The Check-In Podcast by Emily Pasquarelli #1 – “It wasn’t your fault”

Welcome to the Check-In Podcast, hosted by Emily Pasquarelli, a first year journalism student and a huge advocate for mental health. The Check-in Podcast will be a special series produced by The Concordian where Emily displays the importance of checking in with your close ones.

On this episode, Emily talks with Tyrelle Anasara-Diab about his experience with Quebec’s foster care system, and the effect it had on his mental health. He shares how he got through it, and the important people that helped him along the way…

Artwork by James Fay


New poll suggests young Quebecers support voting system reform

Young adults are ready to see a change in the current voting system, poll suggests

Following Coalition Avenir Québec’s (CAQ) victory in the provincial election, Léger conducted a survey for the Journal de Montréal asking 1,040 Quebecers aged 18 and over if they were in favour of reforming the current voting system. The data was collected from Oct. 2 to 7.

First-past-the-post (FPTP) is the current voting system, defined as a “winner-takes-all” system where the candidate with the most votes wins. Even if they don’t receive more than 50 per cent of the votes, they become the Member of Parliament for that riding and gain a seat in the House of Commons. Fair Vote Canada, a group in favour of electoral reform, describes the FPTP voting system as “distorted.”

“It [FPTP] fosters stability in general because it tends to generate majority governments rather than minority or coalition governments, as opposed to say, proportional representation,” said Dr. Daniel Béland, director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. 

“At the same time, there are a lot of votes that are lost, because you vote in your riding for a candidate. And if the candidate loses your vote doesn’t have much of an impact,” Béland said. 

Guy Lachapelle, political science professor at Concordia, Legault failed to deliver on his 2018 campaign promise to implement voting reform. 

“And this argument that he didn’t have the time to implement it, I think I don’t buy it because he had created a committee right when he was elected and he signed the agreement,” said Lachapelle.  

Legault also previously stated the issue of electoral reform was a matter concerning “a few intellectuals” and not the majority of Quebecers. However, Léger’s study revealed 53 per cent of Quebecers want the current electoral system to be reviewed due to the current misrepresentation as highlighted by Béland. 

Results also show that 59 per cent of the respondents aged from 18 to 34 are in favour of electoral reform. 

Mina Collin, a journalism and political science student at Concordia, shared her disappointment with the recent elections. 

“What we’ve seen with the elections that just passed on Oct. 3 is that the system that we have is not representative especially,” said Collin. 

The recent provincial elections enforce the idea of a “seat penalty” in the House of Commons whereby the popular vote doesn’t represent the number of seats elected.  

The study also indicates the current electoral system causes a discrepancy between the percentage of votes that a political party obtains across Quebec and the number of seats it has. 

“They had a majority of popular votes than for example the Liberal Party, but it’s the Liberal party that has more seats in the Assembly.” 

 The survey also shows that 59 per cent of voters aged 18-34 favour electoral reform. 

Noah Martin, a political science student at Concordia, explained his theory for the low voter turnout of 66 per cent during this election. 

“As a poli-sci student I will still vote, but if there were [a different] system where people’s voices can be heard and represented better, then I would think people would be more likely to vote,” suggested Martin. 

Though, as the study suggests the majority of Quebecers wish for electoral reform, change is unlikely to happen in the next few years. 

“I don’t think change will happen in Quebec, anytime soon, because the current government doesn’t want change to take place, because the system works for them. They got barely 40 per cent of the vote, and they got more than 70 per cent of the seats,” said Bélanger. 

“It’s not going to happen as long as the CAQ is in power with the majority government,” he added.

Graphic by James Fay


CFBA: The student source for all things fashion business

The CSU organization is the on-campus remedy for all your vogue cravings

The Concordia Fashion Business Association (CFBA) was founded in 2017 in order to connect student fashion enthusiasts to the industry by providing events, cocktails, talks, and mentorship involving experienced professionals in the field.  

The CFBA isn’t “just about networking with professionals, but other students as well because there aren’t any means provided by the school to do that,” mentioned CFBA co-president Sydnee Grill. 

