Nation in brief

Study highlights disabled students’ financial woes

A study released last week has revealed that Ontario students with disabilities face increased financial obstacles in their efforts to pursue post-secondary education, the Cord reported. Commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, the study found that 81 per cent of the disabled students surveyed were concerned about the debt incurred during the course of their education, and half expected to have at least $20,000 in debt. In addition, 40 per cent said that debt or other financial barriers had altered their “post-secondary pursuits.”

Professors say Conservatives trying to intimidate critics

Two professors at the University of Ottawa say that the federal government has targeted them because of their propensity for criticizing the Conservatives. Professors Errol Mendes and Amir Attaran were the subject of two enormous freedom-of-information requests at the university which they believe is part of an intimidation tactic and effort to use their information against them, the Toronto Star reported. These requests are done anonymously in Ontario but the professors believe that this is another example of the Conservatives’ effort to silence critical voices in academia. To try and prove it, they’ve offered to release all information if the person who made the request reveals himself or herself. Employment details, expenses and teaching records were requested but Mendes said the university will not release much of the information which is private or personal in nature, and therefore legally protected from release. A Conservative spokesman said the requests were not made by the party.

B.C. radiologists may have missed deadly diseases

Health officials in B.C. have been reviewing thousands of complaints about two radiologists who were not qualified to review CT scans and ultrasounds, and thus could potentially have missed countless life-threatening diseases. In fall 2010, the two radiologists both practiced in the Powell River and Abbotsford areas of B.C. despite lacking to credentials or experience to do so, the Vancouver Sun reported. Chair of the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council Dr. Doug Cochrane will be leading an independent investigation into the matter. Despite learning about the issue in October, health officials reportedly only began contacting patients last week, citing a desire to not alarm or cause anxiety in the public. All of the over 900 patients are being contacted, and their scans are being reviewed. An independent review reportedly found 134 of those patients required more testing, 30 of them urgently.

Police not charged in kicking incident

A police officer in Victoria, B.C. will not be charged for an incident in which he kicked two men as they were being handcuffed. The officer in question was filmed kicking one man as other officers held him down following a fight in the street. He then kicked and kneed a second man as he and another officer struggled to handcuff the suspect. The province’s Criminal Justice Branch reviewed the incident and ruled that the force used by the officer was permissible and legal in that particular, unsafe situation. The spectator-filmed video of the kicks was posted on YouTube last spring and has received over 250,000 views since.


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