Frequently Asked Questions – International Students

What is a strike? Is this common in Canada? What is a strike? Is this common in Canada?
This is a legal process which can only occur with proper notice and is governed by labour laws. Northern College will work with the union to establish picket line protocols to ensure the safety of students and staff. Strikes are peaceful and non-violent.

Is this only happening at Northern?
No, the union represents full-time faculty members at all of the 24 Ontario community colleges.

What will happen to my academic year?
Our first priority remains our students’ learning. We will do what we can to ensure each student will have the opportunity to complete the academic year. Ontario college students have never lost a year because of a strike. Study permit holders are required by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to remain registered with a Designated Learning Institution while in Canada. During the strike, you are encouraged to continue your studies independently by completing homework assignments, continuing with your textbook readings and research projects. You may also continue to access Blackboard to stay in contact with your classmates. All student services will remain open during the strike.

What will happen to my field education, externship, clinical or work placement?
Cooperative education work placements will continue. Some field education, externship, clinical and work placements may continue or may be rescheduled. Students will be notified regarding their specific situation if a strike occurs.

Will I be able to for apply for study permit extension, work permits and visa?
Yes, the Northern College International Office will be open during the strike and will continue to provide assistance to registered students. Barb Akulick can be contacted at 705-235-7134 or to assist.

Am I allowed to work full-time during a strike?
You are allowed to work part-time hours only, as this would not be considered an academic break.

What will happen to the application and admission process for the January, and September 2018 semesters?
The International Office will be open and continue to process all applications for the January, and September 2018 semesters.

What happens when I come to campus during the strike?
Faculty will likely hold signs and form a picket line at the entrances to the college. You can cross the picket line and access campus services. Faculty members on the picket line may ask you to wait a few minutes before crossing and entering campus and may talk to you about the strike.

Some other guidelines for crossing the picket line:

  • Consider public transportation, get dropped off, carpool or enter by foot
  • Respect the picket line; slow down, be courteous and careful.
  • Do not attempt a forceful crossing, either personally or in your vehicle.
  • Expect large groups of people walking, carrying signs, handing out flyers, and speaking to you briefly
  • Expect delays – allow for extra time
  • Whether walking or driving, accept flyers or brochures and keep conversations pleasant and brief
  • If driving, drive slowly. Stop when necessary. You will be allowed to cross.

Will local transit still arrive on campus in Timmins and Haileybury?
Local Transit buses in Timmins and Haileybury will continue to operate, however alternate bus stops will be put in place off campus so that the buses do not need to cross the picket lines.

How will I be updated on what’s going on?
Regular updates will be posted on the Northern College website and social media. You will also receive updates through your Northern College email, and Blackboard. Barb Akulick can be contacted at 705-235-7134 or to assist.

For more information, you can also visit: