Stop monopolizing the homestay business in the region of Halton, Ontario

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Halton District School Board (HDSB) sent an email to the homestay families on Friday, February 22nd, 2019. The email was advising that the HDSB has partnered with a company called Canada Homestay Network (CHN) solely to take care of the Homestay program and Guardianship matters in Halton Region related to International students coming to Halton, effective 2020. CHN will also be the only custodian for all the international students who attend the HDSB schools. This transition will take place at the same time but for new students in September 2019. This new policy is to turn a competitive market into a monopoly market.Instead of striving to make Halton Region the best place for International students, businesses dealing with international students will leave Halton Region and refer their clients to other regions who have a more flexible approach. A healthy market should have more business and competition;monopoly also causes poor service; the prices of the Canada homestay network are controlled heavily and kill the healthy competition. It deprives the parents of international students to pick their own child's homestay and guardian. CHN has set the pricing of the homestay family, which is seen as price-fixing. Price-fixing is a violation of Canada Competition Act. (Please refer to link of www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/h_00112.html?open

Example:

CHN, they charge registration, placement and orientation fee: $450.00, which is extremely high.

And they also charge custodianship registration fee: $250.00, so a student will need to pay $700 for only registering. By allowing the Halton District School Board to appoint CHN as the only custodian and homestay placement company in 2020 is unfair to the business in Halton Region.

Monopolizing the Homestay business in Halton will negatively impact international students. According to Immigration Canada, a minor student (under 18years of age) studying in Canada has to live with a local family, and must be supervised by a person who is 18years old either a Canada citizen or a permanent resident. This person is the custodian.Starting in 2020, international students have no choice but to choose the residence of their living from one company, which is unfair to the students. If the students would prefer to live with the trusted relatives and friends, due to the new HDSB policy, they would not able to do so. In addition, a fixed price does not follow what the market trend is; it cannot guarantee that those young students will be properly taken care of. Designating a single company as a custodian of international students who study in the schools of the HDSB deprives students and their parents of the right to choose a person whom they trust. The HDSB cannot guarantee that the company will appear on time when the student needs help. In the past years, there were students complaining about the services of that company.

Most of the Halton homestay families are very dedicated in taking care of the students; the students are treated in a welcoming environment. The HDSB recognizes the importance of the homestay for the international students studying abroad.  Please show respect to the homestay families, and let them decide the price of their services in this free country.

This petition urges the Halton District School Board through Stuart Miller, Director of Education, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Education Officer, to take into consideration the negative impacts that this transition will have on the Halton community.

We need you. We need your voice. We need your support. Please sign and share this petition keep the home stay business in Halton a Free Competitive Market!


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