May 30th, 2024

In the news today: Pro-Palestinian encampment at Montreal’s McGill University

By The Canadian Press on April 29, 2024.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators at an encampment at McGill University in Montreal, Saturday, April 27, 2024. Pro-Palestinian student activists in Montreal have set up camp on the grounds of McGill University this weekend. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today…

Pro-Palestinian encampment at Montreal’s McGill University

Pro-Palestinian student activists in Montreal have set up camp on the grounds of McGill University this weekend.

It follows a wave of similar protests being held on university and college campuses across the United States.

As of Sunday afternoon, more than two dozen tents had been pitched at the school’s campus in downtown Montreal, with people steadily coming in to drop donations or supplies.

One student named “Ruth” who didn’t want to give her full name for fear of reprisals from the school or police, says the campers intend to remain indefinitely.

McGill says in a statement dated Saturday night that the students refused a request to remove their tents, but confirmed the protest had been peaceful.

Here’s what else we’re watching…

B.C. drug policy shift harms vulnerable: advocates

Advocates for drug users are raising concerns about the British Columbia government’s request for Health Canada to empower police to get involved when they see illicit drug use in public spaces.

The provincial government says it may be a step backward in the fight against the deadly opioid crisis.

Brittany Graham, the executive director of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, says although she’s not seen the specifics, this proposed change will affect those without a home or who are living poverty.

The provincial embarked on three-year decriminalization pilot project was enacted on Jan. 31, 2023, exempting those who are in possession of small amounts of opioids from facing criminal charges. Exemptions apply to drugs including heroin and fentanyl, as well as cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA, in quantities of 2.5 grams or less.

B.C.’s request comes after repeated criticism from politicians, health workers and police about the policy, including open drug use in public spaces.

‘Deeply unhappy’ shoppers plan Loblaw boycott

A movement urging people to boycott Loblaw stores has gained traction online and could lead to thousands of shoppers taking their money elsewhere in May.

The boycott stems from a Reddit group where people share their frustrations with Loblaw and the other major grocers in Canada.

Emily Johnson created the group and is helping to run the boycott and she says the primary goal of it to financially impact Loblaw’s bottom line.

Some Canadians say they’ve already started to shop elsewhere, though it’s easier said than done for people living in areas with few choices.

Loblaw’s new president and chief executive officer Per Bank says he knows the company’s reputation has suffered since pre-pandemic times.

Fort McMurray hopeful as Trans Mountain starts up

The expected opening of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion this week is being welcomed as a major milestone in the oilsands community of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

The Crown corporation building the pipeline expansion from Alberta to B.C.’s west coast has said the project will open May 1.

The Trans Mountain expansion will give Canadian oilsands companies additional export capacity, allowing them to increase their output to all-time record levels this year.

The project has been eagerly anticipated in Fort McMurray, where the local economy is heavily dependent on the oil industry.

Community residents have since lived through an oil price crash and lengthy recession, as well as a disastrous wildfire in 2016 and a major flood in 2020.

Ontario limits cellphones, social media in schools

Ontario will limit cellphone use in classrooms, restrict access to all social media networks and ban vaping on school properties starting this fall.

Stephen Lecce, the province’s education minister, says these measure are necessary to improve safety in schools and help students focus in class.

The government has put together a “comprehensive plan” to curb distraction levels among the province’s students, Lecce says, including restricting cellphone use and banning vaping in schools.

Kids in kindergarten to Grade 6 will be required to keep phones on silent and out of sight for the entire school day, unless they get explicit permission from an educator, while those in grades seven and up will see cellphone use banned during class time.

Quebec and British Columbia have already made similar moves to ban the use of cellphones in class, but Lecce says Ontario will be the first province to block access to all social media platforms on school networks and devices.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2024.

Share this story:

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments