Minister of Housing Sean Fraser announced on Monday the federal government is considering placing a cap on international students as housing affordability rises to the forefront of public discussion.
The significant increase in international students is putting immense pressure on an already highly-competitive property market, making a limit on the number of student visas issued a potential necessity according to Fraser.
As reported by the CBC, Fraser, the former immigration minister, took aim at post-secondary institutions for hosting an exceedingly high number of international students without contributing to their housing needs.
"When you see some of these institutions that have five, six times as many students enrolled as they have spaces for them in the building ... you've got to start to ask yourself some pretty tough questions," said Fraser.
Speaking about a possible limit on the number of incoming international students, he said, "I think that's one of the options that we ought to consider," and "I think we need to do some serious thinking here."
Fraser was discussing the matter as the Liberals began a three-day retreat in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The housing affordability crisis is expected to be one of the leading topics of discussion as the Liberals look to address soaring rents and property prices.
According to BNN Bloomberg, data from the federal government shows that the number of international students in Canada has tripled over the last 10 years, jumping from 274,700 in 2012 to 807,260 in 2022.
Speaking to reporters Monday morning in P.E.I., Prime Minister Trudeau stood by his government's record on immigration and explained, "Yes, there's much more we need to do on housing, and we're continuing to step up with record investments and partnerships with municipalities and provinces."
According to the CBC, Trudeau went on to say, "But we're going to continue to be the open, welcoming, prosperous and growing country we've always been because that has been something that has led to great opportunities and prosperity for all Canadians."