Kamloops council gave the green light, ordering the city to send a letter to the federal government, pushing to increase the number of hours international students can work while studying in Canada.
The motion tabled by Councilor Bill Sarai hopes to help fill vacancies while helping international students cope with the rising cost of living.
While supporting the idea, Councilor Dale Bass said she was concerned about the potential impacts it could have on students.
“Let’s say we have a lot of students doing this and then all their grades start dropping and then they drop out, where are we going to find the people to do these jobs again.”
Bass wondered whether or not this would help reduce the high number of vacancies in the Kamloops area and beyond.
“I understand the reason for closing the jobs gap, and I’d love to know where everyone’s gone, but what if that slows it down or postpones it.”
Bill Sarai explained that many of these international students need extra hours to survive due to rising inflation rates.
He noted that the grades of these students are monitored both by the agencies that hire them, as well as by institutions such as Thompson Rivers University.
“TRU has advisors, that once their grades start to drop, there will be red flags, and then they’ll be warned, and that’s when that student has to make a decision” then- Should I maintain this, or should I back off at the stop.'”
Sarai says it will be up to the students to decide if they want to work more than the 20 hours a week they are currently allowed.
Meanwhile Councilor Arjun Singh, fully in favor of the motion, says he thinks students will have to watch their grades closely if they choose to work longer hours.
“TRU has a structure of advisers who can find these things, but not everyone will be caught in this situation. It is everyone’s responsibility to know what they can and cannot do. »
The City of Kamloops will send the letter to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser indicating council’s support for amending Bill M-44 to the Immigration Act, hoping this will help alleviate labor shortages -work in progress.
Council also asked municipal staff to forward the letter to: Melanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, FCM, Kamloops Thompson Cariboo MP Frank Caputo, Southern Interior Local Government Association, Union of BC Municipalities Association and Kamloops and District Chamber of Trade .
Speaking to RadioNL earlier this week, Kamloops Business Groups said they support a proposal to temporarily allow international students to work more than 20 hours a week.