City in Brief: Feb. 8, 2011

Frederick Lowy will make contract public

In a Feb. 2 press release, Concordia’s new president and vice-chancellor Frederick Lowy said he will be making his employment contract public as part of an effort to increase transparency and reverse what he called a “demoralizing state of affairs” at the university. Lowy officially took office on the second for a mandate that will last as much as 18 months while a new president is selected. In the press release he also laid out three other steps he plans on taking, including filling vacant senior positions as soon as possible, holding meetings with as many concerned parties as he can and scheduling a joint meeting of the Board of Governor’s Ad-Hoc Committee on Governance and the Senate’s Steering Committee.

Quebec gets $275M for student aid

The federal government announced last Friday that it would be transferring $275 million to Quebec to reimburse it for funds spent on student aid in 2009-2010. It stated that the transfer is a $150 million increase compared to 2008-2009 funding. Since 1964, Quebec has run its own student aid program, independent of Canada Student Loans. Although pleased with the announcement, both the Federation etudiante collegiale du Quebec and the Federation etudiante universitaire du Quebec expressed in a press release their fear that the Ministry of Finance would not use the entirety of the funds for student aid, seeing as the money comes with no obligations.

Wayyy over the speed limit

An over-eager joyrider earned a $2,500 ticket and 42 demerit points last week when he was arrested after speeding at 240 km/h on a stretch of highway where the speed limit is 70 km/h. Police neither confirmed nor denied reports that the man was a hotel valet and that the BMW he was driving was stolen. He pulled over shortly before entering the Ville Marie Tunnel, and there was no police chase involved. Although his identity has not been revealed, Montreal valets were in an uproar over the incident. One even told the Gazette that the driver “must be a young person, someone totally irresponsible.”

Hungry for Charest

A Joliette man began a hunger strike last Wednesday in an effort to force the resignation of Premier Jean Charest. Pablo Lugo Herrera, who weighs about 140 pounds, began limiting his diet to only tap water and sent a letter to the embattled premier demanding that he step down. Herrera stated that if Charest does not accept the will of the people, the 41-year old father of four would succumb to his sacrifice. He is especially angry with Charest over two of the hottest issues in the province at the moment: the Liberal government’s refusal to establish a public inquiry into corruption allegations in the construction industry, and its refusal to impose a moratorium on shale-gas development.


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