Concordia Student Union News

CSU holds its fall by-elections debate

The CSU’s fall by-elections debate focused on tuition hikes and student engagement.

On Wednesday, Nov. 1, the Concordia Student Union (CSU) held its fall by-elections debate on the seventh floor of the Hall building, where referendum committees and CSU council seat candidates were given the chance to present their platforms to students.

Students will be able to vote for campaigns such as Dave Plant’s advocacy of not renewing Concordia’s 2026 contract with Aramark, Kendra Downe’s promotion of anti-colonial solidarity with Palestine, and the Kahnistensera Mohawk Mothers, Giancarlo Laurieri’s pledge of enhancing student accessibility to CSU services, and Ryan Assaker’s intention of establishing a solid push back against tuition hikes.

These four council seat candidates were in attendance along with one referendum committee member. The candidates discussed issues such as the Coalition Avenir Québec’s (CAQ) tuition hike for out-of-province students and the disconnect between the CSU and Concordia’s student body during the debate.

“The CSU is looked upon as this demagogical society that exists above the student body when, in reality, the CSU is the representation of the students’ thoughts as a unified thought,” said Laurieri.

Laurieri proposed that the council get more involved in student media so that students could be more informed about what the CSU is doing. He also suggested that the union establish public Q&A events to give students more opportunities to bring up their concerns to the council. 

“A lot of people don’t know that the CSU is reaching out to fight against the tuition hikes, or that this source is available for students to use,” he said.

Concordia President Graham Carr stated on Tuesday that the university could lose up to 90 per cent of its out-of-province enrollment due to the tuition hikes. As the policy threatens implementation, the CAQ maintains that it’s aimed at protecting the French language by limiting the number of anglophone students in Quebec.

Students, however, feel differently. “It’s not a question about protecting the language, it’s a question about abusing the students. There are better ways of protecting the French language” said Assaker.

At the debate, referendum committee member The Link’s editor-in-chief Zachary Fortier, presented The Link’s fee levy increase campaign to increase funding to the student newspaper. The campaign asks to raise the current fee of 19 cents per credit to 40 cents, in order to meet inflation.

“Investing in The Link is investing into student life, and making sure there’s a dynamic and prospering community that gets amplified to the -nth degree,” said Fortier. “We’re a necessary presence on campus. I have a deep fear that we’ll cease to exist if we cannot make enough money to pay people a livable wage.”

Fortier highlighted the importance of the student newspaper’s coverage history, like giving Palestinian students a voice during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2002 visit to Montreal. “The Link has always been a place of advocacy for underrepresented students to have a voice,” he said. 

The CSU by-elections campaigning phase will end on Nov. 6, and students can cast their ballot from Nov. 7 to Nov. 9.

Briefs News

A union referendum for Concordia’s TAs and RAs

A secret ballot, open until Nov. 13, opposes TRAC and CREW.

Graphic by Carleen Loney / The Concordian

After a months-long battle in the courts and on social media, TRAC and CREW have gone silent to allow Concordia’s teaching and research assistants to vote, determining once and for all which union they want to be represented by. 

Between Oct. 23 and Nov. 13 at 8 a.m., some of Concordia’s teaching assistants (TAs) and research assistants (RAs) will have access to an online ballot in which they can decide which union will represent them. 

The battle between the two unions started last March, when the Teaching and Research Assistants at Concordia Union’s (TRAC) executive team resigned to form the Concordia Research and Education Workers Union (CREW). They claimed that TRAC’s parent union, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), made it impossible for them to get the gains they wanted in their negotiations with Concordia University.

By April 3, the end of the campaigning period determined by a legal deadline established in TRAC’s Collective Agreement, CREW had gathered 1,700 memberships out of Concordia’s 2,100 TAs and RAs, according to court documents. 

However, it turned out that TRAC’s Collective Agreement had never been filed to the Tribunal Administratif du Travail (TAT). This gave TRAC the chance to re-file their membership list over the summer, allowing it to remain the standing union for TAs and RAs. 

Instead of turning to a lengthy legal proceeding to entangle the validity of these memberships, TRAC and CREW are moving to a secret ballot to act as a tie-breaker between the unions. The vote will end on Nov. 13 at 8 a.m., after which the chosen union will be able to negotiate with Concordia for a new collective agreement. 

