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Hands off our oil sands says Calgary Centre nomination candidate

This month, Calgary-Centre Conservatives will meet to pick a successor to longtime MP Lee Richardson, who resigned in order to take a position as Principal Secretary to Premier Alison Redford. Among the candidates for the nomination is an interesting long shot bid.Joseph Soares, a former Quebec advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper has positioned himself on the right and promises a more combative style if he is chosen as candidate. Though a native Quebecker who lacks the Calgary experience of his main opponents, Soares believes that his background can be an asset as it will allow him to more credibly defend Alberta's oil sands against attacks from NDP leader Thomas Mulcair while selling the benefits of the industry to Central Canadians. The Prince Arthur Herald sat down for an interview with Soares on his views and plans for the riding.The Prince Arthur Herald: Well I think we’ll begin with the most obvious question. Why have you decided to run for the Conservative nomination in Calgary-Centre? Joseph Soares: Well, I'm running because think it's important to expose the hypocrisy and duplicity of Thomas Mulcair and the NDP on the oil sands.  My campaign message is "Joe declares non merci to Mr. Mulcair; hands off Alberta's oil sands." As someone who knows Quebec well, I think it’s important to be able to demonstrate to Quebeckers that Alberta is a net contributor to the federation and that people forget that it is a net contributor to Quebec through transfer payments. My background as a Quebecker will help me make that case.  If Mr. Mulcair came to Calgary-Centre, went door to door and spoke to the people about the real issues that affect them, he would hear that they don't want him to touch the oil sands and that the biggest issue so far is… Read More

McGill moves convocation off campus to avoid protesters

McGill University’s spring convocation will not be held on lower field this year, for fear of student protests. The large, grass covered field at the heart of the university’s downtown campus has hosted spring graduation ceremonies for close to a decade. This year, however, the McGill administration has decided to move the ceremonies off campus, to the Bell Centre and the Centre Mont Royal convention centre on Mansfield.The decision was motivated by concerns that an easily accessible, outdoor venue like the lower field would be vulnerable to disruptions caused by the protesters involved in Québec’s ongoing student “strike.” In a message to students and staff the McGill Secretariat indicated that:“Convocation is a very special day for graduating students and their families, and we want to do our best to ensure that family and friends can focus on the accomplishments of their new graduates.  Therefore, we thought it prudent to move the ceremony to a location less likely to be affected by possible demonstrations, given the ongoing activity in Montreal.”McGill students have largely refrained from participating in the student “strike” against the Charest government’s proposed increase in tuition rates. Less than 6% of McGill students chose to boycott their classes during the winter 2012 semester while most of the faculty and departmental associations that voted to strike only did so for limited periods of between one day and one week.Only a handful of associations, such as the Social Work Students Association (SWSA) and the Gender, Sexual Diversity and Feminist Studies Student Association (GSDFSSA), have voted for longer, unlimited strikes of the kind favoured by students at the Université du Québec à Montréal and many Montreal CEGEPs.The seeming lack of enthusiasm among McGill students for the strike movement has not prevented its proponents from disrupting life on campus. The main entrance at… Read More

Student leader Nadeau-Dubois evicted for unpaid rent

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, the controversial spokesman for Québec’s CLASSE (the province’s largest student federation) was evicted from his apartment today after failing to make the rental payments due for the months of March and April. In a stinging judgment, Judge Robin-Martial Guay of the Régie du Logement du Québec found that Nadeau-Dubois and his roommates owed $1,900 in unpaid rent to their landlord and that their claims to have made the monthly payments were “not credible.” The landlord alleged that the March and April rental payments, each of $950, were never made.  Nadeau-Dubois alleged that they were made on March 12th and April 2nd respectively. On each occasion, he and his roommates purportedly left envelopes stuffed with $950 in cash in their landlord’s unlocked, outdoor mailbox. As evidence of this, they adduced bank receipts showing two $1000 withdrawals from Mr. Nadeau-Dubois’ personal bank account which they argued constituted sufficient proof of the payment. When the Régie suggested that these were proof of nothing more than two separate, one thousand dollar bank withdrawals, Nadeau-Dubois responded with what Judge Guay referred to as “syllogisms from Mr. Nadeau-Dubois and circumstances alleged to the detriment of the landlord.”Nadeau-Dubois and his roommates claimed that they had a bad relationship with their landlord and indicated that he had failed to provide them with receipts for several previous rental payments. When Judge Guay professed to be “astounded” that they would choose to pay a landlord with whom they had had such bad experiences in the past by placing envelopes stuffed with cash in his mailbox when he wasn’t at home, Nadeau-Dubois explained that he and his roommates had run out of checks. They had none on them when making the admittedly late payment on March 12th and had apparently not obtained new ones by April 2nd, by which… Read More