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Music Quickspins

QUICKSPINS: King Krule – Man Alive!

Archy Marshall’s third album as King Krule is his most abrasive to date

Although Man Alive! showcases the same influences that made King Krule (aka Archy Marshall) an underground success—the rhythms of hip hop and trip-hop, the harmonies of jazz, the abrasiveness of punk—his latest LP is harsher and more aggressive than its predecessor.

Marshall’s third LP as King Krule ditches the pristine beauty of 2017’s The Ooz for chaotic drums, noisy guitars and thundering bass lines. Still, the London-based singer-songwriter sounds wearier this time around. Although he can still rip out a convincing punk howl, he is generally quieter and more reserved, never quite returning to the confident swagger of “Biscuit Town” or “Dum Surfer.”

“This place doesn’t move me,” he admits feebly on “Please Complete Thee.” “Everything just seems to be numbness around.” His list of guest musicians is noticeably shorter this time around as well—which is a shame because so much of the magic of The Ooz came from his chemistry with his collaborators. Thankfully, he brings back saxophonist Ignacio Salvadores, whose baritone sax lines swim ominously throughout the album. Man Alive! is less ambitious, less expansive, and less beautiful than The Ooz, but if you fell in love with King Krule’s music for its melancholy and musings on loneliness and depression, you won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 8/10

Trial track: “(Don’t Let the Dragon) Draag On”

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News

Seven of eight Cut the Crap candidates reinstated

Disqualification upheld against finance coordinator candidate Danielle Vandolder-Beaudin

 

Seven of Cut the Crap’s eight candidates have been restored as victors in the Concordia Student Union’s (CSU) general elections, following a decision by the union’s judicial board on Monday night.

In a 14-page decision, the board unanimously decided that the disqualifications of Christopher Kalafatidis (General Coordinator), Patrick Quinn (Academic and Advocacy), Isaiah Joyner (External and Mobilization), Marin Algattus (Internal), Celeste-Melize Ferrus (Loyola), Eduardo Malorni (Student Life) and Selena Mezher (Sustainability) were unjustified.

However, the majority of the board ruled to uphold the disqualification of finance coordinator candidate Danielle Vandolder-Beaudin. The candidate with the second-most votes, Désirée Blizzard, was elected instead.

In a majority ruling, board members Kiana Soria-Dadson, Cassandra D’Errico, and Maahsin Zahid, agreed that Vandolder-Beaudin had violated polling regulations. These regulations forbid students from “pressuring individuals to vote in the presence of a candidate, campaign worker, or any other individual” and from “bringing the means of electronic voting to a voter.”

Sometime during polling period, between April 2 and 4, Vandolder-Beaudin contacted an anonymous student on Facebook messenger. “Hey! Have you voted in the CSU elections?” she asked. When the student responded they hadn’t, she sent them a list of the names of Cut the Crap’s candidates.

When screenshots of this conversation were leaked to Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Florian Prual, he disqualified every member of Cut the Crap. In a post announcing the disqualification, Prual cited the violation of the polling regulations.

The board ruled that Vandolder-Beaudin had displayed “a lack of integrity through the intent of her messaging.” After Prual notified her of her violation, Vandolder-Beaudin emailed him acknowledging her mistake and saying “I feel really bad about doing this.”

“By refraining from correcting this mistake, or notifying anyone of it, we believe that Danielle had the intent of letting this mistake follow through to benefit herself and her slate,” the board wrote.

The majority further ruled that disqualification was appropriate since Vandolder-Beaudin’s actions violated the spirit of the standing regulations “as regards the privacy, anonymity, and freedom from influence during the polling period.”

In a dissenting opinion, Cinthia Gonzalez and Shai Navi disagreed that Vandolder-Beaudin had pressured any voters. “We found that there was no significant proof of consistent coercion,” the opinion reads. They also ruled that Vandolder-Beaudin did not bring the means of voting to any students.

The board found the disqualification of the remaining candidates unjustified. “Due to the fact that the only evidence provided by Florian at the time of the disqualification was against Danielle, we, therefore, find the disqualification of the remaining seven members unjustified,” the decision reads. The CEO has 24 hours after issuing a disqualification to publicly announce the sanction, and must cite all evidence used in the decision.

In addition to ruling on the disqualifications, the board recommended that several clarifications be made to the standing regulations to prevent future incidents. These include the definitions of the terms “pressure,” “bringing the means of voting,” and “serious breach,” as well as the distinction between an individual and a slate.

Kalafatidis declined to issue a statement on the ruling.

Photo by Ian Down.

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News

The age of consent

Eighteen months after making national headlines with its action plan on campus sexual violence, Students for Consent Culture (SFCC) released its first retrospective report last Wednesday.

SFCC is a national collective of students dedicated to fighting campus sexual violence and reforming university sexual violence policies. The group supersedes OurTurn National, which was founded by a group of Carleton students in 2016.