The eligible TAs and RAs have received an email from TAT with instructions on how to vote for their preferred union. 

For more information on TRAC and CREW’s legal battle this summer, read our article here

To find out more about each union, you can visit TRAC’s website and CREW’s website


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.


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 Student Union News

A breakdown of last Wednesday’s CSU meeting

The CSU reassembles for the first Regular Council Meeting of the fall semester

On Wednesday, Sept. 21, representatives from the Concordian Student Union (CSU) gathered at the Hall building to attend the first Regular Council Meeting (RCM) of the 2022-23 school year. In total, seven representatives on the CSU’s executive team and eight CSU councillors attended to discuss initiatives for the upcoming year. Here were the major topics of discussion:

$30,000 worth of funding remains inaccessible due to lack of volunteers on CSU committees

During the committee appointment phase at the RCM, a number of CSU committees struggled to fill the vacant positions on their respective bodies, leaving many committees at risk of being unable to meet their respective quorums.

The impact of the shortage of volunteers means that the CSU will have severely limited operational capabilities for the foreseeable future. One example of the consequences of this volunteer shortage is the Student Life Committee (SLC). 

The SLC, which oversees the allocation of around $30,000 worth of funding within the special-project fund, was in need of three additional committee members at last week’s meeting before it could resume operations. 

Student life coordinator Harley Martin made sure to stress that unless these vacant positions are filled, the SLC would be unable to reconvene and the special-project fund would remain inaccessible for student use in the foreseeable future. 

“I get multiple emails every week of people wanting to apply on this funding,” said Martin. “But we need to have a committee to vote to open that funding in the first place. So we really need people to join.” 

Despite Martin’s pleas, only one CSU executive volunteered and was appointed to the SLC on Wednesday.

Amendments to the 2022-23 mural festival project

Another motion passed at the RCM — the 2022-23 mural motion — included two amendments made to a motion from last year, regarding the establishment of a mural within the G-Lounge space located at Concordia’s Loyola Campus. 

Both amendments, which were presented by the CSU’s Loyola Coordinator Sabrina Morena, involved the reallocation of the project to a different artist from the one specified in the original motion. The amendments also ensured that the CSU would prioritize Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) artists during the selection process for the project.

When questioned about the rationale behind the amendments, councillor Morena clarified that the amendments were necessary once it became apparent that the artist initially commissioned for the project was unable to complete the project within the intended time frame due to prior obligations.

Referendum on CSU General Operations Fee Levy increase to be featured on upcoming bi-election ballet. 

The CSU unanimously approved a motion to include a referendum question regarding a 25-cents-per-credit increase to the CSU General Operations Fee Levy in the upcoming CSU bi-elections.

The referendum will provide students with the opportunity to vote on whether or not they approve the proposed increase of the CSU General Operations Fee Levy from $2.46 to $2.71 per credit. If passed, the fee levy increase will be implemented as early as the beginning of the 2023 winter semester.

While presenting the motion to the RCM on Wednesday, academic and advocacy coordinator Asli Isaaq stated that the intention behind the fee levy increase is to help the CSU provide additional services to meet the surge in demand with the return to in-person instruction.

CSU opens Student Space, Accessible Education, and Legal Contingency Fund (SSAELC) to striking Members of Associations (MAs) 

The CSU also voted in favour of amending its policy to allow for the SSAELC to fund student associations on strike. CSU’s external affairs and mobilization coordinator Julianna Smith explained the application process for funds through reimbursement. MAs should expect to receive a reimbursement around mid to late October.

The CSU’s decision comes after multiple MAs passed mandates to go on strike in the coming weeks. As of Wed, Sept. 28, 11 MAs under the Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA) have approved a strike from Oct. 3 to 7 in support of a fall reading week for the 2022-23 school semester.


Borough Mayor Wants to Split NDG from Côte-des-Neiges

Incumbent CDN-NDG Mayor Sue Montgomery says that now is the right time for the borough to be broken up.