Last year featured the first appearance of the Cocktails & Connections event held at Apt. 200, where the turnout of business-professional guests and student attendees alike surpassed expectations. The guest speaker for the night was Zach Macklovitch, co-founder of Saintwoods. 

“This year we want to do it bigger and better because we won’t have to worry about the vaxicode,” said Grill, “and we have a much higher cap on the amount of people who can attend the venue.”

Before 2021, the CFBA only held one or two of these events per year. Fashion Conversations was the recurring activity, which won an award for Best Virtual Event 2020-21 from the CSU. The fashion conference includes different events involving several speakers, workshops and a session after a cocktail event for recruiters to talk to students.

The club will also participate in Fashion Spectrum, a Quebec-wide case competition for all universities. The deadline to enter is Nov. 14 for students who want to get involved and enhance their skills in fashion and business. The competition is from Jan. 13 through 16, and the team will meet weekly with fashion mentors in order to prepare. 

As for the weekly timings, the CFBA meets once a week on Sundays for a general meeting. Closer to an event, many more meetings and a lot more work and time is put in.  

“At that point the events team is planning, the business relations team is reaching out to sponsors and speakers inviting guests and the social media team is pumping out all the content for that event,” said Grill.

“In the past, websites have been the main source to find business information. Now, Instagram is the top platform to keep consumers up to date, whether it’s student-run or professionally run,” added the co-president.

This year, the club’s new content creator Lucie Sarrazin created and posted a video on “what Concordia students are wearing” that garnered almost 50,000 views on Instagram. From that video, the club gained around 300 new followers in a matter of two weeks — more than what they gained throughout all of last year. 

“If you don’t go out and seek us out, the only other place you’re going to find us apart from going straight to our website is finding us on the CSU clubs website page. Every time someone new finds us, they’re amazed at how they’ve never heard of us,” Grill said.

Stay tuned for late April activities involving Concordia-based businesses and possible thrifting. 

This Nov. 10 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., students who attend the event at Apt. 200 will be able to network with each other and business-professional guests over food and drinks. The event will also feature a main guest speaker who will speak for 30 to 45 minutes.


Quebec elections: CAQ wins a majority government

Graphic by Carleen Loney

The votes are in. Coalition Avenir Québec will remain in power until 2026

François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) has been elected for a second mandate as the Quebec premier with a majority government and will remain in power until 2026. 

The CAQ won 41 per cent of the vote and 90 seats in the National Assembly, the most seats any party has ever won in Quebec since 1989. This marked an increase of 16 seats since the 2018 elections. 

“We had a clear message. Quebecers sent a powerful message. Quebecers told us: let’s continue!” shouted Legault during his victory speech. 

The voter turnout was also slightly lower than in 2018. 66.07 per cent of Quebecers voted this year, compared to 66.45 per cent in 2018. 

Here’s what you need to know about the CAQ’s promises for its second mandate: 


  • Reduce the annual threshold of immigrants from 70,000 to 50,000 for the next four years
  • Invest  $130 million to make it easier for immigrants to have their professional skills acquired abroad recognized


  • Additional $2 billion over four years to renovate and update schools, besides
  • Investment of $348 million in vocational training to help address the labour shortage

Climate change: 

  • Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 37.5 per cent below 1990 levels 
  • Wants to reach carbon neutrality by 2050

Health care:

  • Open two private clinics in underserviced areas of Montreal’s east end and Quebec city
  • Investment of $400 million to train and recruit 660 more physicians and 5,000 other health professionals

Cost of living: 

  • $600 will be given to Quebecers making less than $50,000 annually
  • $400 to those earning between $50,000 and $100,000
  • Annual allowance up to $2,000 to people aged 70 and up

Concordia For Dummies: The Provincial Elections

Welcome to The Podcast. Cedric Gallant will produce and host this podcast alongside our Section Editors every week. The shows will rotate weekly to cover topics from each section of our newspaper!

This week’s show, Concordia for Dummies, was produced by Cedric Gallant, Gabriel Guindi, alongside our News Editors, Hannah Tiongson, Lucas Marsh, and Staff Writer Mareike Glorieux-Stryckman. Tune in for future episodes of Concordia for Dummies, where we explore topics on students minds throughout the school year.

