

The two nurses who tended to my bandage / plaster and the several doctors?
Every single one of them Indian origin or migrant.

Australia and Canada have smartly restricted the flow to valuable immigrants who learn or know the language, fit in with the culture.

The problem is, Britain has effectively tightened the flow of Indian or Chinese immigrants while the flow of lower skilled fighting age men who hate western culture is unabated.

In a way, from India’s or Nepali point of view, it’s a pity Canada and Australia aren’t doing the same.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Tony Taylor

Good luck!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
9 months ago
Reply to  Tony Taylor

Canada Australia the UK faces a perfect storm: a population bomb and a housing crunch, both the consciously engineered, et cetera, et al, and the rest


Samir Iker
Samir Iker
9 months ago
Reply to  Tony Taylor

I once went into a UK hospital after an injury.
Two things stood out.

There were numerous people working on safe, low skill, low stress jobs, receptionist, doling out hand sanitiser, walking around leisurely. All locals, mostly women.

The two nurses who tended to my bandage / plaster and the several doctors?
Every single one of them Indian origin or migrant.

Australia and Canada have smartly restricted the flow to valuable immigrants who learn or know the language, fit in with the culture.

The problem is, Britain has effectively tightened the flow of Indian or Chinese immigrants while the flow of lower skilled fighting age men who hate western culture is unabated.

In a way, from India’s or Nepali point of view, it’s a pity Canada and Australia aren’t doing the same.

Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
9 months ago

Canada Australia faces a perfect storm: a population bomb and a housing crunch, both the consciously engineered, et cetera, et al, and the rest…

We’ve just raced through 25,000,000 on the way to a projected 56,000,000, by which time Canada and Australia will have answered the nuanced demographic question: is it easier to live on an iceberg, or in the desert?
Not sure about our selection processes, but first and third for country of origin are India and the UK, which is good for cricket; surprisingly, fifth is Nepal, which is good for Sherpas, which we have a shortage of (along with mountains); and second is China, which is good for sabre rattling.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
9 months ago

This made me think of a friend of mine who had a very cushy job where he was posted in various offices all around the world. He moved every 3-5 years, and didn’t have to worry about housing as his employer would sort it out.
He lived in Bucharest for 3 years – was surprised about how nice it was, although he complained alot about the corruption, the rubbish infrastructure, how doctors would purposely withhold information from you about treatment to get more money out of you…etc.
When he got the news he would be heading off to Toronto next, he was relieved to be going back to a more comfortable surrounding. But once he was there, I remember how he found himself missing the authenticity, low prices and tasty food in Romania (the fruit and vegetables there were dirt cheap and just exploding with flavour – much better than the watery stuff we get in Austria). In particular, I remember him being disappointed with how entitled Canadians were and how buying a simple beer involved a semi-judgmental trip to the liquor store. Europe is definitely more relaxed on that front.
Yeah, Canada is lovely for holidays (if you’ve got money) but I would not like to live there.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Sounds like a case of the grass is always greener.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
9 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I visited Bulgaria recently and loved it for the same reasons. The only thing is that many Bulgarians look down on their own culture and believe that joining the EU will culturally enrich them.

Dominic S
Dominic S
9 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Their view of the EU is disappointing.

Dominic S
Dominic S
9 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Their view of the EU is disappointing.

net mag
net mag
9 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Canada is not a unitary state, it is a federation of 11 provinces and two territories.Regulations in a number of areas – buying booze being one – can differ greatly from province to province. The province of Ontario has far more cumbersome beer buying regulations than do the provinces of, say, Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec.
Main point is that Toronto (despite it’s certainty that it is) is not Canada. It would be completely fair for your friend to conclude that Toronto sucks and Ontario sucks, positions that I, a Western Canadian, enthusiastically endorse, but unfair to say that Canada as a whole sucks based upon his experience of life in Toronto.