On Nov. 7 hundreds of thousands of Montrealers head to the polls. In the Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough, incumbent mayor Sue Montgomery has pledged to “advocate for CDN and NDG to become distinct boroughs,” shaking up what is already likely to be a tight race to reelection.

Montgomery, now running under her own municipal party called Courage – Équipe Sue Montgomery, is advocating for the split on the basis of the “recognition of their size, geography and distinct characteristics,” as mentioned on her campaign website. In the eyes of some voters, what could be a compelling case for the split is the sheer size of the borough, which is one of the largest in Montreal. Montgomery’s proposal would result in the addition of new seats on the city council, aiding in the representation of the area’s citizens. Additionally, the breakup would mean easier access to services like recycling, snow removal, and garbage pickup, Montgomery stated at a campaign event in late October.

Gracia Kasoki Katahwa, who is running with Projet Montréal against Montgomery, has critiqued the incumbent mayor’s proposal. She said in an interview with Global News, that the plan would only cost residents more in fees at a time where that money is desperately needed in other sectors. Candidates from Mouvement Montreal and Ensemble Montréal, Matthew Kerr and Lionel Perez respectively, have been equally critical of Montgomery’s proposals, calling them divisive.

The current borough has layers of complex micro-issues. For instance, according to the 2016 census, there is a gap of about $7,000 in the median household income when comparing NDG to CDN. Generational wealth plays a factor in the development of both areas: CDN is home to a wider variety of more recent immigrant communities, and includes over one hundred different ethnic communities. While NDG is also quite diverse, it has a larger presence of European immigrant communities that arrived decades prior and have formed more generational wealth compared to CDN. Although Montgomery’s plan is to “ensure equitable investment between CDN & NDG,” a split could have, according to Katahwa, potential impacts on the boroughs’ municipal finances and the availability of services.

In 2017, Sue Montgomery won her election under the banner of Projet Montréal, Mayor Valérie Plante’s party. She won by less than 1,500 votes, or less than 4 per cent, in a borough with a population of over 160,000 residents. Now that she is running under her own party, she will be relying on her individual popularity and not the backing from a Montreal mayoral candidate at the top of the ticket as she did four years ago. Days before Montrealers head to the polls, Plante and former mayor Denis Coderre are neck and neck, and many other local races are becoming nail-biters.


Graphic by James Fay


Leaked conversations reveal ASFA executive may be ineligible

Discovery prompts questioning of ASFA’s application process

Messages leaked to student media reveal an executive of the Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA), a student group that represents Concordia undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science, is allegedly ineligible for the position they hold.

The revelations have prompted questions into ASFA’s application process. According to messages on the ASFA Slack channel, one executive is not a regular student in the Faculty of the Arts and Science, which may disqualify them from holding the position.

The messages contain statements from John Hutton, ASFA’s general manager, who said the Dean’s Office had inquired whether all executive members are registered in the faculty.

Hutton said the email was unusual and proceeded to ask if anyone in the group is not part of the faculty.

The executive in question then revealed they are an independent student, as well as a visiting student. They expressed confusion over their status, stating that they pay ASFA fees.


The situation has called into question the vetting process for elected ASFA executives and eligibility requirements of independent and/or visiting students.

According to an anonymous ASFA member who leaked the messages, the executive’s status as an independent visiting student defies article 21 of the ASFA bylaws, which states that eligible executives must be “undergraduate students registered in an honours, specialization, major, minor or certificate within a program of study in the Arts & Science Faculty.”

ASFA’s Standing Regulations outline that if an executive was elected while ineligible, they are no longer able to hold their position.


A senior administration officer at ASFA’s Dean’s Office said the administration always checks with ASFA members whether all the students on the committee are actually enrolled with the faculty.

ASFA is currently looking into the issue and will follow up shortly with a statement. The communications team did not respond to requests for an interview, and the executive in question has yet to respond to our request for comment.


Update: In a statement posted to social media on July 15, ASFA referred to the issue as an oversight by ASFA election officials.

“[The executive] believed that she was eligible due to the ASFA fees that she paid,” the post read. “What should have happened was that the electoral officers of ASFA checked her student ID # on the membership list, and told her then that she was ineligible to run, at the time when she submitted her nomination forms.”

