Updates from November, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:58 on 2023-11-22 Permalink | Reply  

    With the city moving ahead with its promised animal pound comes the news that the SPCA is going to end its role in animal control, and focus instead on defending and protecting animals. The pound will be directed by Proanima, a nonprofit on the South Shore.

    • Kate 23:57 on 2023-11-22 Permalink | Reply  

      I didn’t realize that a court could step in and ordain that a student society not act on a policy chosen by referendum, but Superior Court has done so at McGill.

      • Nicholas 02:09 on 2023-11-23 Permalink

        Without seeing the ruling, I assume it’s that a student society is a non-profit, which has a charter and by-laws, and so has to follow them (and follow a specific procedure noted in its charter or by-laws for changing them), and a member (here, a student) can go to court to force the non-profit to follow its by-laws. No idea who’s right morally, factually or legally, but non-profits do have an enforceable duty to their members to follow their rules.

      • Joey 09:59 on 2023-11-23 Permalink

        @Nicholas the articles suggest the student is challenging the adoption of the policy on the grounds that it’s tantamount to hate speech, not that the students’ society made some administrative error.

      • Ephraim 11:02 on 2023-11-23 Permalink

        I read the statement made by the student union. It’s clearly not balanced and I understand why many of the students are upset. Especially because it is really outside the realm of what a student union is supposed to do. McGill itself objects and is threatening to remove their name from the student union, and refuse to collect dues as part of the finance of McGill. They point out that it’s for the benefit of all students, so really they shouldn’t be involved in politics at all.

        Essentially the student union should resemble a sports complex or a library. It’s there for everyone to use and it shouldn’t be making any political statements.

      • Joey 11:26 on 2023-11-23 Permalink

        @Ephraim without getting into the specifics, since when should student unions, which are political creatures after all, not make any political statements?

      • Ephraim 12:29 on 2023-11-23 Permalink

        @Joey – It is specifically in their charter that they are to serve ALL students, not just a majority and that they are to serve the interests of the students (as students), so politics should be outside of the realm (which is exactly why there has been so much legal nonsense involved). But it’s also not supposed to be a political organization. There are clubs for that. It’s like the representatives to each public school. There are 2 teachers and 2 parents (or students if it’s adult ed) and management and they represent the interests of each group to management. So, should the parents and teachers at a public school pass a statement on politics in Germany? No! It’s not really what they are there for. The same with the student union, it’s supposed to represent the interests of students to McGill’s management. The politics… join a club.

      • steph 13:56 on 2023-11-23 Permalink

        This jugement just delays the inevitable – hence it simply being a ‘pause’ order. The student union should make statements againt genocide, regardless of it being a majority position.

      • Ephraim 14:05 on 2023-11-23 Permalink

        To be honest, I’m really an advocate for “Stay in your lane”

        But if they really feel the need, they could make a general statement against genocide and ethnic cleansing without any specificity to it, since it should apply to everyone. I mean, realistically EVERYONE should be against genocide and ethnic cleansing, no matter who does it, without pointing fingers… because to be honest, no one has clean hands.

      • H. John 15:02 on 2023-11-23 Permalink

        Like all Quebec university student associations (and others) McGill’s Student Association is a corporation “constituted under Part III of the Companies Act…”


        For a reason I could never fathom, Quebec took student associations completely out of the control of their institutions when they passed the “Act Respecting The Accreditation and Financing of Students’ Associations” in 1983.


      • Ephraim 16:06 on 2023-11-23 Permalink

        So, basically, as McGill says, it doesn’t have to let them use their name nor collect annual fees for them

      • steph 16:37 on 2023-11-23 Permalink

        “no one has clean hands”; 78.7 percent of McGill students would disagree with you when it comes to genocide (which is what we’re talking about here). Advocating to “stay in your lane” during an ongoing genocide beyond tone deaf.

      • H. John 16:43 on 2023-11-23 Permalink

      • bob 17:14 on 2023-11-23 Permalink

        First off, they are free to hold referendums to call on McGill to do anything – McGill does not care, and the probability of McGill going along with this is zero.

        Second, there are no provisions in the law or in the SSMU Constitution that would prohibit holding a referendum making a political statement, or promulgating some policy or other on that basis, or any other basis. Normally, such a policy would have something to do with the core functions of a student association, which is to represent students as students, and not with larger political issues that touch on students as humans on the planet – but, of course, plenty of associations, student or otherwise, take all kinds of stands on all kinds of things. The point of an exercise like this is propaganda, not democracy.

