Canada in brief: Sept. 7, 2009

Student groups, universities singing “big five” blues

QUEBEC (CUP) – The presidents of five of Canada’s top universities have spent the summer calling for a greater share of research funding. Currently these five – the universities of Toronto, Montreal, Alberta, British Columbia, and McGill – receive just over 30 per cent of the over $2.5 billion given out annually by the federal government for university research.

The presidents of these “big five” universities are also calling for a national debate on the future of post-secondary education in Canada. However, Amit Chakma, president of the University of Western Ontario, said instead that the “chronic underfunding” of Canadian universities needs to be examined and fixed.

– Jacob Serebrin, Quebec Bureau Chief

York gym implements women-only gym time

ONTARIO (CUP) – Starting this fall, York University’s Tait McKenzie fitness centre will be implementing a women-only time slot for a portion of the facility.

An area will be specifically reserved for women during this allotted time, and men will not be permitted in the area.

Darshika Selvasivam, YFS vice-president of Campaigns and Advocacy, said, “There have been requests from students to have available space for women to participate in the recreational facilities for some time, and now it’s finally going to happen.”

Around the York campus, many students appeared supportive of the idea.

– Ryan Buchanan, Excalibur

UBC students, admin united against financial aid cuts

BRITISH COLUMBIA (CUP) – The students and administration at the University of British Columbia are speaking out together against the $16 million in cuts to student financial aid made by the provincial government in July.

At the Aug. 19 council meeting of UBC’s Alma Mater Society – the student society of the Vancouver campus – council voted to “authorize an awareness campaign in regards to the cuts” and work towards adequate funding for student aid.

Vancouver’s the Province newspaper reported in July that the cuts are part of the provincial government’s bid to reduce costs by about $1.9 billion over the next three years.

– Samantha Jung, the Ubyssey

Threats of November election

ONTARIO – On Sept. 1, Michael Ignatieff, leader of the Liberal opposition, announced that he would no longer support the Conservative government. MP Bob Rae was quoted by the Toronto Star stating that the Liberals would present a non-confidence motion at the earliest opportunity, being October of this year.
-Compiled by Linda Givetash

Liberals support medical isotopes

ONTARIO – While touring McMaster University on Aug. 29 and 30, leader of the opposition Michael Ignatieff stated his support in funding the nuclear reactor.

The university needs $44.3 million over the next five years to be able to produce moly-99 isotopes that are in dire need with the temporary closure of the Chalk River nuclear facility.

-Compiled by Linda Givetash