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October 27th, 2023

NDP reacts to announcement on international students

NDP critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Jenny Kwan issued the following statement:

“At long last, the government is finally doing what they should have been doing all along – work collaboratively with Designated Learning Institutions to verify the authenticity of acceptance letters for international students. If the Liberals acted sooner, it would have prevented the fraud scam by bad actors impacting hundreds of students from India earlier this year.

Through the work of the task force, officials confirmed 285 students were impacted by scammers. To date, less than half of the cases have been reviewed leaving many students in limbo. This is unacceptable and the Liberals must act to fix this.

The federal government must also show leadership by partnering with universities/colleges and provinces with a 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 cost share initiative in the development of student housing.

The Liberals tried to blame international students for Canada’s housing crisis, suggesting that a cap on visas for international students is the solution. Let’s be clear, Canada is faced with a housing crisis because for 30 years, successive Liberal and Conservative governments walked away from the development of co-op and social housing for people. Their reliance on the private market—whose primary goal is to maximize profits—to develop homes that communities need has failed. International students are victims of Canada's housing crisis and not the perpetrators.

Furthermore, far too many students have been subjected to lengthy delays in getting their Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP) application processed or extended. As a result, they suffer undue hardship, lose their job or have no option but to leave Canada. The failure in the system has resulted in lost talent for employers and lost opportunities for the students. The Liberals must fix this to ensure timely processing through the PGWP.

International students help our economy and contribute their time and talent to Canada. New Democrats will continue to fight to ensure they are treated well and fairly through Canada’s processes.”