According to the statement, a meeting with all ASFA councillors will be called to further discuss the issue.

“ASFA executives who are in violation of the by-laws may be removed from their position with a 2/3 vote of the ASFA council. She is not automatically disqualified from holding the position,” it wrote.

The statement also discussed how visiting students are prevented from “fully participating in their ASFA community.”

“This is concerning to us,” it continued. “Ensuring that all students at Concordia have the rights and protections afforded by a union is something we intend to follow up on and advocate for.”

The statement also contained an apology and message from the executive in question, Phoebe Lamb, ASFA’s academic coordinator.

Lamb wrote that she is hoping to transfer her credits from her university in Halifax, and work on becoming officially enrolled in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

“I want nothing more than to continue to be ASFA’s Academic Coordinator,” Lamb wrote. “It is extremely important to [me] that the ASFA community is aware of, and has a say in this matter.”

Briefs News

World in Brief: Another win for Bernie Sanders, COVID-19 shuts down northern Italian cities, bees in California, fatal earthquake in Turkey.

Bernie Sanders won the Nevada caucus on Saturday Feb. 22, continuing his Democratic lead after the third primary contest. With strong support from the Latino voters in the Nevada caucus, Sanders finished with 47 per cent, reported The Guardian. Joe Biden took second place, at 24 per cent. Buttigieg was third, with 14 per cent. Elizabeth Warren was fourth, with 9 per cent. Next up for the democrats, the South Carolina race.

There have been two deaths in Italy as a result of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), with seventy-nine confirmed cases of the virus. A dozen towns in northern Italy have shut down as a result. The origin of the virus in Italy, has been linked to a man who hadn’t travelled to Wuhan. Those who died were a man and woman in their 70s, though it has not yet been confirmed whether the woman died from the virus or an underlying health problem. Towns affected in Italy have closed schools, businesses, restaurants and sporting events, reports The Associated Press.

A swarm of 40,000 bees shut down a California block, sending five people to the hospital, including three first responders last Thursday. Firefighters and police responded to a call for a single bee sting, soon realizing that an entire block had been covered with bees. The bees had stung seven people, two did not need hospital treatment. One firefighter had been stung 17 times. Firefighters and a professional beekeeper were able to safely remove the hive situated on the roof of a Hampton Inn. Some of the bees were killed, while others left the area, as reported by CNN.

Nine people were killed by a 5.7 magnitude earthquake in eastern Turkey on Sunday morning. The earthquake also struck western Iran, injuring 75 people, with no reported fatalities. Turkish Health Minister, Fahrettin Koca, said that 37 people had been injured and nine are in critical condition. The earthquake also affected 43 villages in Turkey’s mountainous regions. Twenty-five ambulances, a helicopter and 13 emergency teams have been sent to aid the public. The Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) of Turkey has said 144 tents for families had been set up, reported The Associated Press.


Graphic by @sundaeghost


Understanding the federal election: what happened?

On Oct. 24, Concordia organized a conference where six political analysts discussed the outcome of the 2019 election and how we got here. 

Three days after election night, six panelists took the D.B. Clarke theatre stage one after another to analyze and debate key aspects of the campaign. The panelists were Harold Clarke, Rachel Curran, Lawrence LeDuc, Kevin Page, Carole McNeil and Jean-Pierre Kingsley.

While most polls put Andrew Scheer ahead of Justin Trudeau, it might have come as a surprise that the Conservatives did not do as well as anticipated. To truly understand the outcome of the election, Clarke argued that people need to look at the three main drivers of electoral choice.

Firstly, social issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion usually get a lot of media attention. But, it is actually how the political party performs, in terms of what Clarke referred to as valence issues, that will drive the voter’s final decision.

“These are issues that everybody agrees on the goal,” said Clarke, a professor at the University of Texas in Dallas and veteran of Canadian elections studies. “Issues such as the economy, or healthcare, education, security, and now climate change as well. It’s hard to find people who want bad healthcare and so on.”

Accordingly, the fact that the vast majority of people want a healthy economy strongly played in favour of Trudeau, explained Clarke. Indeed, the latest Statistics Canada survey, released on Oct.11, showed that today’s economy held a steady 5.5 per cent unemployment rate, the lowest in 40 years.