The retrospective report was pushed after one of OurTurn’s board members abruptly incorporated the group last year. All other board members were fired in the process. Those students then went on to form Students for Consent Culture.

In October 2017, OurTurn published OurTurn: A National, Student-Led Action Plan to End Campus Sexual Violence. Released just one week after allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein were made public, the report quickly made national headlines. SFCC National Chair Connor Spencer credits the timing of the report with boosting the action plan’s public profile.

Spencer also said it was the first real attempt to identify best practices for university sexual violence policies. “The combination just sort of made it spiral way past the impact we thought it was going to have,” said Spencer. “We knew what we had created was important, but we had no idea people were finally ready to listen.”

Since the OurTurn report was released, members of SFCC have participated in eight federal and five provincial consultations on sexual violence. OurTurn’s chair at the time, Caitlin Salvino, was appointed to the Federal Status of Women Gender-Based Violence Committee. The report has been mentioned four times in the House of Commons.

The OurTurn report’s scorecard, which drew considerable media attention, assigned letter grades to university sexual violence policies. With a grade of D-, Concordia received the lowest score of the 15 schools evaluated. A lack of a proper standalone policy, the inclusion of a frivolous complaints clause, and a failure to acknowledge the existence of rape culture on campus, were among the reasons cited.

“Despite the extensive media attention, the goal of the report and scorecard was not to embarrass institutions, but rather to fill a knowledge gap in best practices for campus policies in order to empower student activists and advocates,” the retrospective report reads.

Instead of new grades for each policy, the retrospective report includes a template for students to grade their own schools’ policies. CSU General Coordinator Sophie Hough-Martin graded Concordia’s old and new sexual violence policies, the latter of which was released in December 2018. She gave the old policy 37 points out of 100; The OurTurn team had given it 52. “The initial policy evaluation by OurTurn was hyper-inflated, as it counted common practices that weren’t included in the policy itself,” she said.

Hough-Martin gave the new policy 52 points out of 100. “The only substantive improvements were that we gained 3 points in the section on education. Additionally, for the formal and informal processes [for handling a complaint], our grade improved from 5/30 to 13/30.”

“With that said, the document is still highly referential and reliant on other policy processes,” said Hough-Martin. “It does not stand alone as defined in the OurTurn: One Year Later report

Spencer said SFCC is working on new grades for each school, which will be released in fall 2019.”

The new report also includes a list of best practices for university sexual violence policies. Among these, universities must have a stand-alone policy. This policy must include rape-shield protections that prohibit investigators from questioning complainants about their sexual history. It must also acknowledge the existence of rape culture on campuses. Spencer defined rape culture as “a sociocultural understanding that promotes or enables sexual violence or the disbelief of women when they come forward.”

The anniversary report also outlines what shouldn’t be included in a sexual violence policy. Notably, it says that policies must not include a frivolous complaints section that discourages students from knowingly filing false reports. “Such a clause is likely to deter someone from deciding to file a complaint through the policy,” the report reads.

Policies must also not include time limits for filing complaints, or exception clauses. The former allow administrators to intervene in the complaint process to influence the outcome. Spencer said such policies are rare, with one example mentioned in the anniversary report coming from the University of Ottawa’s policy: “An exception to this policy will only be considered by the president in rare or in unforeseen circumstances.”

“Let’s say that a donor’s child is accused, and is going through a process and is going to be reprimanded. The president could step in and be like ‘nope, never mind,’” said Spencer.

The retrospective report lays out SFCC’s plans for the future. They will publish an evaluation of the changes in sexual violence policies across the country in the past two years. They will create a cross-country support network for students fighting sexual violence. In January 2020, SFCC will publish a national research report on predatory professors.

Graphic by Zeze Le Lin.

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News

In brief: Champlain bridge, carbon tax, Jamal Kashoggi

City in brief

The STM board of directors voted to grant its inspectors new powers to detain passengers and issue parking tickets on Wednesday, according to CTV. The vote needs to be approved by the SPVM and Quebec’s public security minister. If approved, inspectors will also have the ability to tow cars in bus lanes and to access police databases.

Signature sur le Saint-Laurent, the consortium responsible for building the new Champlain bridge, announced on Thursday the bridge will be opening in June, according to Radio-Canada. The bridge will be open inbound to Montreal on June 3, and outbound on June 17. The $4 billion project has been in the works for four years.

The number of foreign buyers in Montreal’s housing market increased by more than 20 per cent from 2017-18, according to La Presse. These buyers, about one third of whom are from China, bought more properties on the island than all Canadians outside of Quebec. The provincial government has refused to grant Mayor Valérie Plante the power to impose taxes on foreign property transactions.