David Butler
David Butler
9 months ago
Reply to  net mag

Ten provinces and three territories but, hey ho, as a “Western Canadian”, I’m sure you’re not expected to know.

net mag
net mag
9 months ago
Reply to  David Butler

Now don’t be snotty, “Toronto Guy’. Nunuvat has near provincial status with respect to law making, etc, so for the purposes of distinction for a mostly non-Canadian readership, well strictly speaking, incorrect, I reckoned it was a better description than 10/3. Although, I suppose, a mostly Canadian readership would grasp the essential difference at at 10/3.

harry storm
harry storm
9 months ago
Reply to  net mag

All the territories have that. The difference between the THREE territories and 10 provinces is that the provinces are constitutional creations whereas the territories, including the latest, Nunavut, were created via legislation.

net mag
net mag
9 months ago
Reply to  harry storm

Okay, I surrender. 10 and 3 it is. Toronto still sucks though.

net mag
net mag
9 months ago
Reply to  harry storm

Okay, I surrender. 10 and 3 it is. Toronto still sucks though.

harry storm
harry storm
9 months ago
Reply to  net mag

All the territories have that. The difference between the THREE territories and 10 provinces is that the provinces are constitutional creations whereas the territories, including the latest, Nunavut, were created via legislation.

net mag
net mag
9 months ago
Reply to  David Butler

Now don’t be snotty, “Toronto Guy’. Nunuvat has near provincial status with respect to law making, etc, so for the purposes of distinction for a mostly non-Canadian readership, well strictly speaking, incorrect, I reckoned it was a better description than 10/3. Although, I suppose, a mostly Canadian readership would grasp the essential difference at at 10/3.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
9 months ago
Reply to  net mag

My daughter is heading off to university in Quebec. She is not yet the drinking age there. I assured her that in Quebec that isn’t going to be a big problem – no one cares.

Dominic S
Dominic S
9 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Why is she worried about that? She should be more worried about the way in which protestors against foolish government restrictions are punished vindictively and viciously.

Dominic S
Dominic S
9 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Why is she worried about that? She should be more worried about the way in which protestors against foolish government restrictions are punished vindictively and viciously.

David Butler
David Butler
9 months ago
Reply to  net mag

Ten provinces and three territories but, hey ho, as a “Western Canadian”, I’m sure you’re not expected to know.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
9 months ago
Reply to  net mag

My daughter is heading off to university in Quebec. She is not yet the drinking age there. I assured her that in Quebec that isn’t going to be a big problem – no one cares.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
9 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Sounds like a case of the grass is always greener.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
9 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I visited Bulgaria recently and loved it for the same reasons. The only thing is that many Bulgarians look down on their own culture and believe that joining the EU will culturally enrich them.

net mag
net mag
9 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Canada is not a unitary state, it is a federation of 11 provinces and two territories.Regulations in a number of areas – buying booze being one – can differ greatly from province to province. The province of Ontario has far more cumbersome beer buying regulations than do the provinces of, say, Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec.
Main point is that Toronto (despite it’s certainty that it is) is not Canada. It would be completely fair for your friend to conclude that Toronto sucks and Ontario sucks, positions that I, a Western Canadian, enthusiastically endorse, but unfair to say that Canada as a whole sucks based upon his experience of life in Toronto.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
9 months ago

This made me think of a friend of mine who had a very cushy job where he was posted in various offices all around the world. He moved every 3-5 years, and didn’t have to worry about housing as his employer would sort it out.
He lived in Bucharest for 3 years – was surprised about how nice it was, although he complained alot about the corruption, the rubbish infrastructure, how doctors would purposely withhold information from you about treatment to get more money out of you…etc.
When he got the news he would be heading off to Toronto next, he was relieved to be going back to a more comfortable surrounding. But once he was there, I remember how he found himself missing the authenticity, low prices and tasty food in Romania (the fruit and vegetables there were dirt cheap and just exploding with flavour – much better than the watery stuff we get in Austria). In particular, I remember him being disappointed with how entitled Canadians were and how buying a simple beer involved a semi-judgmental trip to the liquor store. Europe is definitely more relaxed on that front.
Yeah, Canada is lovely for holidays (if you’ve got money) but I would not like to live there.

Rob N
Rob N
9 months ago

How’s this for a radical way to reduce pressure on housing and costs: stop accepting immigrants and encourage non Canadian born to go back home and sort out their own country.

Immigration is not a solution to any real problems: at best it just delays some and creates others now.

Rob N
Rob N
9 months ago

How’s this for a radical way to reduce pressure on housing and costs: stop accepting immigrants and encourage non Canadian born to go back home and sort out their own country.

Immigration is not a solution to any real problems: at best it just delays some and creates others now.

Philip May
Philip May
9 months ago

The author neglects to include the pressure being put on our health care and welfare systems. Health care in Canada is on life support as it stands and is only getting worse. The additional stressors caused by immigration won’t improve this situation.

Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
9 months ago
Reply to  Philip May

Do not forget education.
Especially as bringing in talented migrants tends to persuade the business class that they can get away with eschewing the funding of education.

Dominic S
Dominic S
9 months ago
Reply to  Philip May

You’re lucky to have health-care that good. In the UK you’re lucky to see a doctor.

Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
9 months ago
Reply to  Philip May

Do not forget education.
Especially as bringing in talented migrants tends to persuade the business class that they can get away with eschewing the funding of education.

Dominic S
Dominic S
9 months ago
Reply to  Philip May

You’re lucky to have health-care that good. In the UK you’re lucky to see a doctor.

Philip May
Philip May
9 months ago

The author neglects to include the pressure being put on our health care and welfare systems. Health care in Canada is on life support as it stands and is only getting worse. The additional stressors caused by immigration won’t improve this situation.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
9 months ago

Did anyone else misread surgeons as ‘sturgeons’ and then spend ten minutes wondering what a Salafish was?

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
9 months ago

Did anyone else misread surgeons as ‘sturgeons’ and then spend ten minutes wondering what a Salafish was?

Jim Bocho
Jim Bocho
9 months ago

The UK is doing something very similar. Immigration is a racket in nearly all Western countries.

Last edited 9 months ago by Jim Bocho
Jim Bocho
Jim Bocho
9 months ago

The UK is doing something very similar. Immigration is a racket in nearly all Western countries.

Last edited 9 months ago by Jim Bocho
Mustard Clementine
Mustard Clementine
9 months ago

I think because a lot of this will sound somewhat familiar to people in other countries with housing crises of their own, those outside of Canada don’t quite understand the truly macabre levels we have allowed our housing inflation to reach.

We’ve let it get so bad that a truly massive, ruinous crash is now probably our least bad option. Too many in power here are absolutely far too invested to actually let this happen – so a totally out of control, spiral of a crash is probably the only chance we have to fix a problem that not only stands to undermine our resilient embrace of immigration, but represents an intergenerational injustice that will leave a legacy of broken dreams, unfulfilled aspirations, and a divided society.

This zeitgeist must really be screaming amongst us Canadians right now, as I went on about this on my Substack just yesterday, as well:

https://mustardclementine.substack.com/p/weve-let-our-housing-crisis-get-so

Mustard Clementine
Mustard Clementine
9 months ago

I think because a lot of this will sound somewhat familiar to people in other countries with housing crises of their own, those outside of Canada don’t quite understand the truly macabre levels we have allowed our housing inflation to reach.

We’ve let it get so bad that a truly massive, ruinous crash is now probably our least bad option. Too many in power here are absolutely far too invested to actually let this happen – so a totally out of control, spiral of a crash is probably the only chance we have to fix a problem that not only stands to undermine our resilient embrace of immigration, but represents an intergenerational injustice that will leave a legacy of broken dreams, unfulfilled aspirations, and a divided society.

This zeitgeist must really be screaming amongst us Canadians right now, as I went on about this on my Substack just yesterday, as well:

https://mustardclementine.substack.com/p/weve-let-our-housing-crisis-get-so

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
9 months ago

Polievre’s campaign to become head of the conservative party produced videos inluding this one: https://twitter.com/PierrePoilievre/status/1513493563425714185 which talk about restoring the dream of home ownership, by building a huge number of new homes. I look forward to seeing if he can pull this off.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
9 months ago

I wouldn’t hold my breath. Polievre is just another career politician. He’s no doubt much smarter than Trudeau, but that’s not saying much.

McExpat M
McExpat M
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

He may be a career politician, whatever that means, but at least he is self made. How does one pursue politics without having a career in it? Trudeau could be deemed as politically adjacent due to his pedigree, but from a credentials perspective he is an utter unqualified joke. Which is better? I’ll take the guy that actually worked to get his degree and has been active in politics to get some experience. Seems the drama teacher:snowboard instructor types outside of political circles don’t do so well.

McExpat M
McExpat M
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

He may be a career politician, whatever that means, but at least he is self made. How does one pursue politics without having a career in it? Trudeau could be deemed as politically adjacent due to his pedigree, but from a credentials perspective he is an utter unqualified joke. Which is better? I’ll take the guy that actually worked to get his degree and has been active in politics to get some experience. Seems the drama teacher:snowboard instructor types outside of political circles don’t do so well.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
9 months ago

I wouldn’t hold my breath. Polievre is just another career politician. He’s no doubt much smarter than Trudeau, but that’s not saying much.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
9 months ago

Polievre’s campaign to become head of the conservative party produced videos inluding this one: https://twitter.com/PierrePoilievre/status/1513493563425714185 which talk about restoring the dream of home ownership, by building a huge number of new homes. I look forward to seeing if he can pull this off.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
9 months ago

What this article appears to be saying is that Canada has half the population of the UK spread across the land area of Europe, and effective immigratikn control.

We should be so lucky as to have such problrms.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
9 months ago

What this article appears to be saying is that Canada has half the population of the UK spread across the land area of Europe, and effective immigratikn control.

We should be so lucky as to have such problrms.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
9 months ago

Interesting essay. Canada certainly has a housing crisis – in posh markets like Toronto, Vancouver and the many communities that stretch out from these big cities.

Yet you come to Alberta and they’re building houses like mad. In the capitol Edmonton, if you blink you miss the latest subdivision. The pace of housing construction is mind blowing. I live 45 minutes from Edmonton and the value of my house has not increased in literally 10 years.

I’ll begrudgingly give Trudeau somewhat of a pass on this issue. Municipalities exist at the whim of provinces and would have to adopt any regulations they enact. Trudeau could apply some pressure on the provinces to address the issue, but it’s way beyond his competency level.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

He does control immigration though – which as a percentage of population has skyrocketed under the Liberals. Cities like Vancouver are becoming dysfunctional because nobody who actually works can afford them including professionals like nurses, teacher and police officers.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
9 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Immigration is different in Canada. We don’t get a bunch of illegal immigrants or refugees coming into the country. Unlike Europe, no one is sailing a boat from North Africa to Canada. And unlike the States, we don’t have a bunch of refugees invading from the southern border – although maybe we will soon get a bunch of Americans fleeing their country to Canada.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Vietnamese boat people? I guess that hasn’t been “a thing” for quite a while anyway.. And while the vast majority of the people there do “look Canadian”, in recent decades the small town of High River, AB (pop. 14,300)–visited family there last summer– has many more immigrants from the Indian subcontinent, East Asia, and the Middle East. Left-coast liberal cousins in Vancouver were also complaining about the influx of real-estate-price exploding Chinese buyers in the 90s. Fewer illegals but still some issues I think.
If I may ask: Are you in small-town Alberta?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Vietnamese boat people? I guess that hasn’t been “a thing” for quite a while anyway.. And while the vast majority of the people there do “look Canadian”, in recent decades the small town of High River, AB (pop. 14,300)–visited family there last summer– has many more immigrants from the Indian subcontinent, East Asia, and the Middle East. Left-coast liberal cousins in Vancouver were also complaining about the influx of real-estate-price exploding Chinese buyers in the 90s. Fewer illegals but still some issues I think.
If I may ask: Are you in small-town Alberta?

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
9 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Immigration is different in Canada. We don’t get a bunch of illegal immigrants or refugees coming into the country. Unlike Europe, no one is sailing a boat from North Africa to Canada. And unlike the States, we don’t have a bunch of refugees invading from the southern border – although maybe we will soon get a bunch of Americans fleeing their country to Canada.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

He does control immigration though – which as a percentage of population has skyrocketed under the Liberals. Cities like Vancouver are becoming dysfunctional because nobody who actually works can afford them including professionals like nurses, teacher and police officers.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
9 months ago

Interesting essay. Canada certainly has a housing crisis – in posh markets like Toronto, Vancouver and the many communities that stretch out from these big cities.

Yet you come to Alberta and they’re building houses like mad. In the capitol Edmonton, if you blink you miss the latest subdivision. The pace of housing construction is mind blowing. I live 45 minutes from Edmonton and the value of my house has not increased in literally 10 years.

I’ll begrudgingly give Trudeau somewhat of a pass on this issue. Municipalities exist at the whim of provinces and would have to adopt any regulations they enact. Trudeau could apply some pressure on the provinces to address the issue, but it’s way beyond his competency level.

Eamonn Von Holt
Eamonn Von Holt
9 months ago

The UK, Canada, Australia etc all having a housing crisis – feels like something the WEF have engineered as part of a sinister masterplan!
I suppose that sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory, however after the fake Covid pandemic nothing surprises me anymore!

Eamonn Von Holt
Eamonn Von Holt
9 months ago

The UK, Canada, Australia etc all having a housing crisis – feels like something the WEF have engineered as part of a sinister masterplan!
I suppose that sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory, however after the fake Covid pandemic nothing surprises me anymore!

McExpat M
McExpat M
9 months ago

Much like Trump, Trudeau has a loyal following that will never break from him no matter how abhorrent and pathetic he is. He has managed to explode our federal service by 40% and buys off voters through child care benefits and monetary top up’s to mask his policy failures, but ensure a sufficient following. Pollievre has an exceedingly difficult balancing act, knowing full well our elections are decided by Ontario and Quebec, and the largest voting block own housing in Canada. There is still much runway for this crappy situation and in the meantime new immigrants and young adults lose out tremendously. Boomers have no appetite for their one asset class to tank and they’d rather take out HELOCS to fund their children’s mortgages than turn to humane and sensible policies. Voting in the Liberals is voting against your child’s future in Canada. Hopefully Conservatives can secure a majority and gently let the air out of real estate market and remove the multiple barriers to new housing stock. I’d gladly see my house go down in value, but it’s the smallest part of my financial portfolio by design because I think denying the next generation the opportunity for family formation and a home is short sighted and immoral.

McExpat M
McExpat M
9 months ago

Much like Trump, Trudeau has a loyal following that will never break from him no matter how abhorrent and pathetic he is. He has managed to explode our federal service by 40% and buys off voters through child care benefits and monetary top up’s to mask his policy failures, but ensure a sufficient following. Pollievre has an exceedingly difficult balancing act, knowing full well our elections are decided by Ontario and Quebec, and the largest voting block own housing in Canada. There is still much runway for this crappy situation and in the meantime new immigrants and young adults lose out tremendously. Boomers have no appetite for their one asset class to tank and they’d rather take out HELOCS to fund their children’s mortgages than turn to humane and sensible policies. Voting in the Liberals is voting against your child’s future in Canada. Hopefully Conservatives can secure a majority and gently let the air out of real estate market and remove the multiple barriers to new housing stock. I’d gladly see my house go down in value, but it’s the smallest part of my financial portfolio by design because I think denying the next generation the opportunity for family formation and a home is short sighted and immoral.

