Canada in brief: Oct. 14, 2010

Pro-life demo gives religion a bad name, says minister

HALIFAX (CUP) — Linda Yates doesn’t believe that participants in the ongoing 40 Days for Life campaign are accurately representing Christian views.

The campaign, which aims to raise awareness about abortion while peacefully protesting the practice through prayer and fasting, began on Sept. 22 in communities around the globe and continues through Oct. 31.

But Yates, a minister for the United Church, thinks the group’s efforts are sending the wrong message, saying that not all religious groups are anti-choice.

“There is actually a great deal of pro-choice thought within religious groups,” she said. “There is a lot of diversity of opinion. When you only see one-sided opinions, it not only reflects badly on religion, but is also inaccurate.”

Yates calls the campaign a form of harassment to women.

“After undergoing all kinds of internal thought about abortion, women don’t need harassment on top of what is already a personal and difficult experience in their lives.”

—Laura Conrad & Mick Côté, the Dalhousie Gazette

B.C. youth still most impoverished in the nation

VICTORIA (CUP) — Most students have to battle tight schedules with low funds and little time; add being homeless to the equation, and energy spent on education begins to lose its reality.

With Homeless Action Week happening throughout B.C. from Oct. 10-16, many are asking why the province doesn’t take a stronger stance on impoverished youth.

In 2007, Census Canada reported that B.C. is the only province with steadily increasing child and youth poverty rates, while all other provinces have seen rates decline since 2000.

The further west, the worse it gets: Victoria has one of the highest poverty rates in the province at 24.5 per cent, while Victoria’s youth poverty rate is the highest in all of Canada at 44.8 per cent.

Now, three years later, experts are saying the numbers are likely worse, though a recent study has yet to be completed.

—Danielle Pope, CUP Western Bureau Chief

Hepatitis breakthrough at U of A

SASKATOON (CUP) — University of Alberta researchers have pioneered a breakthrough in the fight against hepatitis C.
It has long been known that the disease attacks the liver, causing insulation and cirrhosis of the liver, and eventually liver cancer if left long enough. However, after just under two years of research, Christopher Power’s team of researchers have discovered that hepatitis C is also a disease of the brain.
This discovery could lead to new forms of treatment and, possibly, to the development of a vaccine or even a cure.

—Tannara Yelland, CUP Prairies & Northern Bureau Chief

Canada loses UN vote

On Oct. 12, Canada dropped its bid for a seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council after the results of the second voting round placed Portugal in favour for the seat with 113 votes in comparison to Canada’s 78.

According to the CBC, foreign minister Lawrence Cannon said that the few votes were a due to the lack of support Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff gave to the bid.

This will be the first time in more than 60 years that the country failed to secure a seat on the council.

—Compiled by Linda Givetash

U of O student nominated for list of Canada’s most powerful women

OTTAWA (CUP) — This spring, U of O president Allan Rock nominated Gwenaelle Moubouyi for a spot on Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 list, which is organized by the Women’s Executive Network.

An active member of the university community, Moubouyi co-founded the program I ACT, a youth network initiative.

She organized the first Congolese Student Association gala entitled Rising for Change, the New Era of Congo.

She created International Dialogues, a program to encourage dialogue between international representatives, government members and students.

This month she is organizing a fundraiser to raise money for schools and school materials in Haiti.

— Briana Hill, the Fulcrum