Canada in brief: Jan. 6, 2010

Ontario PSE system broken: book

TORONTO (CUP) – Academic Transformation, a new book by four Ontario university professors, accuses the province of failing students and calls for education reform.

Ian Clark, co-author of the book, told the Globe and Mail that the current system of universities combining research and teaching is crippling Ontario’s post-secondary education system.

Growing pressure for professors to produce groundbreaking research means they are spending less time teaching. Part-time faculty are doing more teaching as a result, which compromises quality of education, explained Clark.

The book was commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council.

–Danielle Webb, CUP Ontario Bureau Chief

Sombre memorial for Montréal Massacre

MONTREAL (CUP) – A single white rose lay on one of the 14 monuments that honour each of the women who were shot and killed 20 years ago at École Polytechnique in Montréal.

Aside from the rose, the Place du 6-Décembre-1989 showed little sign of visitors or mourners on Dec. 5, one day before the anniversary of what has come to be known as the Montréal Massacre.

The school held a private ceremony at the Notre-Dame Basilica on Dec. 6 to mark the milestone anniversary of the day that also saw 13 people injured at the hands of Marc Lépine, who was 25 years old at the time.

–Chris Hanna, The Concordian

Report refutes industry tarsands claims

LETHBRIDGE, A.B. (CUP) – A report published in December from the U.S.-based National Academy of Science says that industrial pollution from Alberta’s tarsands operations is five times greater than the industry and the government has claimed.

The report found that the amount of toxic chemicals Syncrude and Suncor deposit into the surrounding environment each year is equivalent to a major oil spill.

–Keith McLaughlin, The Meliorist

Lang becomes 17th journalist killed in Afghanistan

BURNABY, B.C. (CUP) – Four Canadian soldiers and a journalist didn’t live to see New Year’s Eve this year.

On Dec. 30, Calgary Herald journalist Michelle Lang and four Canadian soldiers were killed when an improvised explosive device destroyed the armoured vehicle they were traveling in near Kandahar.

Late on the afternoon of Jan. 3, the bodies of Lang and the four soldiers arrived at the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, Ont. A repatriation ceremony was performed on the five bodies at the base.

Lang is the first Canadian civilian to be repatriated.

–Sam Reynolds, The Peak

Body scanners coming to airports

According to Rob Merrifield, minister of state transport, 44 body scanners with the capability to scan through clothing have been ordered for Canadian airports.

CBC News has confirmed that they will be installed in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Halifax.

These new security measures are in response to new U.S. security protocols following the failed terrorist attack on a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas

–Compiled by Linda Givetash

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