“Everyone has abandoned us”

More than 500 students from India, who paid up to $15,000 to study in Quebec, claim they were cheated on by the “negligence” of the Quebec and Canadian governments. Having exhausted their legal and political remedies, their lawyers are now trying to alert the public to this situation which they consider to be disgusting.

502 young Indians bitterly lament the credible advertisements that describe Canada as a paradise for international students. They paid up front for their first year of study in Quebec, as required by Ottawa – although this conflicts with Quebec’s law on special education – but the federal government refused to grant them a study permit.

To make matters worse, it is impossible for them to obtain compensation: the three private colleges they attended no longer had any liquidity and placed themselves under the protection of the Corporate Creditors Arrangement Act.

“Immigration to Canada ruined my future. I wonder why I chose Canada to study,” said Nisha Jindal, a 28-year-old student enrolled in early childhood education at College M, in a Montreal storefront.

interviewed Should From the town of Badni Kalan, Punjab, North India. This dynamic young woman says her dream of studying and settling in Quebec has turned into a nightmare under mysterious circumstances.

In November 2020, Nisha Jindal started her studies online after paying $14,852 up front. Here’s a big bill for an Indian family: her brother rearranged the family’s apartment to allow the young woman to come and study in Montreal.

Ten months later, in August 2021, a large cloud crushed the future of M.I Jindal: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada refused to grant her the visa that was supposed to allow her to come and do her training as an early childhood teacher in Montreal.

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The reason is given: his study career in India would not allow him to pursue university studies in Quebec. Under a system put in place by Canada due to the pandemic, young women were nevertheless allowed to start their studies remotely – which they did diligently every day from 3pm. Two hours, due to the time difference between India and Montreal. She also obtained her acceptance certificate from Quebec.

“I agreed to pay my tuition fees up front because I trusted the governments of Quebec and Canada. I am so sorry for that! Everyone has abandoned us,” drops Nisha Jindal. It criticizes Quebec for putting it in contact with an organization that did not provide the services it paid for.

She and 501 other students cannot complete their studies or get back thousands of dollars paid up front. Rising Phoenix International, which owns College M, College de l’Estrie and the College of Accounting and Secretarial Services of Quebec, in Longueuil and Sherbrooke, has placed itself under the protection of law-abiding arrangements with the company’s creditors.

Rising Phoenix executives face charges of fraud and breach of trust in connection with the recruitment of foreign students.

A Toronto company, Cestar, has offered to buy Rising Phoenix Colleges, not without controversy. According to our sources, a decision is expected from the Quebec Ministry of Higher Education by the end of June.

Alain N. Tardif, an attorney at McCarthy Tétrault, believes this story tarnishes Canada’s reputation in the world. “The government forces foreign students to pay tuition for a year in advance, and when everything falls apart, they don’t respond,” he says.

The law firm is mandated to represent Indian students affected by the restructuring of Rising Phoenix International under the Creditors Arrangement Act. Lawyers have tried unsuccessfully to force Ottawa and Quebec to extend visas or certificates of admission to hundreds of Indian students enrolled in Rising Phoenix’s colleges. The Quebec Supreme Court rejected this request.

Tardiff argues Alan N. For Indian students and their families, the loss of $15,000 is tragic. They are in great distress.”

The total bill claimed by the 502 students is $7.5 million. It’s a lot of money for students in India – with an estimated average annual salary of $2,434 – but rather anecdotal for the government of a rich country like Canada, the lawyer says.

No more work permits after graduation

When asked about the fate of these 500 students who were left to their own devices, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada did not respond to questions from Should. Without commenting on the granting of study permits, a federal responsibility, Immigration Minister Jean Boulet gave more details of a new measure negotiated with his federal counterpart, Sean Fraser, that would cut the grass under the feet of 49 unsupported private colleges in Quebec.

as of 1Verse September 2023 Postgraduate Work Permit will now be granted only to students from supported colleges. Until now, students from unsupported private colleges were eligible for this work permit after completing very short courses of around 900 hours, such as Undergraduate Studies Certificates (AEC) or Diplomas of Professional Studies (DEP), which can cost. to $25,000.

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Media, including dutyit also revealed many problems related to the poor quality of training in these colleges as well as their questionable strategies regarding employment, which was confirmed by the Ministry of Higher Education at the end of an investigation that placed ten colleges, most of which are in English-speaking.

In an interview, Minister Boulet did not deny the impact of his decision on these colleges. But he believes it was “necessary”. “We cannot tolerate this kind of scheme that allows anyone to come to Quebec and, after a short training period, automatically obtain a work permit,” the minister emphasized, stressing that many of these students would go to Ontario or elsewhere in Canada. According to him, it is not about punishing English-speaking colleges. It’s the targeted trick. He also noted that Quebec is the only Canadian province that allows access to a post-graduation work permit at the end of an unsupported program.

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