“It’s a big plus. Prosperity is a big plus,” Clarke said.

The second driver in the electoral choice, which explains surprises such as the NDP losing seats, is partisanship. Partisanship in Canada tends to be quite fluid and people are more than willing to leave their favoured party. According to Clarke, this creates situations where there are always possibilities for last-minute, large scale change.

Last, the third electoral driver proposed by Clarke is the leader image, which he believes played a major part in this election.

“Scheer simply didn’t make the impression he needed to make to win,” Clarke said.

Theme of the election 

While affordability ended up being the main theme of this year’s election, issues put forward by the parties were somehow irrelevant, argued Curran, Former Director of Policy to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“The measures [the political parties] were offering were very cynical and very shallow vote line efforts, at best,” Curran said. “What the parties ignored was the much bigger issues that we need to grapple and resolve as a country.”

As a matter of fact, this can explain the low voter turnout of 65.95 per cent. None of the leaders actually addressed the true underlying causes of issues such as why some Indigenous communities still have no access to clean water or why cellphone charges are extortionate, Curran pointed out.

Curran also believes that the inability and, perhaps even more, unwillingness of the parties to take a clear stance on issues such as the climate crisis, led to a problematic outcome; deep, regional division.

Canada has actually been sending various, very divided messages which resulted in broken national cohesion on election night.

“How do we reconcile resource development with environmental protection if we are in the business of fossil fuel, how do we address climate change in a credible way?” asked Curran. “And if we are not in the business, how do we fill the revenue hole and replace the hundreds of thousands of high paying jobs linked in the energy sector, particularly in Western Canada?”

Accordingly, we saw how cacophonic broadcasted debates were. It was arguably more of a who-can-talk-the-loudest contest than discussions on meaningful issues. It led to questions raised by a lot of media outlets as to whether the broadcasted debates are to be changed and how much impact they really have.

Jagmeet Singh was almost unanimously declared the winner after the CBC debate on Oct. 7. Yet, the NDP only won 24 seats last Monday night.

“I think we should, when evaluating the debates in the electoral campaign, avoid separating them from all the other things that we talked about in the context of the election,” said Leduc, professor at the University of Toronto. “Because even if Singh benefited from the debates, he only benefited from them being one of the several elements in the campaign.”

Leduc and Clarke both argued that the current form of debates won’t be seen again. A single debate between the two leaders of the main parties remains the innovation argued as the best.

Going Forward

Historically, minority governments never lasted more than two years. And before the evening was over, the panelists all took turns, gambling the durability of this one.

Interestingly, Clarke pointed out that Scheer might not be around that long, and the process of replacing him is going to take a while. Curran gambled that it will last at least two years.

Therefore, Trudeau is actually in a good position to hold power for a little while. Yet, losing 27 seats showed that his government needs to do better with Canadian issues.

“Climate change, healthcare and going forward with affordability, these are going to be the defining issues going ahead,” concluded CBC journalist McNeil.


Feature photo by Cecilia Piga


Advanced voting available on campus from Oct. 5-9

“Every voice matters and every vote counts in an election,” said Concordia President Graham Carr in an emailed statement sent to the Concordian. “Concordia is happy to host, like several post-secondary campuses, polling stations for our community and our neighbours.”

From Oct. 5 to 9, those who are eligible can cast their votes ahead of the official Oct. 21 date. Advanced voting is available at several other universities and CEGEPs across the country for this year’s federal election.

According to Pierre Pilon, Regional Media Advisor for Elections Canada, the initiative to make voting more accessible to students began in 2015. The last federal election launched a pilot project involving 40 post-secondary institutions to offer advanced voting to students and staff. Concordia partnered up with the project for a second term this year, along with over 100 other institutions.

Pilon said this partnership is voluntary.

Offered on both the Loyola and downtown campuses, eligible Canadians can vote at the following times: Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Oct. 6, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Oct. 7, 8 and 9 from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

“I encourage everyone, and especially our students, to make their voice heard by taking advantage of the on-campus polling stations at Concordia and the possibility to vote early on certain days even if this is not your assigned polling station,” said Carr.

