Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for her passionate advocacy for international students.
In the House, I do not know how many members would fit in that category, but I was a foreign student a couple of decades ago, and that is what we were called back then. We, like the member said, appreciated what Canada provided us, but we realized we were foreigners in this country and appreciated the generosity of allowing foreigners to come to this land to get educated and receive services equal to all other Canadians. We appreciated that.
We also appreciated the opportunity given to us to be self-reliant individuals in this country. That is why when we applied for student visas to come to Canada, we had to prove we had the ability to support ourselves in this country and we are proud of our self-reliance, the ability to rely on ourselves and not be a burden on Canadians or Canadian society.
That is why we as parliamentarians in the House are not just responsible for doling out compassion but are also accountable for the financial implications. The compassion that we dole out is not without cost. It is borrowing from the future and burdening the next generation, higher taxes or the cutting of some services. There are only three ways this would fit.
While I appreciate the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands advocating for international students, I personally do not believe it is a responsible way or would get much support from international students.