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Official Languages Commissioner Raymond Theberge responds to a question during a news conference in Ottawa on May 9, 2019.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

The office of Canada’s Official Languages Commissioner says it has received a complaint from a group representing francophone postsecondary institutions outside Quebec about Ottawa’s cap on foreign student study permits.

The Association of Colleges and Universities of the Canadian Francophonie says its 22 member schools should have been exempted from the cap because 30 per cent of their enrolment is international students.

Martin Normand, the association’s director, told a Senate hearing this week that the federal government’s decision ignored the Official Languages Act, which he says requires Ottawa to avoid causing harm to francophone communities.

As well, he said the cap is in “flagrant” contradiction with the federal government’s policy of increasing francophone immigration outside Quebec.

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages says the complaint came in Monday, and if it is deemed admissible the commissioner will conduct an investigation to find out if there is a violation of the Official Languages Act.

The federal government says it cut the number of international students this year by 35 per cent because they and other temporary immigrants are contributing to the country’s housing shortage.

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