In this episode:

Cedric Gallant covers this week’s headlines and shares interviews with First Nations leaders around Montreal reflecting on Truth and Reconciliation Day (Sept. 30).

For our Concordia for Dummies segment this week, we decided to host a discussion between a few members of our staff, all of whom came to Concordia with different backgrounds, cultures, nationhood, and native languages. Listen in for a roundtable discussion on the various Quebec party platforms as we head into our Provincial Election Day tomorrow, Oct. 2.

Thanks for listening and make sure to tune in next week!


Concordia’s stance on the new proposed bill about academic freedom

Newly proposed Bill 32 will protect academic freedom in classrooms, according to Quebec’s higher education minister

Quebec recently proposed a new bill that will allow any form of speech to be used in an academic context. 

Many university students voiced their concerns and anger following the recent events of professors saying the N-word in classrooms for educational purposes. 

The first incident occurred at the University of Ottawa in 2020 when professor Verushka Lieutenant-Duval was suspended after using the N-word in class. A similar incident happened at Concordia in February 2021, when a Concordia faculty member also used the slur during a lecture. 

During the press conference, Danielle McCann, Quebec’s higher education minister, said these events highlight the importance of protecting academic freedom in classrooms. 

“Censorship has no place in our classrooms. It will never happen, and we must protect faculty from censorship,” said McCann. “Classes are not safe spaces, but spaces for debate,” she added.

Amaria Phillips, a co-founder and president of the Black Student Union, disagrees with Bill 32, and fears future tension in classrooms. 

“We want our classroom to be a safe space. We don’t want to have to worry about whether or not a professor is going to say the N-word and feel triggered by that,” said Phillips. 

McCann clarified that universities will not be required to warn students before any offensive content is being addressed. However, McCann reassures that professors will be able to use all words within an educational context while respecting future guidelines. 

“It is also essential to provide quality training to members of the student community in an environment conducive to learning, discussion and debate,” said McCann. 

Once adopted, this law will clearly define academic freedom in universities and its guidelines, as mentioned in the bill. 

The bill aims to promote and protect the right to university academic freedom and the right of every person to engage without any prejudices or ideological notions. 

The bill requires every educational institution to appoint a person responsible for academic freedom to collaborate and communicate through written reports with McCann. 

In a written statement sent to The Concordian, Concordia states that academic freedom is essential to a functioning university ecosystem, siding on managing academic freedom themselves rather than having any government involvement.

“We prefer not to see a law on academic freedom. We believe that the autonomy of universities is the best guarantee that academic freedom continues to thrive and that the imposition of a law by the government goes against that freedom,” read the statement.

Angélique Willkie, associate professor of Contemporary Dance and co-chair of the Concordia University Task Force on Anti-Black Racism, agrees with McCann and recognizes a university is a place for debate. 

“[The university] It is a place where in order to facilitate knowledge and nurture knowledge and nurture critical thinking, difficult conversations of all kinds need to take place,” said Willkie. 

“It’s not a ticket to just say whatever you like. I think what we are responsible as faculty members, and as an institution, is to provide a learning environment for all students,” Willkie added. 

 Lisa White, the executive director of the Equity Office at Concordia, says conversations about academic freedom and inclusivity are an ongoing dialogue in accordance with the university’s values found in the Code of Rights and Responsibilities

“There are no conflicts between ensuring that academic freedom is respected and valued and part and parcel of the university experience for all for all people,” said White. 

Photo courtesy of Hannah Tiongson


STUDY: Minority students experiencing hardships after Bill 21

A joint study from Concordia and McGill highlight that religiously expressive minority students have faced career uncertainty, discrimination, and a worsened perception of Quebec since the enactment of Bill 21

Teachers like Bouchera Chelbi, a Muslim woman who chooses to wear the hijab, has noticed changes in Quebec since the enactment of Bill 21. Grandfathered in after the legalization of the bill, Chelbi now has no chance to move up in her career as she is unable to be promoted due to Bill 21. 

Enacted in 2019, the bill prohibits the wearing of religious garments and symbols for workers in the public sector in government-run institutions like courthouses or schools.

“It changed a lot about my future plans, I can longer dream about having a higher position, I cannot change school boards. It changes a lot for me,” Chelbi explained.  

As a member of the Coalition Inclusion Quebec and someone who is heavily involved in challenging the law, Chelbi feels that it has impacted her on both a career and personal level. Though leaving has crossed her mind, the priorities of being a wife and a mother have made her stay in the province.

“It makes me feel like I don’t fit anymore in the community. Before the bill, I used to feel like I was free as any other woman in Quebec but after, it felt like suddenly I was a second-class citizen.”

A study conducted by researchers from Concordia and McGill has uncovered harsh realities for the next generation of students, particularly minorities, entering the workforce, many of whom will likely be affected by Bill 21’s legislation. Students who wore religious symbols were at a higher risk of experiencing higher discriminatory treatment as well as job prospect uncertainty, prompting many of those surveyed to admit intending to seek work out of province once their diplomas are obtained. Those surveyed felt that Bill 21 had affected their future career decision, especially due to experiencing an uptick in discrimination since the passing of the legislation.

Meir Edery, a third-year law student at Université de Montreal who wears a kippah, felt that Bill 21 has affected him, like many others who wear religious garb. “The law felt like a personal attack. Truthfully, it felt like something that the government was putting forward to show the population that these people are not wanted and valued as a part of society.”

Kimberley Manning, an associate professor in political science at Concordia and one of the authors who helped conduct the study, was interested in researching the effects of students studying in sectors affected by Bill 21. 

The majority of the 629 participants surveyed highlighted worsened perception of Quebec since the bill’s legislation, creating more divisiveness rather than its intended unification. “Our findings are suggesting a rise in discrimination. People who wear religious symbols are reporting that they’ve experienced more discrimination since the passage of the law,” said Manning. 

The law’s notion was intended to secularize the province, providing neutrality in government institutions. Manning, however, has noticed from the study’s findings that it’s also affecting minorities who do not express themselves religiously. 

“This goes way beyond the individuals wearing religious symbols. [It] is clear that people who do not wear religious symbols are experiencing discrimination in the wake of the passage of this law,” she explained. 

“There is a great deal of confusion about this law, I think that our research findings and research findings from another study that was done by a professor out of UQAM are suggesting that among the general population there is confusion about what this means.”

This confusion has created a bypass for many people to single out minorities, regardless of whether or not the Law applies to those accused. One respondent reported a teacher telling an 11-year-old that she could not wear her Hijab due to the law, something which is patently false.

The results showed 51.8 per cent of those surveyed said that they are extremely likely to look for work out of Quebec as a result of Bill 21, while 77.9 per cent of respondents were considering leaving the province for employment options elsewhere. “I’ve decided to take the Ontario bar exam because I will likely go work in Ontario, where I feel more welcomed as a religious minority,” said an unnamed female law student at McGill.

As someone who will soon enter the job market for the first time in his life, Edery has to consider his future, as the bill prevents him from taking certain opportunities. “When I was looking at my career options, I knew that I was limited and it’s the first time I’ve ever been limited because of the expression of my religion and that stung, because in the 21st century that shouldn’t be happening to anybody.”

 Chelbi referring to feeling like a second-class citizen is a shared sentiment according to Manning’s study. Though a minority of people surveyed were in favour of the bill due to having once faced religious extremism from their native country, 70 per cent of respondents have developed a worsened perception of Quebec. 

“That’s really significant, again this is a motivated group who responded to the survey but when you triangulate our results with the results from the recent polling that’s not insignificant. I think it’s really important that our policymakers pay attention to it and consider the negative impact this is having on people’s lives.”

Teachers like Chelbi will continue to challenge the government in regards to the law for future generations of students hoping that they can work in a Quebec that favours religious expression.


