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Students to file lawsuit against Ryerson University

Keean Bexte

April 8, 2022

Sixteen students who were deregistered from their programs at Ryerson University for refusing to take the vaccine are gearing up to sue the institution.

NOTE: The lawyer representing the student’s Twitter thread states that he is representing fifteen students, while the student’s fundraiser states that sixteen are involved in the lawsuit.

According to the group’s fundraising page, which provides a timeline for Ryerson University’s implementation of discriminatory policies, up to 3,600 students were deregistered from their programs. Those filing the lawsuit say they are “seeking damages and an injunction to prevent the university from enforcing the mandate in the future.”

Ryan O’Connor, the lawyer who has decided to take on the case, tweets that “Many of the students sought exemptions to the mandate for religious or medical reasons. All of these students had their exemption requests denied. As a result, these students — and potentially thousands of others at Ryerson — were deregistered from winter term courses.”

“The university had no legal obligation to deregister these students. Some of the students were only a few courses away from graduation. Others lost teaching assistant positions or had grants or scholarships taken from them.”

Essentially, their career trajectories have been irreversibly delayed.

He further states that even if Ryerson University announced that they would suspend its vaccine mandate on May 1, there is no guarantee they won’t bring it back in the Fall (when seasonal illnesses return).

O’Connor hopes that by seeking an injunction, the group can prevent the return of vaccine mandates, at least while the lawsuit is in court.  

Recently, the University of Toronto also announced that they would be pausing their vaccine and mask mandates after getting hit with a human rights complaint from professors and staff.

However, like the case of Ryerson University, U of T has provided no guarantee that they won’t begin discriminating after the Summer and appear to have intentionally held off removing the mandates to ensure that their students stay masked and jabbed until the end of the Winter semester.

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