Québec shoots down student cap idea

The federal government is floating ‘capping student visas’ as a new idea to cool the housing crisis… but Québec is having none of it. 

What happened: Earlier this week, Immigration Minister Marc Miller confirmed that the federal government is strongly considering a cap on the number of international students Canada accepts. The Québec government responded by saying it would reject such a cap. 

  • Universities and colleges won’t throw in the towel easily, either. Post-secondary education is a lucrative business with an economic impact of $20 billion a year. 

Why it matters: A record 550,150 international student study permits were issued last year, a 75% increase from just five years ago. The growing number of students has flooded cities like Toronto and Vancouver with demand for low-cost housing, driving up rental prices

  • Over half of international study permits issued in 2022 went to students attending colleges, which have outpaced universities as a top destination for those students.

  • Housing experts say schools should communicate with governments before upping enrollment to ensure that there’s enough housing stock to absorb all the students. 
Bottom line: International students did not cause a housing shortage in Canada, but as rental prices continue to soar, they may become a casualty of a larger systemic failure. —LA