Illustration and infographics by Lily Cowper

Student Life

Student’s weigh in on Concordia’s vaccine mandate

We can thank the vaccine passport for Quebec’s high vaccination rates, but now all incentive to get vaccinated is gone. As of March 12, the Quebec vaccine passport is no more in bars, restaurants, movie theatres and more. This means people who chose not to get vaccinated, once incentivized to get the shot by limitations placed by the Quebec government – limitations as recent as January – have no more reason to get their covid immunization.

To be transparent, here’s how I feel about the whole thing.

Even as a pro-vaxxer who feels safer with the shot and boosters, no public incentive will make me drag my feet. So imagine someone who just doesn’t want to be vaccinated – despite the public and personal safety it can bring us, many will never get the shot(s) for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons should be respected, but the general population should make up the difference, in a way.

This is my opinion — one of many different ones felt on the Concordia campus, as the university dismantled their vaccine mandate. While it was only in place for certain gatherings, sports clubs, the gym and Reggies, our campus bar, students had a lot of thoughts to share.

We went around Concordia’s downtown campus on Friday to ask students how they felt vis-a-vis the return to normality.

Guillaume Sercia, studying Human Environment 

I think its a good thing [the vaccine mandate is going away]. At some point we have to come back to reality, to normality. […] It wasn’t a big issue for me, but I was frustrated for the people who couldn’t take part in regular activities. I would feel safe even without a vaccine, so it doesn’t bother me.”






Carles Ngoupeyu, studying accounting 

I don’t agree with the vaccine mandate. They didn’t think about the non-vaccintaed. […] You just feel alone, separated from others. Those who are vaccinated will say the opposite because they have access to everything. But when you are not vaccinated, it’s just different. And to feel like you can’t enter a store because you didn’t get a vaccine; feeling like you’re limited in your actions because of a vaccine, it’s just really terrible.”





Nadeem Alhajzein, studying studio arts and art history

I don’t totally agree with the idea of a vaccine mandate being removed. I feel like [the] Quebec government is kind of like, going up and down different rules.”

“But I do understand how it’s supposed to be trying and getting people to go back to normal, I guess. But I still feel like it’s something that should still be at places because it does help us.”





Yannis Affoum, studying for a certificate of Science Foundations

I’m actually kind of happy. It’s very annoying to always have to worry about these things, and always having to show your phone, show your QR code, and all these things… It’s kind of annoying. And for people who dont have a QR code, it’s kind of discriminatory.”






Ahmed Riad, studying electrical engineering

It’s great, people [now] have the choice of taking the vaccine or not, I personally took the vaccine. […] People should have the freedom to take the vaccine or not.”






Marwa Khalid, studying software engineering

I wouldn’t really feel comfortable. Obviously, it’s a really crowded place, there’s a lot of people, and if they are not wearing their mask, you don’t know if they have [COVID], or dont have it, or even if they are facing symptoms. The removal of masks doesnt mean they don’t have COVID. [But] I don’t think it was the university’s place [to implement a vaccine mandate], I think it’s the government that makes that decision, then the university should follow.”

Photos by Catherine Reynolds


Broken Promises, Closed Community Organizations

Quebec community organizations have gone on strike across the province this past week as a result of intense pressures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers say they lack the funding needed to deal with the massive growth in the need for their services to house, feed, and provide care for vulnerable populations.

Video Editor Anthony-James Armstrong spoke with community sector workers at a massive demonstration near downtown Montreal on Tuesday, Feb. 22.


The state of Quebec’s supply chains in the face of climate disasters

How they can be fortified and how Canada can mitigate climate disaster impacts

Climate disasters have clear impacts on the environment, but they also disrupt supply chains across Canada.

The flooding in B.C. in late 2021 was the “most costly severe weather event in the province’s history,” according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. As the flooding occurred prior to Christmas and much of Asian-made consumer goods entered Canada through the Port of Vancouver, Quebec’s supply chain for Christmas shopping was disrupted due to delays in delivery.

Dr. Satyaveer Chauhan, a Concordia professor who specializes in supply chain and business technology management, said that although the disruption is over, there is still a ripple effect on Quebec’s supply chains as they had to be readjusted.

During the floods, shipments had to be rerouted through the United States, as many roadways were shut down due to flooding and landslides.