Former Mayor Denis Coderre will fight in a charity boxing match for at-risk youth at the end of next month, according to The Montreal Gazette. Coderre, who has reportedly lost 100 pounds since his tenure as mayor, showed off his sparring skills to the media last Thursday. The same day, the veteran politician said in an interview with Tout le monde en parle he will not run in the next municipal election.

Nation in brief

Former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and former Secretary of the Treasury Board Jane Philpott were expelled from the Liberal caucus last Tuesday, according to Global News. In his announcement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cited disintegrating trust with the former cabinet members amid the fallout from the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Trudeau and members of his office are accused of pressuring Wilson-Raybould to reach a deferred settlement in a bribery case against the Quebec engineering firm.

The federal government imposed carbon taxes on four provinces last week, according to The Guardian. Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick now have a $20 per tonne tax on carbon pollution, which will rise by $10 per year until 2022. Every province was mandated to implement its own carbon tax by April 1 or be subject to the federal tax.

Nova Scotia will soon have implied consent for organ donation, making it the first such jurisdiction in North America, according to CBC. Premier Stephen McNeil tabled the legislation last Tuesday, which would compel those who do not wish to donate their organs to opt out. Belgium and Spain already have similar laws.

Whale and dolphin captivity may soon become illegal thanks to a bill passed by the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans studies on Wednesday, according to CBC. If it passes Parliament, the new law would impose fines of up to $200,000 on theme parks found to have the animals in captivity. Marineland in Niagara Falls is the only Canadian theme park that still holds whales and dolphins on a long-term basis.

World in brief

A Sikh climate activist is encouraging Sikhs around the world to plant one million trees in 2019, according to The Guardian. Rajwant Singh of EcoSikh planned the movement to coincide with the 550th birthday of the religion’s founder, Guru Nanak, on April 15. Sikhs across the world have taken up the challenge, including in India, Canada, the United States and Kenya.

A Chinese ambassador discouraged other countries from participating in a meeting on China’s alleged human rights violations, according to Hong Kong Free Press. China is allegedly holding over one million of the country’s predominantly-Muslim Uighur in detainment camps. In a letter made public by Human Rights Watch, Ambassador Yu Jianhua said the UN meeting on China’s treatment of its Uighur minority population was politically motivated.

The Saudi government is giving the children of journalist Jamal Khashoggi luxury homes and five-figure monthly payouts, according to The Washington Post. The gifts are reportedly compensation for the killing of their father last October, as well as enouragement to withhold criticism of his murder. Kashoggi’s alleged killers are still on trial in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman continues to deny involvement in the murder.

A Bruneian law making gay sex punishable by stoning to death came into effect on Wednesday, according to CNN. In response, businesses across the world have announced boycotts against businesses owned by the southeast Asian country. Among the companies are TV Choice magazine, which intended to host the TV Choice awards in Brunei, and the German bank Deutsche Bank.

Graphic by @sundaemorningcoffee

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News

Enough is enough for FASA

Fine Arts students vote to disaffiliate from provincial student association

Concordia’s Fine Arts Student Alliance (FASA) voted to disaffiliate from its provincial student association last week.

In FASA’s general elections, fine arts students approved a referendum to formally cut ties with l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (ASSÉ). Students were given three options on the ballot: disaffiliate from ASSÉ, move for ASSÉ’s dissolution at the association’s next congress, or remain paying members.

“The disaffiliation is immediate,” said Clara Micheau, FASA’s finance coordinator. “By our members choosing disaffiliation, we are no longer part of ASSÉ.”

“The fee-levy collected twice a year for FASA’s ASSÉ membership will no longer be collected, as of fall 2019.”

The now-failing coalition was once called “Quebec’s most militant student association” by Le Devoir. Founded at the University of Sherbrooke in 2001, ASSÉ was born out of the protests of the Summit of the Americas in Quebec city. The association was at the centre of the Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante, a union of several student associations at the forefront of the 2012 tuition hike protests. At the time, Québec Solidaire’s Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois was the coalition’s spokesperson.

With the departure of FASA, ASSÉ’s members include 24 university and nine CEGEP student associations. FASA became a member of the association through referendum in 2014. Fine arts students paid $1.50 per semester into the association.

FASA published a guide leading up to the vote, explaining the referendum question to students. “The dismantlement of ASSÉ would create a hole, which will take a few years to fill, and it is an inconvenient political period for our community to have an unstable ground,” the guide reads. “That said, ASSÉ’s inactivity cannot be overlooked.”

In particular, the guide criticized the association for not doing more to join the current mobilization against unpaid internships. In September 2018, ASSÉ launched a campaign against the commercialization and privatization of education. Michaud said FASA took this as a sign that the association had lost touch with its members. “The commercialization and privatization of education is a current and extremely concerning problem. However, it’s not what associations across Quebec have informally chosen to mobilize against. In 2018-19, students in Quebec have been going to assemblies to discuss unpaid internships and vote for strikes. You can’t claim to be one of the biggest national combative unions but decide to choose a different issue than the one discussed by student groups.”

