November 1st, 2023 | RYAN TYLER

Immigration Is Officially A Problem

An excess of new Canadians has caused a housing crisis and unmanageable demand for healthcare and food.
Some have said that immigration is the only thing that has slowed Canada's inevitable tumble into a recession. A lot of them are the same people who told us inflation was nothing to worry about in 2021 and that Canada would be back on track by 2023. As usual, they're wrong. Had it not been for excessive population growth, housing would have remained moderately more affordable and healthcare would be under far less strain. But, it's not about facts and math anymore, it's about feelings. The truths about supply and demand have long left the brains of Canadians, but that's all about to change.
It's estimated that it could take longer than seven years to build enough housing to accommodate Canada's current population. This was a problem created by Liberals and Liberals alone. By completely disregarding the basic laws of economics, they spent eight years artificially inflating demand by setting outrageous targets for immigration. Knowing that supply wouldn't be able to keep up and despite warnings from real experts, the Trudeau government pressed on.
Now, here we are. Among a myriad of other wounds Canadians have inflicted on themselves, this might be the worst.
A recession is pretty much set in stone and the experts that credited immigration for preventing a recession will be eating crow. It could even be argued that immigration either helped deepen the impending recession, or that it merely delayed it—which in turn, will make it deeper and more painful. By inflating demand for housing, healthcare, and basic services, the Liberal government has increased the costs of living and put nearly every Canadian household deeper into debt.
Many people sitting on over-inflated property can't even sell their homes. What would they gain? They'd have to use the money to buy a smaller house, pay astronomical rent, or get another mortgage at a higher rate.
Rental prices from coast to coast are out to lunch. Wait times in emergency rooms are at historic highs. Millions of Canadians don't have a family doctor. Grocery bills for most families have tripled, gasoline is making commutes cost double and childcare is bankrupting single parents. Demand has outpaced supply everywhere, on every level, and in every industry.
Canadians don't get it yet, but they will.
According to the Nanos weekly tracker, only 3% of Canadians are currently “very concerned” about immigration. Inflation, housing, healthcare and the environment are at the top, but that will change. As Canadians start doing the math (which many have already started doing), they'll realize that bringing in 500,000 more people every year doesn't make sense.
When they see more news of refugees sleeping on the streets of major cities, it will start to sink in.
Soon, reality will begin catching up and Canadians will have little choice but to realize that the root of every current crisis is immigration. They'll see news headlines about zero vacancy rates on the rental market, juxtaposed with headlines about floods of refugees and immigrants needing homes in Canada. They'll see grocery stores crammed with more people. When they see smog in major cities enveloping skylines, they'll realize that more people means more pollution. When they go to an emergency room and spend an entire day waiting for treatment, reality will creep up on them. Their subconscious minds will start doing the math for them and sentiments will slowly start to change.

The Backlash

For years, social conservatives have been whining about the ill effects of immigration on culture and crime. Soon, every Canadian will be whining about immigration for very real and objectively verifiable reasons. Never mind losing the mythical unicorn that is “Canadian culture”. We now have real problems.
As more Canadians face homelessness, bankruptcy, unemployment and poverty, sentiments will turn against immigration. In fact, the tides are already turning. In March 2023, 34% of Canadians wanted to see Canada take in fewer immigrants. As of September 2023, that number was 53%, according to Nanos. According to another poll by Ipsos, 73% of Canadians agree with temporarily cutting immigration until housing can catch up.
Although they aren't “very concerned” about it now, they will be. Right now, Canadians are politely suggesting immigration should be cut. Eventually, as things get worse, these polite sentiments will evolve into animosity and anger.
At the same time last year, on the Nanos tracker, immigration barely registered as a concern. As of September 2023, Nik Nanos admitted on CTV that the concern is growing. “We're seeing the collision, intersection, whatever you want to call it, of issues like housing, where people are really worried about the rising cost of housing and just housing affordability—and things like immigration,” Nanos said.
“The thing is, people figure out, where are they gonna live?”
Across the country, even in media, light bulbs are turning on. Up until the past year, Canadians haven't felt the effects of immigration for themselves. They've only seen and heard people on the “hard right” complain about it. Now, they're seeing the real, harmful effects of the artificially inflated demand being caused by excess immigration.
Most Canadians won't react with vitriol and hate, but many will. Why shouldn't they? When people are in dire straits, we shouldn't expect much else. Many will lose their homes, or be forced to move into smaller spaces and shitty neighbourhoods. Families will have to pull their kids out of sports and parents will lose their jobs. Eventually, bitterness and anger will set in.
A recession would be more manageable for Canadians if mortgages and rent cost less.
When Canadians realize these facts and what caused their hardships, there is going to be some anger. When they have to cut out more luxuries and start living on the brink of bankruptcy, things are going to get bad. Working harder and experiencing more stress for less reward has its limits. More and more Canadians are going to begin lashing out. As they cut out more luxuries and more entertainment, they'll be cutting out more distractions. With fewer distractions and less money to live comfortably, Canadians won't have much else to do but ruminate and stew in their own anger. Eventually, they will act out.

A Cultural Shift

Canadians have been pro-immigration for a majority of their history. That's all about to change. Even permanent residents and new citizens are taking notice of what their country is becoming. Many have spent the last twenty years living and working in Canada, only to see the country deteriorate before their eyes. They're earning less, while the cost of everything skyrockets. They're watching good neighbourhoods become ghettos.
At no point in Canada's history has supply been so out-paced by demand on every level. Even during the baby boom, Canadians didn't experience what they are experiencing now. No previous recession compares to this. What's happening now is unprecedented. What's happening now will dramatically change Canada in the long term.
Once this is all over, fewer immigrants will have made the choice to come to Canada. Applications for permanent residency and citizenship have already declined, while more immigrants have made the choice to leave the country. As the situation gets worse, immigration will tame itself. However, things will get a lot worse before they get better.
At Canada's current population levels, housing supply won't catch up to demand for a minimum of seven years. To shorten that timeline, we would need a rapid uptick in production, or a rapid decrease in population. Contrary to conventional wisdom, immigration has not eased the labour shortage in the construction industry. So, unless millions of more people leave Canada in the next couple of years, there isn't anything we can do.
Pierre Poilievre wants to increase incentives for provinces and contractors to build more houses, but that won't do much if there's no one available to do the building.
By the time we get through this, maybe in a decade, Canada is going to be a different country. What was once a population of privileged over-spenders will become a population of anti-immigrant conservatives. Even those who immigrated from elsewhere will have changed their minds about what Canada is and is not. Those who chose to stay will appreciate a smaller, more easily managed population.
Never underestimate the power of hardship. Canadians are about to become more jaded, angry and skeptical of conventionality.
Once we taste hardship, it changes us. When the credit bubble bursts, Canadians who spent themselves recklessly into bankruptcy will re-emerge as wiser, more hardened fiscal conservatives. Those who looked off the edge of a cliff and nearly lost everything will find new value in the wisdom of the past. Those who went from privilege to poverty in a few short years will have a different outlook—one that will change the political landscape of Canada forever.
Most importantly, the children who bear witness to this will write the future.

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