        Third, if it violates their own regulations or policy, the court can quash it. For what it’s worth, here is a key part of SSMU’s Equity Policy, which seems to be one of the relevant bits:

        4.1.1. The SSMU recognizes that groups that have been historically and culturally disadvantaged are subject to systematic marginalization and oppression, and condemns harassment or discrimination based on but not limited to: gender identity, gender expression, age, race, ethnic or national origin, religion, sexuality, sexual orientation, ability, language, size, or social class.

        There are ways to exclude Jews from this policy – historically and culturally disadvantaged, maybe, but that was then and this is now; subject to systematic marginalization and oppression, well of course not, Jews have prospered and are found at all levels of society (i.e., Jews are rich and run the world). If Jews are made to feel excluded, it is simply because they are Zionists, and Zionism is not a religion or a nationality, or anything else in there. And so on. And can a policy really constitute “harrassment” or “discrimination”? I imagine the legal arguments will be along those lines, though they will try to argue democracy first.

      • Ephraim 18:21 on 2023-11-23 Permalink

        As far as I read, McGill university itself made 2 statements. That if this is ratified that they will suspend the right to use the university name and that they will suspend collecting dues. That’s it. And that the last time this happened, it was never ratified anyway.

        I think that the student union should be representing students without regards to world politics. In the same way that students/parents on a public school’s governing board are there to represent the interest of all students and not world politics. That being said doesn’t stop them from doing what they want to do in support. The same way that the Montreal Teacher’s Union shouldn’t be involved in world politics, but what teachers do on their own time is their own business.

        @steph That’s not really 78.7% of students… in fact, it’s actually about 27.5% of students, since they estimate only 35% voted and therefore there wasn’t even a quorum of voters, In fact, I’d say that 65% of students voted for “none of the above”

      • Tim S. 14:52 on 2023-11-24 Permalink

        I’m hearing this same situation from other, less-publicized places as well, and I’m frankly getting worried about the basic freedom of speech of people I don’t necessarily agree with.

        Personally, I sympathize with Ephraim’s “stay-in-your lane” perspective, but heavy-handed tactics stopping people from expressing legitimate viewpoints is a far worse danger.

    • Kate 18:13 on 2023-11-22 Permalink | Reply  

      A woman of Vietnamese origin who worked at the Office municipal d’habitation de Montréal (OMHM) is suing the Office after facing constant racist taunts not only from tenants of the building where she worked, but from her own boss. Insulted for being Chinese, she explained to her boss that she was actually Vietnamese, to be told “c’est la même chose.” The woman was fired and is now demanding half a million dollars.

      • Nicholas 22:12 on 2023-11-22 Permalink

        Maybe the director should have read this OMHM post on violence verbale, posted 3 months into the 12 month period this was allegedly going on. What an awful human being! I mean: «Tu sais que tu es la première minorité visible que j’embauche et cela ne m’a apporté que des problèmes que je n’ai jamais vus auparavant, lui aurait dit Mme Gendron. Tu as un visage différent. Moi je veux une gestion sans problèmes pour pouvoir prendre ma retraite.»

    • Kate 11:33 on 2023-11-22 Permalink | Reply  

      The Grey Cup parade starts at 11:30 Wednesday.

      • Kate 10:27 on 2023-11-22 Permalink | Reply  

        A longtime ban on blood donations by people who’ve spent time in Europe, including the UK, has been lifted by Health Canada. I’m posting this because in the past we’ve discussed blood donation here, and some of my readers mentioned their disqualification on this basis.

        • Tee Owe 16:08 on 2023-11-22 Permalink

          Wow – that goes back 40 years – I lived in the UK early ’80s, couldn’t give blood ever since

        • mare 21:13 on 2023-11-22 Permalink

          I’m in this picture and haven’t given blood since I’m in Quebec. Now I could, maybe.

      • Kate 10:17 on 2023-11-22 Permalink | Reply  

        The Kanien’kehá:ka Kahnistensera, the Mohawk Mothers, have won a court ruling forcing McGill to comply with an agreement to allow excavations for unmarked graves in the grounds.

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