ASSÉ previously discussed dissolving at a congress in February 2018. However, the association’s members did not have the necessary mandate from their student bodies to vote to dissolve. Instead, members moved to hold a national assembly in fall 2018 to discuss restructuring the association. It is unclear whether or not the meeting took place.

“For several years, especially since spring 2015, ASSÉ has been an organization that, despite the immeasurable contributions of many militants, no longer seems fit to respond to the needs of its members,” the motion of dissolution read. In April 2015, the association’s entire executive team was impeached. This happened after the association suggested its members organize a strategic withdrawal from the austerity protests rather than continue protesting.

Currently, four of the association’s eight executive positions remain vacant. This is a decrease from the executive’s seven vacancies in 2018.

Documents from the Feb. 2018 meeting show that ASSÉ was collectively owed around $308,000 from its members. Only eight of 46 members had paid their full fees. At the same meeting, members unanimously voted to suspend three members who had not paid their fees or attended meetings since joining in 2016. These were l’Association étudiante de littérature comparée de l’Université de Montréal, l’Association étudiante du Collège d’Alma, and l’Association étudiante d’histoire de l’Université de Montréal.

The situation has worsened since then. According to FASA’s handout, only two member associations, including FASA itself, have paid their fees in full. Given ASSÉ’s precarious financial situation, the handout reads “Our decision is conclusive of ASSÉ’s future.” FASA’s financial information is not available on its website.

Michaud said that if ASSÉ does dissolve, “a committee might be established to discuss the building of a new student union. FASA is interested in the committee and has planned to examine this idea in its upcoming meetings.”

The vote comes just months after the dissolution of the Concordia Student Union’s (CSU) provincial student association, Association pour la voix Étudiante au Québec.

ASSÉ did not respond to a request for comment.

Graphic by Ana Bilokin.

A previous version of this article quoted Clara Micheau as saying “By our members choosing disaffiliation, we are no longer part of ASSÉ and therefore can’t attend the next congress.” Micheau has since corrected the record, saying that FASA may in fact attend the next ASSÉ congress.

In addition, statements to the effect that FASA “disbanded” from ASSÉ have been corrected to state that FASA “disaffiliated” from ASSÉ.

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Concordia Student Union News

CSU candidates face off

Members of three slates debate student apathy, sexual assault

 

Sustainability, sexual violence and student engagement were the main themes of the night as candidates for the Concordia Student Union’s (CSU) general elections participated in a debate on Monday.

Candidates squared off in front of an audience of about 60 students in the Hall building’s seventh-floor lounge. Candidates for each position took the floor alongside their opponents to answer pre-submitted questions and those from the audience.

“What do we stand for? It’s in the name,” said Chris Kalafatidis, the general coordinator candidate for the slate Cut the Crap. “But most of all, we want to clean the bathrooms.” Kalafatidis is a fourth-year political science student, CSU councillor and the president of the Political Science Students Association. He emphasized sustainability, saying it was “the one issue every student is affected by.”

Kalafatidis’s opponent, Margot Berner, stressed the need to combat sexual violence and hold the administration accountable in light of Concordia’s sexual violence scandal. “We have to be able to hold our administration accountable past the end of the year,” said Berner, who represents the slate riZe. A third-year English student and CSU councillor, Berner helped  redesign the Arts and Science Federation of Associations’ (ASFA) anti-harassment and sexual violence policy last fall. She also pledged to bring international students into the CSU’s health plan.

Members of the third slate, New Community, faced tough questions about their connections to the Solidarity Economy Incubation Zone (SEIZE). SEIZE is a Concordia-based group whose goal is to support local businesses that operate in the solidarity economy. This semester, their proposed fee levy referendum was rejected twice by the CSU’s council. Now, New Community, whose candidate for general coordinator, Marcus Peters, is also the project leader of SEIZE, has made the group a key part of its platform.

Political science student and former CSU councillor Alex Karasick asked if the slate’s intention was to promote SEIZE’s agenda, despite being rejected by council twice. Although SEIZE was a key part of their platform, external affairs candidate for New Community, Jessica Avalos Salas responded that the resources New Community was promising to provide would be accessible to all students.

Candidates also addressed the issue of student awareness of the CSU. “I think it’s pretty sad when Concordia Spotted has more likes on Facebook than the CSU,” said Kalafatidis. Peters said the key to promoting engagement is to appeal to the diverse interests of the student body.

Only CSU councillor Jane Lefebvre-Prevost ran independently, under the banner “No More Slates.” In her pitch for academic and advocacy coordinator, the fourth-year women’s studies student emphasized the need to support low-income students. She said that when she first became a Concordia student, she relied on food banks. “When you’re putting this much into your studies [as a low-income student] and you’re barely even making even, why even try?,” she asked. If elected, Lefebvre-Prevost said she would advocate for a subsidized tutoring program.

Monday also marked the first day of the campaign period, which will continue until April 1. Polling takes place between April 2 and April 4.

Photo by Hannah Ewen.

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News

Investment Management tuition hike

Domestic and international students will pay different fees in three programs

 

Concordia’s Board of Governors has approved a tuition hike for the John Molson School of Business’s (JMSB) Goodman Institute of Investment Management.

The Goodman Institute offers a diploma, master’s and MBA in investment management. The increase, which will not apply to current students, will mark the first time since the Institute’s creation in 2001 that domestic and international students will pay different fees. The programs’s fees have been $18,000 a year for all students since 2012. In fall 2019, annual tuition will increase by $4,000, totalling $22,000 for domestic students, and by $9,000, totalling $27,000, for international students. Annual tuition for all students will then rise by $1,000 in both 2020 and 2021. This means a three-year master’s degree will cost $72,000 for domestic students and $87,000 for international students starting in fall 2021.

The changes were approved by the board in a meeting on March 13. In a PowerPoint presentation dated Feb. 25, which was included in the documentation for the meeting, JMSB Dean Anne-Marie Croteau cited increases in costs for technology and space, international enrolment, and “students’ needs related to professional and career development support” as reasons for the hike.

Because of these costs, the presentation says the Institute “will turn to a loss situation, given no increase in the last 7 years.”

“We need a financially healthy program in order to make the changes necessary to keep the program as one of the top offerings of JMSB,” the report reads.

The Goodman Institute is a private program that doesn’t receive funding from the provincial government. In addition to providing a degree or diploma, the program is designed to prepare students for the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, which the institute’s website calls “a passport to entry or advancement within the investment management profession.”

Croteau said she does not expect the increased tuition to affect international enrolment.

When asked why the Goodman Institute did not increase tuition for all students in the program equally, Croteau said, “it has become clear to us that to adequately prepare international students for the job market, there are additional costs.”

Croteau said the institute held off on increasing tuition by trying to limit expenses, “but rising fixed costs have now reached a point where, if enrolment remains constant, we will be forced to run a deficit.”

The day after the meeting, the Concordia Student Union issued a statement condemning the vote. “With the government’s move to deregulate almost all international programs, yesterday’s decision is an alarming preview of Concordia’s willingness to cash in and seize opportunities to profit from our education,” the union wrote in a Facebook post.

In May 2018, the Quebec government announced that it would deregulate tuition for all international students starting in the 2019-20 academic year. This will allow universities to set their own tuition rates for these students. However, tuition for international students in JMSB and the Goodman Institute was already unregulated at the time of the announcement.

Graphic by @sundaemorningcoffee

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News

In brief: Speed limits, sage grouse, smallpox

City in brief

Mayor Valérie Plante announced her administration will lower speed limits across the city in an effort to reduce pedestrian and cyclist deaths, according to CBC. The speed limit on main streets will be reduced to 40 km/h, and on residential streets to 30 km/h. Twenty-six pedestrians and cyclists were killed in Montreal in 2017, down from 56 in 2006.

A South Shore man is seeking nearly $1.2 million in damages from the Verdun Hospital after staff allegedly failed to inform him of his cancer diagnosis, according to The Montreal Gazette. Régis Thibert, 57, was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in 2018, three years after his visit to the Verdun Hospital. The suit alleges that Thibert could have been cured had he been informed of his diagnosis in 2015.

The Réseau express métropolitain has removed around 5,400 parking spots from its plans for light rail stations across the Greater Montreal Area, according to Radio-Canada. The stations will have approximately 10,000 combined parking spots, whereas previous plans had promised just over 15,400. The stations in Pointe-Claire and Kirkland, which were meant to have 1,500 and 500 parking spots respectively, will now have none.

Veteran News Anchor Mutsumi Takahashi was awarded the Order of Canada on Thursday, according to CTV. Takahashi, who has worked at CTV News since 1982, was recognized for her contribution to broadcast journalism, as well as various charitable endeavours.

Nation in brief

Quebec may buy SNC-Lavalin shares to keep it in business, according to CBC. Premier François Legault said he would not rule out the move, as the Montreal-based construction firm grapples with fraud charges. Former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from the Liberal cabinet in February after reportedly facing inappropriate pressure from her colleagues to reach a deferred settlement with the company.

The RCMP is investigating claims of election fraud stemming from the 2017 United Conservative Party (UCP) leadership race in Alberta, according to The National Post. UCP Leader Jason Kenney is accused of conspiring with his opponent, Jeff Callaway, to sabotage the campaign of another opponent, Brian Jean. Alberta will have another provincial election in 2019.

