Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said international students can expect high tuition fees to continue as the government prioritizes Canadians.
At a Dalhousie University town-hall meeting on Thursday, a student asked Trudeau what the plan was to address high tuition costs faced by international students.
Trudeau said there was no plan.
“What we are focused on is making sure that education is as affordable as possible for all Canadians,” said Trudeau.
“That’s why of all the international students who could potentially come to Canada […] we allow ourselves to say ‘they’re gonna have to be the ones who can pay for it.’”
Trudeau told the room of a hundred people there is a fundamental difference between Canadians who are committed to the country – those who can expect the majority of subsidies – and students who come from abroad.
“Government is not paying for [international students] with the tax dollars that Canadians contribute […] for people who, presumably, grew up in Canada or […] will contribute to this country for decades to come,” he said.
“That has to be our priority.”
The student said Canada is subsidizing its education system with pricey international student fees. Trudeau did not dispute the claim, but said the government is focused on affordable education for Canadians, and those who are committed to Canada.