These international students can't vote, but here's why they're following the Ontario election campaign

·2 min read
Sonam Sonam, left, and Manpreet Kaur are St. Clair College students in Windsor, Ont., who aren't eligible to vote, but have a stake in the outcome of the Ontario election. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC - image credit)
Sonam Sonam, left, and Manpreet Kaur are St. Clair College students in Windsor, Ont., who aren't eligible to vote, but have a stake in the outcome of the Ontario election. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC - image credit)

Even though they're not eligible to vote, current and former international students in Windsor have issues they hope will be addressed in Ontario election campaign — so they'll be paying attention.

From affordability, to the cost of rent, to job opportunities, there are key issues at stake that affect them with or without their votes.

Sonam Sonam, a St. Clair College student who has been in Windsor for four months, points to grocery costs and bus expenses as key issues that impact her, but she's hopeful the election will have a positive impact on her life.

"In election, if we choose a good person, then I think [it will play] a great role to handle all the things," she said.

Her friend and fellow St. Clair College student Manpreet Kaur echoes that, and also points to issues around housing and jobs.

"Here is too much difficult," she said about paying rent, adding that finding work has been difficult for both of them.

"We don't have any employment."

Katerina Georgieva/CBC
Katerina Georgieva/CBC

Navin Kumar, an immigrant and former University of Windsor master's student in civil engineering, has been living in Windsor for three years and is looking for work.

He said he's noticed significant changes to his quality of life since he arrived in Canada in 2019.

"That time, the prices were really low for the affordability, even for the gas prices and even cost for homes," he said.

"But now ... I've witnessed a huge hike for the prices, so that is quite concern for us, like, for everybody, and we want definitely, government should do something about that."

He hopes that soon he can participate in the electoral process so his voice can have a say.

"I am here, I am paying taxes, I am a part of this community so I want to be eligible for voting, but the policies are policies. Soon I will be able to. So definitely, at that time I will be definitely part of this democracy."

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