Justin Trudeau States That Immigration Must Be Brought ‘Under Control After Migrant Surge in Canada’

By: Lauren | Published: Apr 16, 2024

Canada is most often considered America’s kinder, softer, and calmer neighbor to the north. From the economy to immigration, politics, and even personality, Canada is known as a stable nation.

However, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has just announced that the drama-free country finally has a problem on its hands. Immigration has grown exponentially over the past few years, and Trudeau says something needs to be done.

Canada Has Always Had an Open Door Policy

Even with dozens of prime ministers of various parties, Canada has always been a more liberal country than others. That political leaning has affected its immigration policy, which has historically been quite lenient. 

A member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police swears in a group of new Canadian citizens

Source: Reddit

From refugees to work permits, Canada has built a reputation of welcoming immigrants from all lands and even placing immense value on being a multicultural nation. In fact, as of 2024, foreign-born people make up about 25% of the country’s total population. 

Who Are Canada’s Immigrants?

Canada’s millions of immigrants come from all over the world, including a large percentage from India, China, Afghanistan, and France. 

A group of graduates hold their caps up in the air in celebration

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Many emigrated to Canada in the hopes of a better, or at least different, life. Some started as international students, while others arrived long after their education was complete.

Let’s Talk Numbers

It’s important to note that while Canada’s open-door policy has resulted in mass migration to the northern nation, the actual number of migrants has always been quite reasonable.

A map of Canada and the surrounding seas with a small Canadian flag

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In 2001, 250,484 people landed on Canadian soil, whereas that same year, more than 1 million arrived in the United States.

Immigration Is Increasing in Canada

However, just as in the United States, immigration has increased significantly in Canada over the past few years. 

Several Canadian residents and immigrants hold Canadian flags in front of a red wall

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Prime Minister Trudeau reported that, in 2017, temporary immigrants made up only 2% of the population. Today, only seven years later, they represent 7.5% of Canadian residents. 

Why Is Trudeau Worried About Immigration in Canada?

Trudeau has always been a vehement supporter of immigration before and during his reign as leader of Canada. However, now, the Prime Minister has admitted he is worried about the growing number of foreign-born residents.

A close up photograph of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Source: Reddit

He explained at the start of April 2024, “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.”


“We Want to Get Those Numbers Down”

The Prime Minister went on to say that Canada needs to get immigration “back under control” and that they “want to get those numbers down.”

Visa application form with a stamp that reads “Approved” next to a small Canadian flag, a calculator, and a magnifying glass

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He said, “It’s a responsible approach to immigration that continues on our permanent residents, as we have, but also hold[s] the line a little more on the temporary immigration that has caused so much pressure in our communities.”


What Kinds of Pressure Are Canadians Facing?

Trudeau reported that he and his government see two major issues surfacing as a result of the increase in immigration. The first is that rent prices are increasing significantly to the point where fewer and fewer Canadians can afford their monthly dues. 

Man places wooden blocks on top of each other, some have the letters that spell out RENT

Source: iStock

A new report states the average monthly rental in Canada is currently $2,193, which is a whopping 10.5% increase from this time last year. Experts worry this number is only going to go up in the coming months. 


Canada’s Healthcare System Is Falling Behind

The second reason Trudeau is concerned about the growing number of new residents is that it is taking a toll on the nation’s healthcare system. 

Several people waiting in the waiting room to see the doctor

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Canada offers its citizens and residents a decentralized, universal, and publicly funded healthcare system. Refugees and all other migrants can qualify to receive free care through the Canada Health Act after just 90 days of arrival. So, with an intense increase in those populations, doctors, hospitals, and other professional care establishments are struggling to keep up. 


The Next Election Is Only a Year Away

While many were surprised by Prime Minister Trudeau’s seemingly new opinions on immigration, it’s important to note that Canada’s election for Prime Minister is only a year away. While Canadians have historically widely supported immigration, things have changed. Now, 44% say immigration numbers are too high. 

The Canadian flag flies on a pole in front of a blue sky and several trees

Source: Freepik

Trudeau’s most likely competition, Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre, has been saying for quite some time that the immigration situation in Canada is broken. And Polievre is quickly climbing in the polls, so it seems that Trudeau is trying to get Canada back on his side. 


President Biden Has Found Himself in a Similar Situation

Of course, Trudeau isn’t the only liberal world leader wrestling with this reality. In fact, the situation in the United States is almost identical. As immigration is increasing at a significant rate, this issue has become one of the leading factors for voters in the upcoming 2024 election. 

President Joe Biden speaks to an audience at an event

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Just like in Canada, the more conservative candidate, in this case, Donald Trump, has vowed to make big changes in the nation’s immigration policies. And because that’s what millions of Americans seem to want, Democratic President Joe Biden is now considering taking a harsher stance to ensure a win. 


What’s Next for Canadian Immigration?

Prime Minister Trudeau has yet to make any formal announcements as to what these changes in the country’s immigration policy will look like. 

Photograph of a Canadian passport on top of a suitcase with a Canadian flag tag

Source: Shutterstock

However, with an unprecedented 40 million immigrants, Canada will unquestionably be making adjustments to its immigration system in the very new future. Whether that’s under Trudeau, or his opponent, Pierre Poilievre.