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Feds ‘happy to work’ with Ontario after request to halt arrival of international students

Click to play video: 'Feds working with Ontario following request to suspend arrival of international students' Feds working with Ontario following request to suspend arrival of international students
WATCH ABOVE: Feds working with Ontario following request to suspend arrival of international students.

Canada may consider halting the arrival of international students in Ontario, prime minister Justin Trudeau said following a request from Ontario premier Doug Ford.

During a press conference Friday, Trudeau acknowledged Ford’s request to suspend the arrival of international students to the province and confirmed they’ll be “reaching out to their officials today to formalize that request.”

Read more: ‘Desperate’ Ford to Trudeau at First Ministers’ Meeting: Shut the borders

“Premier Ford asked that we suspend the arrival of international students,” he said, adding, “because at this time Ontario is the only province requesting this, we’re happy to work more narrowly with them.”

Global News reported Thursday that Ford had urged the prime minister to tighten international and provincial borders. 

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Canada closed its U.S. land and sea borders to non-essential travellers over one year ago in an effort to curb cases of the virus.

However, over the past few weeks, several provinces have called for tightened restrictions and measures when it comes to international travel to curb the spread of more deadly and transmissible COVID-19 variants spreading across the country.

“We are looking at a range of potential measures either targeting certain areas of types of travellers. We are going to be working with experts and authorities across the country to ensure what we are doing is grounded in science and will keep people safe,” Trudeau had said in an interview with Global News on April 21.

Read more: Provinces want tightened travel, land border restrictions to limit COVID-19 variants: Legault

The prime minister reiterated on Friday his intentions of working closely with the provinces to quell the spread of the coronavirus and cautioned against any kind of non-essential travel.

“We’re engaging with other provinces that are hit hard by this third wave to see how we can help. We are ready to send any resources needed to protect you and your family,” he said.

However, the prime minister also acknowledged that while people are still entering Canada, they are mostly permanent residents or citizens.

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“The only people travelling across our border in any way right now are either permanent citizens or Canadians returning home, essential workers and a limited number of exception cases that have squashed the number down to 5 per cent of what it used to be in previous years,” he said.

“Again, I want to be clear. This is not the right time to travel,” the prime minister added.

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