ontario news watch

Liberals look to tackle international student rackets as part of housing crisis

OTTAWA — Liberal cabinet ministers are suggesting the federal government is ready to tackle long-standing problems related to the international student program, including cases of fraud and exploitation by consultants and shady educational institutions.

They are doing so as part of efforts to ease the housing crisis as the government faces enormous pressure to help increase the supply of affordable homes.

Housing Minister Sean Fraser floated several potential solutions, including capping the number of student visas, which increased significantly in recent years.

Several experts say they are concerned about the ripple effects of such policies.

Higher Education Strategy Associates president Alex Usher says capping the number of visas would leave the Immigration Department to determine which educational institutions should be trusted to receive coveted tuition.

That would create financial winners and losers among Canada’s colleges and universities that rely on international student fees.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 23, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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