Student Clients

We have counseled over 30 students from various colleges and universities across Canada regarding registration/enrollment issues. Below is a summary outlining some cases:

Student #1

Our client was an engineering student at a Canadian university. In the past, he had always suffered severe adverse reactions to vaccine injections. He declined to vaccinate and sought a medical exemption. However, the university would not accept a note from his physician, claiming that the medical reasons did not align with those set out by the provincial health authority.

As a result, he was deregistered from the university due to the vaccination policy and his refusal to vaccinate.

As a component of his studies, the student had obtained a work placement. He was hired back pending completion of his program. This employment was threatened when the university deregistered him from his remaining courses. In addition, without graduating, without a job placement and with little income, the client faced revocation of his student visa. This put him in the position of imminent deportation but without the ability to travel back to his country (due to his unvaccinated status).

TDF then sent a demand letter to the university. The university refused to remedy the situation. It claimed that exams and courses contained in-person components. However, following negotiations, the university permitted our client to complete his studies online. The client is now on schedule to graduate.

Result: Our client is re-enrolled and is currently completing the remainder of his program. He will be the first in his family to graduate from university and the first with a professional career.

Student #2

Our client is an indigenous graduate student at a Canadian university. Her university implemented a vaccine mandate in the fall of 2021, and she was facing deregistration due to her unvaccinated status.

After her request for a medical exemption was denied, she contacted TDF for assistance. Following our consultation, we crafted a response that we believed would compel the university to re-register her.

Adhering to the substance of a demand letter we drafted, our client held a meeting with her department head who agreed to permit her to complete her coursework remotely.

Result: Our client is continuing her studies without interruption and no longer facing deregistration. She will be the first in her family to obtain a degree.

Student #3

Our client is a technology student attending a Canadian post-secondary institution. Although the client was attending class virtually, he was routinely threatened with deregistration by the institution for remaining unvaccinated. The client had sent an exhaustively documented religious exemption request to the college, which was denied.  He consulted TDF about how to proceed.

We sent a demand letter to the college. Counsel for the college responded to indicate that the school will not be deregistering our client at this time.

Result: Our client is continuing his studies without further threat or interruption.

Student #4

Our client is a student in his first year of a trades/apprentice program at a post-secondary institution. He is employed with a company that has chosen to pay for him to upgrade his skills. His college implemented a vaccine mandate in the fall of 2021. The college then threatened to deregister the client if he failed to get fully vaccinated by the deadline.

Our client received a first dose of the vaccine, though he became increasingly hesitant to receive a second dose. Since he was partially vaccinated, the client was allowed to attend classes while rapid testing. After his request for a religious exemption was denied, however, the college required him to receive his second dose. He consulted with TDF in an attempt to remain in class. After meeting with TDF, he decided to attend classes and compel the college to deregister him. The college decided against deregistering the client after our consultation with him.

Result: The client continues to attend class without interruption.

Student #5

Our client is a student pursuing a science degree at a Canadian university. The university allowed students to attend class remotely during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, in the fall of 2021, the university required all students to be vaccinated in order to attend campus. Our client submitted a request for a religious exemption, but this exemption was denied. The client remained unvaccinated and the university subsequently deregistered her from most of her courses. The university did not offer rapid testing or allow the student to continue with her courses online.

The client contacted TDF for assistance. She hoped to be able to re-register for her courses or otherwise resolve the situation. TDF sent a demand letter to the university and negotiated with opposing counsel. We amicably resolved the situation so that the student is allowed to enroll in courses to continue her studies.

Student #6

Our client is a student taking a science degree at a Canadian university. The client is attending courses remotely. The university has a vaccine mandate for campus attendance. Due to the client’s unvaccinated status, he is prevented from completing the in-person portions of these courses and is in jeopardy of failing.

After our client’s request for a religious exemption was denied, he contacted TDF for assistance. We have sent a letter to the university in which we demand that the university allow our client to complete his courses fully online, re-weighting future tests in place of any tests that he might have missed. The university has refused to accommodate the student. TDF will likely bring a human rights complaint on behalf of the student.

Student #7

Our client is a student pursuing a master of science degree at a Canadian university. After allowing for rapid testing, the university changed its policy to require proof of vaccination for campus attendance. Our client remains unvaccinated and, thus, had difficulty attending courses that required in-person attendance. Additionally, he is unable to complete the research component of his thesis.

Complicating matters, the student endured criticism — both public and private — for his refusal to vaccinate.

The student retained TDF to assist with a return to his program. TDF prepared a demand letter but the student is awaiting the results of other inquires with the university.

Student #8

Our client is a student attending a Canadian university for an advanced degree. The university implemented a vaccine mandate despite previously allowing students to attend classes online. The student was threatened with deregistration. She remains unvaccinated and consulted TDF for information about her legal rights.

TDF provided her with general legal information and suggested she continue with her online courses if possible. The student was also able to continue in her placement at a high school given that the school accepted rapid testing as an alternative to vaccination. After discussing the matter with TDF, the student decided that she did not need to pursue the matter.

Student #9

Our client is a student pursuing a humanities degree at a Canadian university. She was deregistered from her program in 2022 due to her refusal to submit her vaccine status. She submitted exemptions on both religious and human rights grounds. The university denied her requests. The client’s program has been conducted through online learning since January 22, 2021.

The client is fully vaccinated but unwilling to disclose her status to the university for privacy reasons. The client contacted TDF for assistance regarding re-registration: TDF discussed her options regarding privacy rights and refusal to vaccinate. The student decided to wait to see if the university removed the vaccine mandate in the fall/winter semester.