Changes could be coming to Canada's immigration system, says Housing Minister Sean Fraser

The minister said the Trudeau Liberals needed to continue looking at reforms to Canada's temporary residency programs.

Changes could be coming to Canada's immigration system, says Housing Minister Sean Fraser
Facebook/ Sean Fraser
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Changes are being considered to Canada's international student visa and temporary foreign worker programs as the country struggles with record immigration numbers and housing prices.

Housing Minister Sean Fraser made the comments in an interview to Global News.

“We do need to continue to look at reforms to our temporary residency programs,” Fraser told the outlet. StatsCan numbers reported by CIC News earlier this year showed the number of non-permanent residents was around 2.2 million people, an increase of over 1 million from the 2021 census CIC News noted.

Fraser, who previously served as immigration minister, acknowledged the rise in the Global interview. “We’ve seen a significant increase in the numbers of the international student program and the temporary foreign worker program in recent years,” he said.

In response to the number of foreign students, current Immigration Minister Mark Miller announced a doubling of funds required to apply to study in Canada last week.

“There is fraud and abuse and it needs to end,” Miller said. 

Fraser, meanwhile, previously speculated about the necessity of a cap on foreign student visas during the Liberals' cabinet retreat in August. In an October interview with Global, Miller compared that approach to “surgery with a hammer.”

Now, however, Fraser was unwilling to go as far. The Liberals would instead focus on collaboration with the provinces and post-secondary institutions to build more housing before considering a cap, he said.

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