The Canadian Housing Minister, Sean Fraiser, has said Canada is currently faced with the increasing cost of accommodation and the government might limit international students visas to curb the problem .
According to Reuters, Fraiser made this known to reporters on Monday, August 21 on the sidelines of a cabinet retreat in the Atlantic province of Prince Edward Island.
When asked if the Canadian government could consider imposition on the number of students, Fraiser said, “I think that is one of the options that we ought to consider.”
“We’ve got temporary immigration programs that were never designed to see such explosive growth in such a short period of time,” he added.
There were more than 800,000 foreign students with active visas in 2022, up from 275,000 in 2012.
The surge comes as Canada has become a popular destination for international students since it is relatively easy to obtain a work permit.
Fraser, who was the previous immigration minister, said the sharp rise in the number of students was putting pronounced pressure on some housing markets.
The official opposition Conservative Party, ahead in the polls of a federal election that must be held by October 2025, said the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not doing enough to address the housing issue.
Canada, which has a population of around 39.5 million people, plans to take in a record 500,000 new permanent residents in 2025. Fraser said limiting the number of newcomers was not the answer.