Queen’s student falls to death
Two students at Queen’s University fell through a skylight on the roof of the school library last week, leaving one of them dead. Nineteen-year-old Habib Khan was killed in the 12-metre, three- storey fall to the floor of the library. It is unclear why he and student Stephen Nagy, 18, were on the roof. Nagy was listed as injured but in stable condition at a local hospital. This marks the second death from a fall at Queen’s this semester, after first-year student Cameron Bruce fell seven storeys to his death from a residence window in September.
Maple leaf absent from Quebec Timmy Ho’s mug
For the holiday season this year, Tim Hortons put out two editions of its special holiday mug. There’s the one you’ll find in nine of Canada’s 10 provinces, which features the Rocky Mountains, the CN Tower and maple leaves flowing through the air; and then there’s the one you’ll find here in Montreal and the rest of Quebec. It displays the Big O, a church, and even snowflakes instead of the leaf that adorns our country’s flag. According to CTV news, a press release from the chain said that “Sometimes, direct translations may not make sense.” So, apparently francophones see a picture of a maple leaf and don’t understand what it means? Don’t you hate those poor photo translations?
UBC student union okays Gaza donation
After a controversial decision to freeze a student group donation to a Gaza flotilla in mid-November, the University of British Columbia’s student union has decided to allow it, the Ubyssey reported. Following the decision, which came about after three hours of debate at a meeting last week, the university’s Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights will be permitted to make a $700 donation to a humanitarian aid flotilla heading to the war-torn area next spring. About 200 students were in attendance at the meeting, where two petitions were presented to the council. One had nearly 550 signatures in favour of the donation, and a second had just over 900 signatures against it.
The federal government wants to be friends
Ottawa is looking into granting civil servants greater access to social media sites in order to allow them to interact with the general public and to recruit young talent looking for a more “cyber-tastic” job experience. Bureaucrats are also thinking of creating an open data portal where raw government information that is not personal or confidential could easily be made public. The UN recently ranked Canada third in “e-government” capacity, behind only South Korea and the United States. But opponents of this latest idea are cringing at the thought of unleashing civil servants, the “public face of government,” onto the world wide web, where the possibility of creating an embarrassing online scandal is always very real. There are also great inconsistencies between government departments regarding social media. For example, Health Canada has long had access to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, while Citizenship and Immigration is still stuck in the Stone Age and can only use Google.