Looking back: major headlines of the last year

Courtesy of The McGill Daily

Courtesy of The McGill Daily

Quebec student protests continue
When the Quebec student protests escalated in the spring of 2012, many students from Quebec, as well as the Confederation of Students (CFS) in Ontario, urged their Ontario counterparts to protest their tuition costs. Quebec was contesting a broken promise of a tuition freeze and rise in costs, whereas most students in Ontario pay the most in the country for tuition fees.

After the election of PQ leader, Pauline Marois, a tuition freeze was given, but the student federations in Quebec became increasingly divided with one another. While the intensity of the students protests have waned, the remnants of the student distress are still evident throughout Quebec.

First reported on May 30, 2012.
-Compiled by Justin Smirlies

Trudeau announces leadership bid
After months of speculation and debates, Justin Trudeau announced his leadership for the Liberal party on Oct. 2. Son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the younger Trudeau’s announcement was made at the William-Hingston Centre in Montreal. Trudeau’s wife and two children stood by as Trudeau announced his candidacy. Despite a lack of political experience, Trudeau had become a fan favourite for the Liberal party, as his charisma and interest in youth involvement has garnered much attention.

First reported on Oct. 3, 2012
– Compiled by Alanna Fairey

Teen suicide causes outrage
The suicide of B.C. teen Amanda Todd stirred much discussion and debate about the effectiveness of bullying prevention measures. Todd, who was 15 at the time of her suicide, had faced bullying and online harassment from her peers. After a suicide attempt by drinking bleach, Todd posted a video on YouTube of herself using flashcards to tell her story. On Oct. 10 2012,

Todd was found hanged in her home. Since her death, the government has invested tremendous amounts of money into combating the issue of bullying through some major departments including the Public Health Agency of Canada, the RCMP and Public Safety Canada. It also sparked movements online about the importance of preventive bullying measures on social media and the internet.

Reported Oct.31, 2012
-Compiled by Alanna Fairey

McGuinty resigns  as Premier

Dalton mcGuinty surprised the nation when he announced that he would be resigning from his post as Ontario Liberal Premier on Oct. 15. McGuinty did not offer reasons for his abrupt decision, though at the time of his resignation, he had been facing a number of litigious political issues such as the ORNGE scandal and the on-going negotiations with the province’s teachers. In 2003 and 2007, he led the Liberal Party to a majority government in the province, but lost ground with a minority victory in 2011.

First reported on Oct. 16
-Compiled by Alanna Fairey

Action called for on Aboriginal issues
A national campaign under the hashtag #IdleNoMore took hold of the country starting in December 2012. The campaign was a protest against the treatment of Canada’s Aboriginal population by the Canadian government, and particularly reacted against proposed amendments to the Indian Act, the Navigation Protection Act and the Environmental Assessment Act. Theresa Spence, the Chief of Northern Ontario community Attawapiskat, held a hunger strike to attract attention to the issue. Other actions included large-scale protests and highway blockades.

Reported Jan. 9, 2013
-Compiled by Lindsay Purchase

Wynne elected to lead Ontario Liberals
Ontario Liberals elected a new leader to replace former Premier Dalton McGuinty at a surprise-filled leadership convention held during the last weekend of January. Kathleen Wynne took first place over candidate Sandra Pupatello, becoming Ontario’s first female premier, as well as its first openly gay premier. Wynee was formerly the minister of education for the province and also held the position of parliamentary assistant to the minister of colleges, training and universities. Wynne has faced strong opposition since coming into the position, with challenges posed on issues of the closure of gas plants and the upcoming provincial budget.

Reported on Jan.30, 2013
-Compiled by Lindsay Purchase

Senate faces calls for accountability
2013 has been a rough year so far for Canada’s Senate. Senator Patrick Brazeau was arrested on charges of assault, while Senator Mike Duffy was discovered collecting a housing allowance for a province he was not residing in. Criticisms of ineffectiveness led to calls for reform or abolition of the Senate. The Conservative Party previously proposed implementing elected positions for the Senate when it tabled Bill C-7 in 2011. The NDP has called for the abolition of Senate.

Reported March 20, 2013
-Compiled by Lindsay Purchase

Student info lost
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) was put into an uncomfortable position after having to admit this past January that it had lost the personal info of 583,000 student loan borrowers. The federal department discovered the problem in early November when an employee found that a hard drive was missing. Students weren’t satisfied with the response of the HRSDC, which began offering free anti-fraud alerts through credit bureau Equifax on Jan. 25. The privacy breach resulted in several class action lawsuits. Investigations by the RCMP and the privacy commissioner are ongoing.

Reported Feb.6, 2013
-Compiled by Lindsay Purchase

Federal Budget released
The Canadian government released its annual budget, “Jobs, Growth and Economic Prosperity,” to strong opposition from federal parties on March 21. Notable inclusions were funding for market-oriented skills training, intentions to balance the budget by 2015 and plans for job creation measures. Student groups also expressed dissatisfaction, claiming that it was insufficient to address employment concerns.

Reported on March 27, 2013
-Compiled by Lindsay Purchase

PCs want overhaul for PSE in Ontario
The Progressive Conservatives released a controversial white paper on the state of post-secondary education in Ontario, calling for student financial aid to linked to academic records and more emphasis placed on college degrees. Rob Leone, the MPP for Cambridge, spearheaded the paper with PC leader Tim Hudak with their plans for PSE if they were to be elected. In addition, the paper claimed that university funding should be determined by how many jobs the particular institution’s graduates get and that the quality of teaching should be drastically improved.

Reported on Feb.13, 2013.
-Compiled by Justin Smirlies

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