James Kirk
James Kirk
9 months ago

For once Canada leads the way, a snapshot of UK if Starmer’s allowed to enter Downing St but I suspect they only follow US Democrats’ foolish policies.

James Kirk
James Kirk
9 months ago

For once Canada leads the way, a snapshot of UK if Starmer’s allowed to enter Downing St but I suspect they only follow US Democrats’ foolish policies.

Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
9 months ago

“Canada has actually been quite proactive at restricting most uncontrolled migration through its “bureaucratic wall”, while ensuring through a highly selective strategy (which includes the lauded â€œpoints system”) that the majority of the newcomers who do arrive through controlled channels are, relatively speaking, well-off, well-educated and hailing from middle-class backgrounds.”

As much as I dislike Trudeau, I’m having trouble understanding the central complaint in this article. If even he has kept immigration standards high, what’s the concern?
Canadian immigrants are too skilled, too wealthy, too middle class? Their backgrounds are too rigorously checked?
I’d love for Britain to have those problems.
As for housing constraints, it does indeed “sound like a strange thing to say for the world’s second largest country by landmass” and it’s no excuse to say that “most Canadians live in a handful of cities”.
With all that land, why aren’t Canadians building more cities? Or converting second-tier cities to first-tier cities?
It would be one thing if the federal government were flooding the country with immigrants in need of financial support, but it sounds like they’re actually providing an injection of wealth to the provinces.
Take all that money, and get building!

McExpat M
McExpat M
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Goodhand

One million people came into Canada last year under Trudeau’s watch. Adjusted for population size, that would be like the USA absorbing 8.5 million new immigrants a year. They currently bring in 1.5 million on a pop of 340 million. You don’t see any issue with this equation? Having worked in a foreign consulate, there is zero chance that level of inward immigration is properly vetted. I know this as an absolute fact with how the system works. Housing, health care and education are already under extreme pressure in Canada and all trending in the wrong direction – how does layering more pressure on that work? It’s unsustainable and inhumane for both current and new residents.

McExpat M
McExpat M
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Goodhand

One million people came into Canada last year under Trudeau’s watch. Adjusted for population size, that would be like the USA absorbing 8.5 million new immigrants a year. They currently bring in 1.5 million on a pop of 340 million. You don’t see any issue with this equation? Having worked in a foreign consulate, there is zero chance that level of inward immigration is properly vetted. I know this as an absolute fact with how the system works. Housing, health care and education are already under extreme pressure in Canada and all trending in the wrong direction – how does layering more pressure on that work? It’s unsustainable and inhumane for both current and new residents.

Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
9 months ago

“Canada has actually been quite proactive at restricting most uncontrolled migration through its “bureaucratic wall”, while ensuring through a highly selective strategy (which includes the lauded â€œpoints system”) that the majority of the newcomers who do arrive through controlled channels are, relatively speaking, well-off, well-educated and hailing from middle-class backgrounds.”

As much as I dislike Trudeau, I’m having trouble understanding the central complaint in this article. If even he has kept immigration standards high, what’s the concern?
Canadian immigrants are too skilled, too wealthy, too middle class? Their backgrounds are too rigorously checked?
I’d love for Britain to have those problems.
As for housing constraints, it does indeed “sound like a strange thing to say for the world’s second largest country by landmass” and it’s no excuse to say that “most Canadians live in a handful of cities”.
With all that land, why aren’t Canadians building more cities? Or converting second-tier cities to first-tier cities?
It would be one thing if the federal government were flooding the country with immigrants in need of financial support, but it sounds like they’re actually providing an injection of wealth to the provinces.
Take all that money, and get building!

