Jalandhar, September 6
More than 300 international students, mostly from Punjab, who enrolled at Canadore College and Nipissing University for the September and January intakes, find themselves in accommodation dilemma.
Despite promises made during the admission process, these colleges have failed to provide lodging, which led to a protest outside the campus yesterday.
North Bay is a small city with a sparse population and students are struggling to find accommodation. Shared basement rooms that should cost $300 or $350 are being rented for $700 or $800. Gurkirat Singh, student, Canadore college
Gurkirat Singh, who studies at Canadore College, said, “North Bay is a small city with a sparse population and students are struggling to find accommodation. The owners are charging exorbitant rates. Shared basement rooms that should cost $300 or $350 are being rented for $700 or $800, excluding laundry and Wi-Fi.”
Another student, Jaspreet Kaur, who hails from Ludhiana, said, “I’ve been trying to secure permanent accommodation for the last few months. I had to stay with a friend in Brampton, resulting in a daily commute to North Bay, costing me nearly $100 on public transport.”
She said she had requested the college authorities for online classes or relocation to another campus, but her requests fell on deaf ears.
As the number of students without accommodation increase, many are spending nights in parks or hotels.
The aggrieved students sought support from the Montreal Youth Student Organisation (MYSO) and other Punjabi organisations. After a meeting between the MYSO leaders and students, a collective decision was made to stage a protest outside the North Bay College campus.
After the protesting students’ numbers dwindled at night, the college called security personnel to disperse them. Jaswinder Kaur, another student, said, “We will continue with our protest as long as the college does not fulfils its promise of providing accommodation. We are also in touch with international students from other colleges.”
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