Kitchener Councillor Calls Out Conestoga College Over Student Housing Conditions

Concerns Raised:

A Waterloo Regional councillor, Michael Harris, has announced his intention to send a letter to the president of Conestoga College following his encounter with a student living in a house with 13 other individuals. Harris described the situation as “inhumane and downright unsafe.”

Encounter and Response:

Harris shared his experience via a series of tweets after encountering a student hauling a chair down the street while collecting his mail. Curious about the situation, Harris engaged the student in conversation, learning that he was from India and studying at the nearby main campus of Conestoga College. To his shock, the student revealed that he was living with 13 other people.

Community Impact and Response:

Harris’s tweets prompted a significant response from the community, with stories emerging of individuals renting driveways in Brampton for makeshift living arrangements. Harris highlighted the strain on regional services, including housing and transit, attributing it in part to the influx of international students at Conestoga College.

College’s Responsibility and Response:

Harris, a Conestoga College graduate and donor, emphasized the need for the college to address the housing shortage, noting the disparity between the number of students and available beds. While acknowledging the time required for construction, Harris urged the college to communicate its plans for expanding residential spaces.

College’s Perspective:

Global News reached out to Conestoga College for a response to Harris’s concerns but had not received a response at the time of reporting. The college has faced criticism for housing a large number of international students with limited accommodations.

Recent Developments:

Recent announcements by Immigration Minister Marc Miller regarding a national cap on international student intake have added pressure on institutions like Conestoga College. The college has defended its contributions to the economy and community, citing significant investments in campus expansion and modernization.

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