Concordia student James William Altimas, 22, said he plans to vote. The joint specialization anthropology and sociology student said the climate march on Sept. 27 solidified his decision. Seeing such a large number of people manifesting for change inspired him and made him think that his vote, along with all the others, could change something.

“The big reason why I’m voting is because of climate change,” said Altimas. “Maybe we can make a difference.”

“I voted before but never really thought it was going to make a difference,” he continued. “But this time around, there’s a lot of people realizing that we’re fucked if we don’t do anything.”

How to register to vote

Those who are over 18, have proof of Canadian citizenship, and have an address, can vote.

You must register before voting, otherwise you are ineligible. You can use the Online Voter Registration Service before Tue Oct. 15 by 6 p.m.

You can also register to vote in person at any Elections Canada office across Canada. If you register before the 15th, you will get a voter information card in the mail that tells you where and when you can vote.

Alternatively, you can register to vote on Oct. 21, the official date of the elections. Don’t forget to bring proof of address with you. Before voting, you should know the names of the MPs running in your electoral district.

At Loyola campus, the polling station is located at the Jesuit Hall Conference Centre, RF Atrium. For the downtown campus, it’s located at the J.W. McConnell Building, in the LB Atrium.


Graphic by Victoria Blair



Musical influence in politics

Have you watched the Spanish hit series Casa de Papel? Although it’s about a robbery, the main theme in the show is a collective and bold revolution against the enemy of humanity: capitalism.

In one of the last episodes of season one, El Professor, the mastermind behind the greatest heist of all time, sat sipping a glass of wine with Berlin, one of the robbers. Agitated, anxious and trembling, El Professor looked terrified. Berlin then got up, grabbed his glass of wine, and sang:

Una mattina mi son svegliato

O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao! 

The marxist revolutionary chant was a theme song throughout the series, inciting this rebellious feeling inside every listener. El Professor soon began singing with Berlin, the look of fear turned into determination and excitement. That’s the role of sound in politics.

And just like everything in this world, with a negative influencer comes a negative influence.

It’s no secret that I see the President of the United States as the epitome of a negative influencer. Whatever positive economic advantage people might bring up, in my opinion, it does not make up for the fundamental moral wrongs he brings out in the world. For one, since his election, there has been a universal rise in the far right, or the populists as reporter Simon Shuster wrote in Time Magazine

How did Donald Trump gain so much influence when he’s a businessman who was once part of a reality show? It wasn’t his eccentric character and lack of formidable vocabulary. It wasn’t his white, rich man charm. It wasn’t even his blatant racism and sexism, although that did play a role in making already-racist people feel comfortable being so. No, it was the subconscious manipulation of people during his rallies — the use of music.

According to an article in the Washington Post, people don’t really talk during these rallies; they’re too busy listening to the music. Trump’s playlist since 2016 included the likes of Neil Young, the Rolling Stones, and Journey. All rock, folky, 60s-reminiscent vibes. You might enjoy them as well, naturally. It’s good music.

But these are methodically picked to bring back the nostalgia of what it meant to be an American in the 60s. “Make America Great Again” is Trump’s slogan and his choice of music is meant to take people back to the time when America was great, in his opinion.

The 1960s was the decade of civil rights movements, when things began to fundamentally change. Blasting the greatest songs of that time while talking about building a wall and grabbing pussies connects the great feelings these songs bring with those words; they become one and the same. This is a theory called the Hebbian Rule, by neuropsychologist Donald Hebb.

“Neurons that fire together, wire together,” Hebb wrote in 1949.

Now, remember this is my opinion, although I am stating some hardly refutable ideas. It’s a natural reaction in people to associate feelings with a song they’re listening to, like a newlywed’s first dance and love, or the song you first had sex to and feelings of longing.

Trump vows to build a wall to detain ‘illegal immigrants’ while Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” plays in the background; it’s an inspiring song and what people are being inspired to in this context is racism.

In 2016, The Rolling Stones issued a statement demanding that the Trump administration not use their music. In fact, according to the BBC, Neil Young, Adele, Aerosmith, among others, were all against the use of their music at Trump’s rallies.

If Trump were a song he’d be the melody people sway to, and his beliefs would be the lyrics they sing along to as if it were their own.


