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Saying goodbye to the HST

BRITISH COLUMBIA — IN AN UNPRECEDENTED referendum on Aug. 26., British Columbia voted against keeping the Harmonized Sales Tax. The tax, scrapped by 54 per cent of voters, had been in place for just over a year in the province.

The B.C. government is now discussing the return of $1.6 billion to the federal government with Jim Flaherty, minister of finance for the federal government. As a result of the referendum, the province will have to tighten its operational spending and balance its books by 2013–14.

—Chris Radojewski

Video games and voting

TORONTO — ALTHOUGH THEY SEEMINGLY have nothing in common, voting and video games were brought together after a student at George Brown College developed a video game to encourage voting in the upcoming Ontario provincial election, taking place this fall.

Designed by Damian Sommer for the Canadian Federation of Students, players can jump over apathy and debt as they try to catch a ballot box in a classic-style arcade game. Along the way, players will be presented with facts about student debt and apathy. The game can be found online at

—Chris Radojewski

Jack Layton imparts inspirational message for youth in final letter

TORONTO (CUP) — LESS THAN A month after announcing a break from federal politics to focus on his cancer treatment, New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jack Layton passed away in the early hours of Aug. 22. He was 61.

On Aug. 23, a letter from Layton was released by his family to the public. Alongside paragraphs addressed to his party, his caucus, and all Canadians, Layton had dedicated an entire section to Canadian youth.

“Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today,” Layton wrote. “You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.”

—Emma Godmere, CUP National Bureau Chief

Ryerson community radio taken off air

TORONTO (CUP) — AFTER NEARLY 30 years of broadcasting, community station CKLN 88.1 FM left Ryerson University campus on Aug. 27.

Last January, the station lost its license due to breaches of Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission standards. CKLN agreed to terminate its lease agreement in an Aug. 3 meeting and not reapply for licensing because of ongoing lawsuits involving former board members and volunteers.

Following its decision to leave Ryerson, CKLN announced it will sell part of its extensive vinyl archive, along with a selection of CDs, books, and memorabilia, due to a lack of space at their new location. The CKLN portion of the proceeds will go to support a women’s radio club in Regent Park.

“We’re selling about 15–20 per cent of our total collection,” said station manager Jacky Tunistra Harrison.

—Jeff Lagerquist, the Eyeopener