Dr. Brian Slack, a Concordia professor in the Geography, Planning, and Environment department, mentioned how regional factors determine the local severity of the climate crisis.

“The port of Montreal is likely to be significantly less impacted than Vancouver by climate change and other factors,” said Dr. Slack. “We have no serious mountains between the port and the customers, [which] is the factor that amplifies environmental impacts for Vancouver.”

The lack of transportation options through B.C.’s mountainous regions can cause a logistical problem as the roads are susceptible to flooding and landslides.

Although the mountains are a factor in environmental disaster response, the environmental impacts ultimately stem from the climate crisis.

The frequency and severity of climate disasters have increased globally over the past 50 years, and in Canada, the average cost per disaster jumped by 1,250 per cent since 1970. Supply chain disruptions stemming from complications in sourcing, production, transport, and destination markets are a part of that cost increase.

It’s clear that Canada must be more prepared to mitigate the impacts of future climate disasters, and the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) agrees.

A new expert panel report from the CCA released early 2021, goes into detail about the consequences of climate disasters in Canada. Although the country is especially susceptible to climate disasters, the consequences of the disasters “are not inevitable — they are the result of choices that put people in harm’s way,” said Scott Vaughan, chair of the Expert Panel on Disaster Resilience in a Changing Climate.

While the report discusses different strategies to combat the climate crisis, it also mentions that the private sector can “improve their competitiveness by assessing and managing the disaster risks they face in a changing climate by building in supply chain redundancies.”

Dr. Chauhan noted a similar approach to improving Canadian supply chains.

He cited an example of how Home Depot has bulk distribution centres and holding facilities on the East coast of the United States in preparation for hurricane season, so that their supply chain is not disrupted by any hurricanes.

While fortifying Canada’s supply chains is important, the most critical factors to consider here are the mounting risks associated with climate disasters, which ultimately lead to potential disruptions.

Eric M. Meslin, president and CEO of the CCA, said that “Building disaster resilience hinges on a coordinated strategic approach involving government, businesses, and the public.”

The report outlined several strategies, including investment in disaster risk reduction, supplying decision makers with prompt access to data on climate disasters to better inform decisions, and climate-proofing buildings and infrastructure through improving building codes and engineering practices.

One of the most important proposed strategies included in the report is changing Canada’s “[continued] underreliance on Indigenous and Local Knowledge and the underutilization of disaster-related expertise developed by Indigenous organizations and in Indigenous communities.”

This devaluation of important information undermines Canada’s disaster resilience efforts, and increases the effects of supply chain disruptions in Quebec and across Canada.

Graphic by James Fay


Panel on Bill 21 Highlights its Issues

The Socialist Fightback club organized the pro-Marxist event on how to fight back against the Bill

Over 80 participants attended an online panel on Feb. 7 geared towards Concordia students on how to challenge the controversial Bill 21. 

The event was hosted by Socialist Fightback, an activist organisation that aims to promote Marxist ideas among students and workers. The group organized different panels such as ‘How to Overthrow Capitalism’, ‘The LGBTQ Struggle’ and the ‘Fight for Socialism’.

“Bill 21 will not be enough for them, as soon as they need to scapegoat Muslims or another religious group, they will try and bring it [secularism] up again,” said Benoît Tanguay editor of La Riposte socialiste, who led the discussion at the panel. 

Bill 21 was passed in 2019, and bans the wearing of religious symbols by teachers and other government employees who are in positions of authority. 

The bill is the first of its kind in North America, with a grandfather clause that exempts employees already in said positions, though they lose these exemptions if they are promoted or transferred to another institution. 

In April 2021, the Quebec Superior Court upheld the majority of Bill 21, but stated the bill couldn’t be applied to teachers, principals, and vice-principals at public schools who teach in English as it would violate the protected minority-language education rights. 

Tanguay explained that Bill 21 has to be fought by the classes and not the “bourgeoisie party,” as in the rich and those in power. According to Tanguay, it doesn’t matter if the people in power are liberal or conservative, both use racism as a tool to push their agenda. “Racism is a useful tool to divide workers, to channel their anger away from those in power,” said Tanguay.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) said in a statement that “Bill 21 is a form of second-class citizenship in Quebec, which is disturbing and is punishing minorities by withholding identities.”