Graphics by @sundaeghost


Tyler Lemco’s successful defeat

Montreal’s lowest-polling mayoral candidate is a spark of possibility for his supporters

“When I first announced it, I was like, ‘Oh, this will be funny.’” These are not the words a typical mayoral candidate uses to describe his campaign. That’s because Tyler Lemco is not a typical mayoral candidate.

The former Epic Meal Time star and Concordia journalism graduate did not win Montreal’s mayoral election. He didn’t even come close. In fact, it’s unclear whether he wanted to win at all. There were cheers of joy from his Tequila Bar election party when Valérie Plante’s victory was announced on TV. This was not a defeat—not entirely. For Lemco and his supporters, victory was always secondary.

The odyssey of Tyler Lemco started in 2015 during the last federal election. Campaign signs adorned with the YouTube star’s face began popping up all over Montreal. This wasn’t a real bid for office, but it drew considerable attention on social media. “If I accomplished all of that with nothing, let’s see what I can do actually trying something,” Lemco said.

Last February, he met former Mayor Denis Coderre for the first time.

“I jokingly told him I was going to run against him and he laughed,” said Lemco. “So, it was that moment when I said, ‘Alright, I’m in.’”

During the race, Lemco received mixed reactions from his running mates. “Plante has been great,” he said. “I’ve spoken to her probably 15 times. We have this weird mutual respect. Every so often, she’ll ask if I’m endorsing her and I’m like, ‘No, we’re still competition.’”

Lemco never managed to woo his other major opponent. “I’ve tried messaging [Coderre]. Even [after] the diss track, I was hoping he would say something. He’s essentially entirely ignored me.”

The diss track in question is a two and a half minute rap track, accompanied by a music video, posted on Lemco’s Youtube page on Oct. 31 as part of his aggressive social media campaign. “Coderre the unfair mayor, you a chump homie / looking like the white version of Professor Klump, homie,” is just one of the attacks Lemco launched against his then-incumbent opponent.

For three and a half months, Lemco ran his campaign on a razor-thin budget. He estimates that he spent about $500 of his own money, most of it on campaign signs and boosted Facebook posts. Lemco’s signs, which he put up around the city himself, encouraged passersby to vandalize them, which Montrealers responded to with enthusiasm.

In addition to his social media campaign, Lemco embarked on what he called a “bar-to-bar” campaign after struggling to connect with voters in broad daylight. “I go talk to people when they’re their most talkative, when they’ve got a few drinks in them,” he said. According to Lemco, the most common issues on people’s minds are the pit bull ban and Montreal’s expensive 375th anniversary celebrations.

Despite his campaign’s lighthearted beginnings, Lemco said he was shocked into seriousness by the support he received. It was then that he realized, “I can’t make this too much of a joke; I have this responsibility to give this a legitimate shot.”

Lemco did have some ideas for improving the city. He wanted to see heated roads rather than snow plows in the winter. Had he won the race, he would have continued vlogging during his tenure to encourage transparency at city hall. He also would have sought to ban rapper Pitbull from the city. “I’m a fair mayor, and I think the ban on pit bulls is absurd so I’d get rid of that, but I also believe there should be some balance in life,” he said, although he admitted he is a fan of the Miami-based rapper.

Regardless of the odds, there is at least one supporter who will never leave Lemco’s side. “Knowing Tyler, anything he wants to do, he goes at it full force. So, running for mayor or running for city council, I’m behind him 100 per cent,” said his mother, Brenda Lemco.

That’s not to say she wasn’t skeptical about his campaign at first. “Are you kidding? Is this really what you want to do? Are you serious?” she told him when she learned of his candidacy.

“I think the goal of this campaign first and foremost is to do something positive, try to start some important conversations,” Lemco said. He hopes his campaign will inspire others. “Look at me. Look at what I’m doing and I’m not qualified whatsoever,” he said. “If I win as a byproduct of that, then cool.” Although Lemco said it’s too far in the future to know for sure, he is not ruling out a second mayoral campaign.

Anyone with doubts about his plans for the future can consult his rap video: “Ima never stop running / Call me Forrest Gump, homie.”

Photo by Mackenzie Lad

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