CLLC Urges Rethink on International Student Permit Caps to Address Housing Challenges


January 24, 2024

OTTAWA/TORONTO/HALIFAX – CLLC, an esteemed language learning institution with four vibrant campuses across Nova Scotia and Ontario, calls for a careful review of the recent announcement by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to cap international student study permits. This proposed cap threatens not only the educational sector but also the robust revenue stream that international students bring into the Canadian economy. Despite the unappealing cold weather of the country, as depicted in the image, schools have invested millions to enhance Canada’s brand as a destination, making it essential to reconsider the impact of such a decision on Canada’s attractiveness to international students.

As a vital part of Canada’s educational landscape, CLLC has been at the forefront of offering quality language education to students from around the globe. International students represent a significant economic contribution, bringing new dollars into the country that support not only our educational institutions but also the broader economy, including the housing sector.

The IRCC’s decision, which appears to be a short-sighted approach to the complex housing issues faced by Canadians, risks alienating a key demographic that contributes to the country’s cultural diversity and economic strength. If there must be a cap, we urge policymakers to redirect their focus towards areas that do not harm Canada’s educational infrastructure or its reputation as a welcoming destination for students worldwide.

CLLC firmly believes that rather than imposing caps on international students, who are part of the solution to our economic challenges, we should be investing in sustainable and innovative solutions to the housing crisis. To this end, we have proposed a comprehensive two-pillar approach aimed at eradicating homelessness in Nova Scotia, which can be found at Uniting for Change. This strategy demonstrates our commitment to being part of the solution, highlighting the kind of collaborative efforts that can make a meaningful difference.

We are concerned that the IRCC’s announcement may be politically motivated, aimed at securing votes rather than addressing the root causes of the housing crisis. It is crucial to recognize that the financial contributions of international students can and should be part of the strategy to improve the housing situation for all residents of Canada.

Furthermore, the potential impact of capping study permits extends beyond the economic. The prospect of teacher layoffs and the diminished quality of educational offerings would be a disservice to both domestic and international students, as well as to the professionals who have dedicated their lives to education.

CLLC calls on the government to engage in a more nuanced dialogue with educational institutions, students, and community leaders to find a balanced and effective approach to immigration and housing policies. As part of this dialogue, we are ready to collaborate and share our insights and resources to help create a thriving, inclusive, and economically stable Canada for all.

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