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Canada’s Bankers Blame Trudeau’s Immigration for Bad Economy

by Neil Munro

Canada’s top bankers are blasting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s migration strategy for wrecking the nation’s economy — and for helping Canada’s political populists.

“We’ve screwed it up,” said Beata Caranci, the Chief Economist at Canada’s TD Bank Group. “We took what we thought is a good thing [high immigration] and thought, “Well, if it’s a good thing, then more is a better thing, and now we’re realizing, no, that’s not the case.”

Canadian CEOs are hiring Trudeau’s imported workers instead of investing in the workplace machinery that helps Canadians become more productive and wealthier, said Jean-Francois Perrault, Senior Vice-President & Chief Economist at Scotiabank. “We made it too easy for businesses to hire [foreign] folks,” instead of making it easier for Canadian investors and workers to grow high-tech companies, he said. 

“They lost control on immigration policy,” said Stefane Marion, the Chief Economist and Strategist at the National Bank of Canada.

“We have to start thinking more intelligently” to fix the problem, said Caranci, adding:

If they don’t start to show some courage on putting [lower] target numbers [for immigration], and making sure the numbers match up to the housing supply, they run the risk that we start to end up with populist views and we know what that looks like south of the border.

The bankers spoke at a 2024 forecast organized by the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto.


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