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Photo: Natalie-Maynor Creative Commons


Fresh controversy arises at Farmers’ Market

On Sunday, Sept. 6 approximately 50 members of the Ottawa Farmers’ Market attended a meeting to discuss potential rule breaking among members.

The meeting stemmed from a City order stating that the market, which is held in Aberdeen Square at Lansdowne Park, must close early because of a Redblacks game. Some market members alleged that others had stayed late, in defiance of the order, in order to sell more of their products. Making the story juicier, the stall of the market’s president, Andy Terauds, was one of the accused.

Terauds said his stall was open later because he was representing the market at the annual Savour Ottawa Harvest Table dinner. He has offered to resign over the anger of other members, but said it would be a mistake.

But the market has other problems.

The market is currently in contract negotiations with the City, and with Ottawa Sports Entertainment Group, the market’s landlord.

Many members are unhappy with their location, which has seen lower sales than Brewer park, their previous locale. They are also not pleased with their contract with the City, which can modify the market’s hours as it sees fit.

—Eric Davidson

Canadian cities, provinces look to do more to settle refugees

With the number of global refugees, especially from war-torn Syria growing, Canadian provinces and cities are looking for ways to do more.

So far, Canada has accepted 2,500 refugees from Syria, which has been criticized as being too low. For comparison, one of the countries accepting the most refugees is France, whose president, Francois Hollande, recently announced his country will take in 24,000.

However, only one province, Quebec, has control of its own immigration policy. The others have had to appeal to the federal government to make a change.

The provinces can, however, offer assistance, as well as encourage support and sponsorship of refugees.

Several municipal and provincial leaders have promised to accept refugees, and donated money to the United Nations and other organizations.

Nova Scotia Justice Minister Diana Whalen has called on the government to “open the door to Canada.”

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson wrote to Citizen and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander that “The City of Ottawa stands ready to be a collaborative partner.”

The Conservative government has pledged to take in 10,000 refugees over the next three years, and Harper has promised to bring in an additional 10,000 over four years if re-elected.

Trudeau has said Canada should settle 25,000 refugees, while Mulcair has said he looks to settle 10,000.

—Eric Davidson

Brock University offers new alternative for expensive textbooks

The Canadian Federation of Students says that textbook costs have risen by nearly two and a half times the rate of inflation since 2008, which has prompted Brock University to introduce a new dynamic pricing model.

The site identifies and matches the prices of many online retailers.

The new site runs a pricing algorithm, which changes prices, sometimes on daily basis. When the program was started, prices dropped for 80 percent of books in the store, some by 40 or 50 dollars.

When the soaring cost of textbooks, is combined with rising tuition costs, students really feel the crunch.

“It becomes a very grim reality for a lot of young people particularly when they find that their textbooks for an entire year can cost about the same as a few classes,”  CFS president Bilan Arte told the CBC.

—Eric Davidson