An eight-year-old Edmonton boy was found safe on Saturday morning after an Amber Alert was issued for his whereabouts on Friday evening, according to CBC. Police praised the Amber Alert system for helping to locate the boy, who had been taken by his mother in violation of a parenting order.

Sixty-six greater sage grouse were released into the wild in an effort to save the endangered birds, according to Canadian Geographic. The National Conservancy of Canada, the Calgary Zoo and Parks Canada joined together for the project. Only an estimated 200 birds still exist in the wild.

World in brief

Fifty people were killed at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand when a gunman opened fire on Friday, according to stuff. A 28-year-old man is in custody in connection with the shootings. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the attacks an act of terrorism, and called for the country’s gun laws to be tightened.

Children in Italy will now have to be vaccinated in order to attend school, according to BBC. The new law includes a list of mandatory vaccines that children must receive, including those for measles and smallpox. Italy’s vaccination rate was less than 80 per cent at the time the law was passed on Monday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal was defeated for a second time in Parliament by 149 votes on Wednesday, according to CNBC. The House of Commons then voted to delay the UK’s withdrawal from the EU past the current March 29 deadline, according to BBC. Such a delay needs to be approved by the 27 other countries in the EU.

George Pell, an Australian cardinal and the former treasurer of the Catholic Church, was sentenced to six years in prison on Wednesday, according to ABC. Pell, one of the most powerful Catholics in Australia, was convicted in December 2018 for sexually abusing two choirboys in the 1990s.

Graphic by @sundaemorningcoffee

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News

Board of Governors approves tuition hike for investment management programs

Increase will mark the first time that domestic and international students will pay different fees for the three programs

Concordia’s Board of Governors has approved a tuition hike for the John Molson School of Business’s (JMSB) Goodman Institute for Investment Management.

The Goodman Institute offers a diploma, master’s and MBA in investment management. The increase, which will not apply to current students, will mark the first time since the Institute’s creation in 2001 that domestic and international students will pay different fees. The programs’s fees have been $18,000 a year for all students since 2012. In fall 2019, annual tuition will increase by $4,000, totalling to $22,000 for domestic students, and by $9,000, totalling to $27,000, for international students. Tuition for all students will then rise by $1,000 annually in 2020 and 2021. This means a three-year master’s degree will cost $72,000 for domestic students and $87,000 for international students starting in fall 2021.

The changes were approved by the board in a meeting on March 13. In a PowerPoint presentation dated Feb. 25, which was included in the documentation for the meeting, JMSB Dean Anne-Marie Croteau cited increases in: costs for technology and space; international enrolment; and “students’ needs related to professional and career development support” as reasons for the hike.

Because of these costs, the presentation says the Institute “will turn to a loss situation given no increase in the last 7 years.”

“We need a financially healthy program in order to make the changes necessary to keep the program as one of the top offerings of JMSB,” the report reads.

The Goodman Institute is a private program that doesn’t receive funding from the provincial government. In addition to providing a degree or diploma, the program is designed to prepare students for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, which the institute’s website calls “a passport to entry or advancement within the investment management profession.”

This story will be updated as more details become available.
Photo by Mia Anhoury

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Concordia Student Union News

SEIZE vote back on CSU agenda

Council previously denied solidarity cooperative incubator a place on upcoming election ballot

At the urging of several councillors, the Concordia Student Union (CSU) will hold a second vote on the Solidarity Economy Incubation Zone’s (SEIZE) proposed fee levy referendum for the upcoming general elections.

Four CSU councillors—Samantha Candido, Samuel Miriello, Eliza McFarlane and Victoria Pesce—wrote a letter to CSU Chair Caitlin Robinson, asking her to include a second vote on the agenda for the council meeting on March 13.

SEIZE is a Concordia-based group whose goal is to support solidarity co-ops on and around campus. They are seeking a 35 cent per-credit fee levy to fund their operations. In a secret ballot on Feb. 20, council voted against SEIZE having a fee levy referendum in the general elections. This came after more than 900 students signed a petition in support of the referendum, which was then approved by the CSU’s policy committee.

“We have come to the conclusion that the representatives of council did not vet the SEIZE project in good faith, and therefore invalidated the vote exercised on February 20th, 2019,” the letter to the chair reads. “We believe students are entitled to a fair vetting process for all projects.” Miriello confirmed the item had been put on the agenda in a statement to The Concordian.

“In voting down a grassroots student initiative through secret ballot, the CSU denied undergrads the chance to vote on creating a new economy, ignoring their own policy committee, mandates, and the voices of more than 900 students in the process,” said SEIZE in a written statement to The Concordian.

For a fee levy question to go to ballot, it must be approved by both the CSU’s policy committee and council. “Policy committee has a very specific mandate, they do not look at the mission or the mandate [of the organization],” said CSU Academic and Advocacy Coordinator Mikaela Clark-Gardner, who chairs the policy committee. “That’s up to the students to decide whether or not they like the idea.”

