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50-100 North Bay, Ont., college students are homeless


With nowhere else to go, a group of homeless international students in North Bay pitched tents in front of Canadore College on Tuesday night.

They slept on a slab of concrete on the edge of the property -- they originally planned to sleep on the grass on the property, until campus security shooed them off.

The students, many who come from India, say they already have to pay higher tuition fees compared to domestic students. (Eric Taschner/CTV News)

Campus security remained with them, parked in a vehicle beside the tents. Kaur. It's estimated that between 50 and 100 students are currently studying without a place to stay.

"We are newcomers here and we are facing this crisis," said international student Manpreet Kaur from India.

“Prices are too high and the college residence is already full … We are facing a lot of challenges. At night it was very cold,"

The students, many who come from India, say they already have to pay higher tuition fees compared to domestic students.

"At these prices, they should be helping these students," said international student Chinmaya Singla.

"This is a profit-making organization these days."

CTV News has learned that other students are staying in hotel rooms for one to two nights where they are spending $100-150 per night.

"We asked them what we can do on the third day," said international student Jaskirat Singh.

"They did not have any answer."

The situation has become so dire, they said they had no choice but to demonstrate against the college that accepted them in the first place.

"If they can't provide us anything, then we must get a 100 per cent refund of our fees that we have paid," Singla said.

Those familiar with the situation say part of the blame lies with recruitment agencies in India and other countries, who paint a rosy picture of the housing situation and how much it costs to study in Canada.

But the students said ultimately, the college is also responsible.

"They knew that there is a shortage of accommodations here," said Singh.

Representatives from the Montreal Youth Students Organization arrived to stand in solidarity with the homeless students.

"This is not because of international students," said representative Khushpal Grewal.

"They are the sufferers. They pay more and are forced to sacrifice."

Representatives from Sudbury's Sikh community also arrived to negotiate with school security and provide hot meals to the students.

For the second day in a row, Canadore College declined CTV News' request for comment. Instead, the school issued a new statement regarding the situation.

“It may be more difficult to find housing for some given the last-minute nature of their requests," the school wrote.

"Some students have refused the housing options presented to them, but we continue to work with those who want assistance on a case-by-case basis.”

The college pledged to provide further updates next week. But for many of these students, they don't want to wait any longer.

"We can't survive here without any accommodations," said Kaur. Top Stories

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