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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers a statement on Sept. 27, 2023. Image: CPAC video capture

Prime minister, housing minister respond to student visa cap

By Brad Perry Jan 23, 2024 | 6:00 AM

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says putting a cap on student visas is what a “responsible government” must do to make sure immigration continues to function smoothly.

About 364,000 international student permits are expected to be approved this year, down around 35 per cent compared to last year.

Trudeau says there has been a massive increase of international students in over the past few years.

“We are steadying the numbers for the next two years so that we can make sure that international students can fully benefit from their time here in Canada and that our system is able to manage and handle them in the right ways,” Trudeau told reporters Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Canada’s housing minister says he is in “complete agreement” with the cap.

Sean Fraser said he believes this will help to alleviate rental market pressures in some communities across the country.

“We do see that there are certain pockets of the country that have seen a significant increase in population growth as a result of institutions taking on more students than they could handle,” Fraser told reporters following Monday’s announcement.

The housing minister said the exact impact of the temporary cap will not be known right away, adding it will vary from one community to the next.

Regardless of the impact, Fraser said he remains focused on trying to build more homes as quickly as possible to help increase the overall housing supply.