The CSU’s bylaws direct the policy committee to “verify the signatures on the submitted petition, to consider whether the wording of the question is prejudicial to the outcome, and whether the group’s proposed constitution would reasonably allow such an organization to operate and manage the funds being requested.” However, no such guidelines exist for council.

Clark-Gardner said SEIZE fulfilled all of the criteria for a fee levy application, including a budget, a policy document and a petition with at least 750 signatures. However, she said that the committee was also concerned about the fees associated with membership. To qualify as a user member, a student or community member must pay annual dues. Employees of the co-op (or “worker members”) must pay a deposit equal to 1 per cent of their salary. “If you’re having a fee levy that all students are paying into, it should be inclusive to all students,” said Clark-Gardner. “We were worried that the regulations for becoming a member would be a little bit too restrictive, and that they should be able to open their membership without this criteria of payment.”

Marcus Peters, SEIZE’s project leader, clarified that Concordia students would not have to pay dues outside of the fee levy. He said having employees pay a deposit is standard practice for a co-op. “Worker members are expected in cooperatives to put in a personal investment so they can have a demonstrable ownership stake in the organization.”

The committee also raised concerns about the broad scope of SEIZE’s plan. The first draft of its bylaws stated that “the business of the Co-op will be carried on in every province and territory of Canada and elsewhere and may include the provision of services for international organizations.”

“Their focus should really be in Montreal and on the Concordia campus, because that’s where their money is coming from and that’s where the students that they’re supposed to be supporting [are],” said Clark- Gardner.

SEIZE’s history dates back to 2015, when Concordia students and community members formed a working group on promoting solidarity cooperatives. “SEIZE is advocating that we channel the talents and ambitions of student and community entrepreneurs into creating cooperative businesses built around solidarity principles, and in so doing help facilitate an economic transition into a post-capitalist society,” according to their website.

Shortly after SEIZE’s founding, in November 2015, the student body approved a referendum encouraging the CSU to fund a solidarity economy incubator, as previously reported by The Concordian.

In a separate referendum question, SEIZE will ask for a 35 cent per-credit reduction in the fee levy for the CSU’s Student Space, Accessible Education, and Legal Contingency (SSAELC) fund to compensate for their proposed fee levy.

Photo by Mia Anhoury.

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CGA trial hears final arguments

Centre for Gender Advocacy, provincial government wrap up hearings

Nearly all of the 50 seats in the courtroom were filled on the last day of the Centre for Gender Advocacy’s (CGA) lawsuit against the Quebec Government.

On Feb. 27, the provincial government’s defence team made their final arguments. In their argument, the defence addressed the testimonies made throughout the trial. During seven weeks of hearings, the topics ranged from transgender youth, to parents, immigrants, and nonbinary people.

The CGA is seeking to invalidate several articles of the Civil Code of Québec it claims violate the rights of transgender and gender nonbinary people. Article 62 states that transgender youth 14 years and older must have parental consent to change their legal name. “We want to make sure a minor has the cognitive abilities to make this decision,” said defence lawyer Stephanie Roberts in defence of the legislation.

Defence lawyer Sophie Primeau argued it was no longer necessary to change the laws regarding gender markers on birth certificates. Because of article 146 of the Civil code, Quebec residents must choose to identify as either male or female on official documentation. However, during the first day of testimony on Jan. 15, the Directeur de l’état civil—the provincial body responsible for drawing up birth, death, and marriage certificates—announced it would remove gender markers from personal identification upon request. This is an administrative change that does not alter the Civil Code.

Primeau added that allowing non-citizens to change their name and gender marker on their documentation could cause complications across national borders. Quebec is currently the only province requiring a person to be a citizen to change their name or gender marker on their personal identification cards.

In January, Françoise Susset, a psychologist and transgender activist, testified on the stigma faced by transgender youth. She said young people often fail to receive parental permission to change their name and gender marker. The defence argued that because the CGA had not found a trans minor to testify, they had not presented enough evidence to show that parental stigma was a prevalent issue.

Following the defence’s arguments, plaintiff lawyer Audrey Boctor delivered her final remarks. She sounded choked up as she responded to the defence’s criticisms of her case. She said the lawsuit was about the fundamental right to human dignity. “I ask myself if the attorney general really understands what human dignity means,” she said.

Boctor said administrative changes are not enough to address the issues raised by the CGA’s lawsuit, since changing the legislation itself would help validate transgender and nonbinary identities. “When I hear these arguments, it just underscores why it is so important to go beyond the cosmetic changes that are being proposed,” she said.

Regarding the lack of a testimony from a transgender youth, Boctor said it had been “impossible” to find someone who fit the criteria. For someone to testify against article 62, they would have to have applied for a name change and been refused because they lacked parental consent, and still be willing to testify.