“It has come in the way of the careers of many Quebecers wearing a kippah, a turban, or a hijab. Simply put, forcing Quebecers to choose between their jobs and their identities is unjust,” explained the statement. 

In 2021, Fatemeh Anvari, an elementary school teacher in Chelsea, Quebec was told she could no longer teach in class because she was wearing a hijab, and was moved to a position outside the classroom. 

The NCCM said that in 2019 they filed a lawsuit within 24 hours of Bill 21 being passed along with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and while they have not yet been fully successful, they were able to strike down parts of the law earlier this year.

Now the NCCM is headed to the Court of Appeal of Quebec to strike down the rest of the law.

“This is not an easy road, not least because of the Quebec government’s use of the notwithstanding clause in the crafting of the law in an attempt to shield it from constitutional challenges,” said the NCCM. 

The United Nations has warned Canada about how Bill 21 violates fundamental human rights, and the NCCM have said they have been repeatedly disappointed as federal leaders sit on the sidelines, allowing the livelihoods of minority groups in Quebec to be taken away. 

The NCCM outlines steps people can take to help stop Bill 21, and they have begun a petition calling the Prime Minister to intervene. According to, if the petition acquires 75,000 signatures it will be the largest one on the website.  

“We have seen students and community organizers rise up and protest the bill on the streets. But the road ahead is long, and we need to see more Quebecers and Canadians stand up and take action against this law,” implored the NCCM.


Graphic by Maddy Schmidt

Opinions Student Life

Is it really that rewarding to be a winter athlete?

The real motivation behind going out in the cold

There are many ways to enjoy the outdoors during wintertime.

Of course, it all depends on the climate that you live in. How cold does it get? Do you have snow, ice? Or is it more of a mild winter temperature, where you get the occasional snow, but wearing heavy-duty winter gear isn’t a necessity to get your groceries?

Either way, there’s a lot you can do.

But is being outside in freezing cold weather really what our hearts desire? Or are we just trying to fit into the wishful image of a winter-loving well-rounded human being?

Most of us hate winter — it is a time reserved for the holidays, followed by a three-month hibernation. Maybe you’ll go outside once a day for a smoke, or perhaps a cup of coffee, but most of us make use of the extra dark hours of the day to binge-watch our favourite TV shows and eat lasagna.

Say you do want to go outside; what do you want to do? It all depends on access. In Montreal, it’s possible the best you can do is the Mont-Royal — not a bad spot. You see, when you live in the city, getting out to the wilderness to breathe fresh air and fall into fresh powdery snow is difficult, and a lot of the time expensive.

First, you gotta get out of town. Unless you have a car, you have to take a bus or a shuttle, but the bus may drop you off at a random gas station on the side of the highway. Nice.

Next, you need equipment. Whether you want to do alpine skiing, cross-country, or just some snowshoeing, you either need to carry it with you all the way to your destination, or you need to rent — expect to spend $40-50 per person. Finally, you need to make sure you have a suitable backpack to carry your food, extra layers, and water bottle, and don’t forget a good winter jacket on top of a breathable base layer of clothing.

Just writing all that down was exhausting.

But new sports and new ways to explore the outdoors keep popping up, and apparently, there is some real interest in winter sports.

Recently, a faction of alpine skiers is reigniting the interest in an old sport with its debut tied to medieval Norwegian traditions: alpine touring.

Now, strap on spikey “skins” to the back of your skis, and invest a couple thousand dollars on a new pair of “walking ski boots” (some claim they are comfortable, I have a hard time believing that), and climb up any mountain you desire!

Not exactly, but you get the idea.

In all honesty, I think I am just jealous of those who have the means and the time to invest themselves in outdoor sports like these. Right now, all I crave is to witness the silence of a snow-covered forest, and the void of a mountain valley.

But, you know, whatever. I’ll just keep being bitter from the comfort of my home, wasting away looking out of my window into the world, instead of living in it.


Photo by Laurie-Anne Palin

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