City in brief

Students block access to Ministry of Education offices
About a 100 students blocked the entrance to the Montreal offices of the Ministry of Education last Friday, in protest against tuition hikes. Students said they were blocking the entrance just like the government wants to block access to higher education. “We’ll be blocking the outside of the building to demonstrate to the government of Jean Charest that for as long as he plans to be blocking access to higher education, we’ll be blocking things in Quebec,” a student spokesperson told the CBC.
New Year’s revolution for social activism
The Quebec Public Interest Research Group at Concordia launched the “New Year’s Revolution 2012” campaign last week, kicking off the new year with a series of events promoting awareness on social and environmental justice and community-based social justice research. The events went from “Day of Winter Survival Skillshare workshop” to “Solidarity not Charity: Activism in Montreal workshop.” QPIRG Concordia is a student-funded non-profit organization that seeks to create campus-community links and inspire social change on campus through engaging approaches. Visit

Shafia trial comes to an end
Three members of the Shafia family of Montreal were found guilty of first-degree murder on Sunday afternoon. The Afghan-Canadians face an automatic penalty of life imprisonment with no chance of parole for at least 25 years for the murder of the family’s three daughters and the first wife of the Shafias’ patriarch. Mohammad Shafia, his wife Tooba Yahya and their son Hamed, who pleaded not guilty, all professed their innocence once again after the verdict was read. Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said honour killings were a barbaric practice that was unacceptable in Canada.

Smells like gas
Environment Quebec rushed to the Montreal Heart Institute last Tuesday to try to pump 16,000 litres of diesel fuel out of the sewers, after a truck accidentally replenished the wrong tank. Environment Quebec was alerted by nearby residents of the Rosemont area, worried about a strong smell of gas coming from underground. It took the Montreal fire department four days to determine the source of the smell, according to The Gazette. Hospital officials said there was no safety risk for the patients.

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