Boctor said the idea that allowing non-citizens to change their gender markers poses a security concern only “contributes to the stigma” around transgender immigrants.

Hon. Judge Gregory Moore said the final words of the day. “[This case] touches people in their daily lives, but it also reaches really deeply into how society is organized in a civil law jurisdiction, into how Quebec and Canada are organized in terms of fundamental rights,” he said.

“We are happy with the work our lawyers have done,” said D.T, a trans advocate and educator with the CGA, who spearheaded the lawsuit. “Much of what the government is saying has been deconstructed by our lawyers. There is no credibility to their argument.”

Moore said he could not give a definite timeline for when he would render his decision. “It won’t be tomorrow, but it won’t be next year,” he said.

Photo by Ian Down.

Update on Jan. 31. 2024 – One of the sources named in the article has come forward and requested to be anonymous.

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Quebec is put back on the stand

Gender advocacy lawsuit challenges Quebec’s awareness of transgender issues

When the cross-examination was over, Hon. Judge Gregory Moore congratulated Louis-Simon Corriveau for keeping his composure on the witness stand. The questioning Corriveau endured was one of the more aggressive during the five weeks of hearings, according to Moore. “You did very well,” the judge said.

Corriveau is an equality consultant in the Secrétariat à la condition féminine, which advises the provincial government on matters of equality between men and women. On Friday, Feb. 15, he was asked questions from Plaintiff Lawyer Audrey Boctor, who represents Concordia’s Centre for Gender Advocacy (CGA) in its lawsuit against the provincial government.

Since the beginning of January, the CGA has been challenging sections of the Civil Code of Québec that it says violate the rights of transgender and gender nonbinary people—in particular, transgender and nonbinary parents, immigrants and youth.

To understand how government decisions promote or diminish equality between men and women, the provincial government uses a method called Gender-Based Analysis (GBA). Canada committed to the practice in 1995 as part of the United Nations’s Beijing Platform for Action, according to the Government of Canada’s website.

However, in 2011, Status of Women Canada (now the Department for Women and Gender Equality) revamped the process to include other factors in its analysis, including age, physical ability, race, and ethinicity. The new system, GBA+, also accounts for transgender and gender nonbinary people. Quebec has not committed to adopting GBA+.

The Secrétariat à la condition féminine is tasked with encouraging government bodies and officials to implement GBA. While ministries may choose to keep track of data on transgender and gender nonbinary people, Corriveau said his agency cannot compel them to do so.

“If we have data about trans and nonbinary people, we include it,” said Corriveau. “Inclusion of different variables depends on accessibility of data.”

The defense asked Corriveau if people identifying as a gender that didn’t match their biological sex affected the reliability of their data. Corriveau responded that the Secrétariat is concerned first and foremost with biological sex in its analyses, and that gender identity is only “a compliment” to that data.

During her cross-examination, Boctor passed around documents from other provincial governments outlining their strategies regarding GBA. Ontario’s plan acknowledges trans and nonbinary people in its data collection, in addition to cis men and women. Alberta’s plan acknowledges that “gender is only one factor” in understanding the barriers that people face in society. Quebec’s plan makes no mention of either transgender or nonbinary people. However, it does recommend that government bodies take into account “age, education, income, cultural community affiliations, disabilities, regions, or health, along with any other relevant variables.”

Boctor criticized Corriveau for his knowledge of these policies. “You’ve been at the Ministry [for the status of women] for a year and a half and you’re not aware of what’s going on in [other provinces]?” she asked.

Corriveau told The Concordian he was not authorized to answer questions about his testimony.

*  * *

“A thorn in the foot of a lion.”

After a two-hour break, the court heard testimony from Roger Noël, the coordinator of the Bureau de lutte contre l’homophobie (BLH). It was this testimony that drew Raphaële Frigon to the courthouse on Friday. Frigon works for the trans advocacy group, Fierté trans – Euphorie dans le genre. She is frustrated with the difficulty her organization has in acquiring government grants from BLH, especially compared to more general LGBTQ+ advocacy groups. “We just applied for a grant from the programme de financement, and our grant got denied. And I think that’s interesting, given that we are running a trans project that is solely dedicated to trans issues,” she said.

While the lawsuit will not directly impact the funding these groups receive, Frigon is optimistic that it will inspire positive change. “It’s like a thorn in the foot of a lion, and you can tell it’s having some impact already, and I’m hopeful that something will come out [of it],” she said.

Friday’s testimony concluded the fifth week of the lawsuit’s hearings. Last week, the court heard from Jonathan Boisvert, the interim director of expertise and jurisdictional activities, on the legalities of changing names and gender markers in Quebec. Hearings will conclude on Feb. 27.

Photo by Ian Down.

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