Walter Schwager
Walter Schwager
9 months ago

Toronto and Vancouver are cities hemmed in by external restraints: the greenbelt and the lake, the mountains and the sea. So building more houses is not simple. But Toronto has just lifted NIMBY zoning restrictions, to allow increased density in residential areas. Seeing dark elite conspiracies behind rising house prices is absurd, politicians would love to be able to solve the housing crisis, as it would greatly boost their popularity.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
9 months ago

It would boost their popularity among those who cannot currently afford homes, but it could well diminish their popularity among those who already own one. Elections Canada says: “In 2021, turnout gradually increased with age groups, from 46.7% for ages 18–24 to 74.9% for ages 65–74, and then declined to 65.9% for those aged 75 and over. This pattern is reflected across all provinces and territories and has been observed in every general election since 2004, when Elections Canada first began producing these reports.” https://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=res&dir=rec/eval/pes2021/evt&document=p1&lang=e
It will be interesting to see if people believe that Poilievre can deliver on his promise of more homes, and if this sends more young Canadians to the polls.

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago

But surely, young need to participate in electoral process to even have a chance to effect elections and policies?
I am against anyone below age of 21 (my preference is 23) having a vote, but if you don’t use it don’t complain.
Still, selfishness of older voters is incredible.
They expect to pass their wealth to their families, but expect all taxpayers to pay for their old age care.
I am 64 btw.

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago

But surely, young need to participate in electoral process to even have a chance to effect elections and policies?
I am against anyone below age of 21 (my preference is 23) having a vote, but if you don’t use it don’t complain.
Still, selfishness of older voters is incredible.
They expect to pass their wealth to their families, but expect all taxpayers to pay for their old age care.
I am 64 btw.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
9 months ago

Young people don’t vote – which is at the core of this issue. Homeowners will crawl over broken glass to the voting booth if they think their home equity is at stake.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
9 months ago

It would boost their popularity among those who cannot currently afford homes, but it could well diminish their popularity among those who already own one. Elections Canada says: “In 2021, turnout gradually increased with age groups, from 46.7% for ages 18–24 to 74.9% for ages 65–74, and then declined to 65.9% for those aged 75 and over. This pattern is reflected across all provinces and territories and has been observed in every general election since 2004, when Elections Canada first began producing these reports.” https://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=res&dir=rec/eval/pes2021/evt&document=p1&lang=e
It will be interesting to see if people believe that Poilievre can deliver on his promise of more homes, and if this sends more young Canadians to the polls.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
9 months ago

Young people don’t vote – which is at the core of this issue. Homeowners will crawl over broken glass to the voting booth if they think their home equity is at stake.

Walter Schwager
Walter Schwager
9 months ago

Toronto and Vancouver are cities hemmed in by external restraints: the greenbelt and the lake, the mountains and the sea. So building more houses is not simple. But Toronto has just lifted NIMBY zoning restrictions, to allow increased density in residential areas. Seeing dark elite conspiracies behind rising house prices is absurd, politicians would love to be able to solve the housing crisis, as it would greatly boost their popularity.

Phineas
Phineas
9 months ago

A doomsday article. Canada one of most caring civilised countries in the world. Perhaps over indulgent and silly guilt complex about indigenous people

McExpat M
McExpat M
9 months ago
Reply to  Phineas

Hardly Doomsday. If you really started drilling down into our finances and how unproductive this country is amongst its OECD peers it’s plain as day we are ‘effed’ on our current trajectory. Simple facts and data.

McExpat M
McExpat M
9 months ago
Reply to  Phineas

Hardly Doomsday. If you really started drilling down into our finances and how unproductive this country is amongst its OECD peers it’s plain as day we are ‘effed’ on our current trajectory. Simple facts and data.

Phineas
Phineas
9 months ago

A doomsday article. Canada one of most caring civilised countries in the world. Perhaps over indulgent and silly guilt complex about indigenous people