Nation in brief

B.C. water bottle co. receives massive Japanese order

Iodine in Japanese water has led to a huge order being placed with a Canadian water bottle company. The Montreal Gazette reported a Japanese distributor contacted Burnaby, B.C.-based Polaris Water on Friday for a shipment for 2 million 1.5-litre water bottles, due to be delivered to the disaster-stricken country by the end of April. On Wednesday, the Tokyo government warned parents not to let infants consume the city’s tap water, which they said tested positive for radioactive iodine. By Friday, the city had revised the warning, saying iodine levels were not dangerously high. The order has increased Polaris Water’s usual April output tenfold, upping its shipments to Japan from 15 shipping containers to 150, according to a company spokesperson. The company will also be donating two containers for every 100 they ship. The first shipment is set to arrive on April 4.


York T.A. apologizes for Facebook remarks

A teaching assistant at York University has apologized for negative comments she made about her students on Facebook. The Excalibur reported that sociology T.A. Bianca Baggiarini posted derogatory remarks about her tutorial students to her Facebook status on Feb. 22. At the time, department chair Nancy Mandell said she was disappointed about the situation. Although a sociology professor who was present as Baggiarini apologized has told students not to worry about the T.A.’s grading or teaching abilities, some students have expressed nervousness about their final exams.


New Brunswick government ups tuition

A $200 tuition hike is on the books for New Brunswick universities, a move that has raised the ire of student unions and lobby groups across the province, according to the Canadian University Press. President of the New Brunswick Student Alliance Samuel Gregg-Wallace said the government’s decision to count parental contributions on provincial student loans wrongly makes the assumption that parents will contribute to tuition payment in the first place. The increase marks the end of a three-year freeze on tuition, and will be accompanied by a two per cent increase in funds directed towards the universities’ operating budgets. New Brunswick students pay the second-highest tuition fees in Canada.


Upcoming federal election hailed as “Twitter election”

The social media site is expected to play a major role in the upcoming Canadian elections, according to the Globe and Mail. Over 14,000 tweets had been sent by Sunday afternoon related to the Canadian election, up from 2,000 last weekend. Parties will use software to track the opinions of the 5 million Canadians that are on Twitter. Conservative MPs have been taking to Twitter all year, while Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff is expected to blog regularly. Both the Liberals and the NDP have also promised to make live town hall meetings available online. The results of the U.S. midterm elections suggest that social media is an accurate indicator of victory at the polls – in 74 per cent of House of Representative races (and 81 per cent of Senate races), how many fans a candidate had on Facebook predicted their win.


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