On April 30, 2021, the Ford Conservatives requested that the Federal Government suspend the entry of international students into Ontario. In contrast to the ability of people with permanent residency to return to Canada, this would prevent international students who reside in Ontario from returning to their homes.

In response, a growing chorus of advocates, experts, and international students have called this a blatant example of inequality, racism, and blame-shifting.

We have collectively called on the Ford government to instead legislate paid sick days, ensure that workplaces are safe by ramping up inspections and equipping workers with the PPE they need, and vaccinating all front-line workers, among other measures. We are also calling on the Federal government to resist pressures to enforce border controls that unfairly target international students, or anyone else.

Send a message to Premier Doug Ford, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Your MPP below.

Dear Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,

After more than a year in the grips of the COVID-19 crisis, there’s greater clarity than ever about what people need to stay safe. We are among a growing chorus of people who have said that what we need is paid sick days, workplaces that are made safe because of ramped up inspections and because workers have access to the PPE they need, and for all front-line workers to be vaccinated, among other measures.

What we unequivocally do not need is a ban on international students. International students are simply not the problem. Framing them as one is little more than racist scapegoating that distracts from the measures we truly need more than ever.

CUPE Ontario alone represents about 7,000 international student workers. To single them out by preventing them, and them alone, from returning to their places of residence in Ontario is blatantly unequal and racist.

It’s time to listen to the experts who have clearly identified what we need to stay safe. It’s time for the Ford government to rescind their request, and for the Federal government to resist even considering such a plan.


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