Canada’s Immigration Minister, Mark Miller, has announced plans to limit the number of foreign students entering the country. The number of foreign students enrolled in Canada increased by over 193% between 2012 and 2022. This has led to housing and employment issues, with housing rents increasing by 22% in the last two years due to a constant shortage of housing. In 2023, the government imposed a two-year ban on foreigners buying homes in Canada to address this issue.
Miller called the number of students entering Canada “disappointing” and called the government’s move an attempt to address a “system out of control.” He clarified that he will consider setting a limit on international students to reduce the demand for housing in the first and second quarters of this year. However, he also claimed that reducing students is not the solution but will help deal with rising interest rates, supply, and other challenges.
The housing crisis is directly affecting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is under pressure from opposition leader Pierre Poilivre. The number of students entering Canada this year is expected to increase to 9 lakh, with the Liberals’ goal of adding 500,000 new permanent residents per year by 2025 and beyond. As of October 2023, approximately 455,000 new permanent residents had been accepted.
International students are considered temporary residents in Canada, and some economists argue that the Trudeau government’s rapid increase in temporary immigration without a proper basis has led to economic problems.