Canada in brief: Oct. 28, 2009

WLU murderer pleas guilt

ONTARIO- On Oct. 21 Emrah Bulatci attempted to plead guilty after admitting that he murdered Chris Worden, an RCMP officer and a former co-captain of the Laurier football team who was killed on Oct. 6, 2007.

Bulatci stood in front of the jury and tried to display his guilt, even though in 2007 his defense lawyer stated he never intended to shoot Worden.

The court was told Worden was shot four times in a wooded area next to an apartment building where Bulatci was dealing drugs.
— Compiled by Idil Herzi

UBC leaving CASA

BRITISH COLUMBIA- On Oct. 22, the University of British Columbia’s student union, Alma Mater Society (AMS), announced it will be leaving the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) after Apr. 1, 2010.

The motion was brought forward as AMS being the largest student union in Canada is looking towards the benefits of lobbying governments themselves rather than through an external organization.

AMS, having paid $70,000 to CASA in previous years, will have a much larger budget for future lobbying in leaving the organization.

Wilfird Laurier University Students’ Union has been a member of CASA since 2007.

— Compiled by Linda Givetash

Supreme Court strikes down language laws

MONTREAL (CUP) – Canada’s highest court has struck down a Quebec law that prevented immigrants from sending their children to provincially funded English schools.

The Supreme Court ruled that Quebec will have one year to replace the Bill 104, after determining that it violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Some of the 25 families that have fought for seven years to send their children to English schools will now be able to. The others will have to seek special permission from the provincial government.

The provincial government was not pleased with the ruling. Quebec’s minister of culture, Christine St-Pierre, whose department is responsible for enforcing the language laws, told reporters she was disappointed by the decision.

— By Jacob Serebrin, CUP Quebec Bureau Chief

Addressing climate change

OTTAWA – Last Saturday, the C-Day “Fill up the Hill” campaigned at Parliament Hill in Ottawa to voice demands about upcoming agreements at the United Nations Climate Conference in
Copenhagen, Denmark in December.

According to C-Day media spokesperson of Hilary Best, just under 1,000 people attended the rally in Ottawa.

“There were people from age 90 to little kids, all showing their support for their envisions in binding targets in Copenhagen,” said Best.

— Compiled by Idil Henzi

New petition fights CFS referendum question at UVic

VICTORIA (CUP) – The University of Victoria is one of more than a dozen schools across Canada circulating petitions to launch referenda questioning their membership with the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) – but UVic students are facing another petition as well.

According to one petitioner, a counter-petition has been created which could overrule the referendum request if it receives more signatures.

Toni Gore, a student at Vancouver Island University (VIU) and the director of external relations on the VIU Students’ Union board, has been petitioning on UVic’s campus on behalf of the UVic Student Society (UVSS) and the CFS.

— By David J.A. Foster, The Martlet

Nationalist group aims to disrupt prince’s visit to Montreal

MONTREAL (CUP) – Prince Charles’ upcoming visit to Canada may turn into a catastrophe if members of a Quebec nationalist group have their way.

The prince’s 10-day tour starts on Nov. 2 in St. John’s, N.L. and Labrador, and marks his 15th official visit.

“We would like to send a clear message to the British monarchy,” said Ludovic Schneider, the director of the RRQ, a nationalist group supporting Quebec sovereignty. “You are not welcome here. Quebec does not belong to you.”

Earlier this year, they were instrumental in cancelling a reenactment of the battle of the Plains of Abraham, which the group deemed “a celebration of defeat.”

— By Chris Hanna, The Link

Concordia president calls for a university ‘reset’

MONTREAL (CUP) – Concordia President Judith Woodsworth believes that education, especially post-secondary education, is not a current priority for government investment.

In a “reset” world, she told the Canadian Club of Montreal on Oct. 19, universities would be an integral part of post-recession society, and private donors would be an important source of funding for the post-secondary institutions.

“If we can get to the point where we have enough funding to support students who are really in need and charge tuition to the ones who have the money, that would be the best solution,” said Woodsworth.

— By Justin Giovannetti, The Link

Bush ignites protest with visit to Alberta

EDMONTON (CUP) – While over 200 protesters greeted George W. Bush’s arrival at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton last week, a few University of Alberta students took the chance to make a similar statement down the side of one of their campus’ most prominent buildings.

The words “Arrest Bush” hung visibly from the side of the upper façade of U of A’s Tory Building throughout the day of the event. They protested against the taxpayer expense resulting from Bush’s visit, and human rights violations they claim the former president is guilty of committing.

—By Sean Steels, The Gateway