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Protesters fight Highway 5 extension 

OTTAWA—FOUR PROTESTERS, ACTING against a court order, have taken to the trees in Gatineau Park in an attempt to protest their removal and the expansion of Highway 5.

An injunction was issued prohibiting people from efforts to obstruct the construction on Feb. 28.  The Gatineau Park Protection Committee, which is against the removal of trees in the park, cautioned protestors against defying the injunction issued by the Quebec Supreme Court.

Reporters and photographers were denied access to the area, and police say the protestors could face a fine up to $50,000 and possible arrest if they refuse to leave the park.

—Spencer Van Dyk


Ontario government paper recommends online classes to save money 

TORONTO (CUP)—THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT is in talks to move post-secondary courses online in an effort to save money. The information comes from a government discussion paper leaked to The Canadian Press.

The two other money-saving considerations in the paper, called “3×3,” are potentially cutting undergraduate degrees at certain participating schools to three years and adding undergraduate classes to the spring and summer semester, resulting in year-round programs.

While the paper is not considered a policy shift, it shows the government is considering some recommendations from the Drummond Report—the result of a year-long analysis of ways Ontario can save money, conducted by economist Don Drummond.

The program, which is designed to boost productivity by three per cent for every year in the three-year program, would require universities to sign up for participation. Universities not voluntarily part of the program would have to find ways to save three per cent of their budget per year for three years.

The Ontario government, however, stated the information in the paper consists only of initial ideas.

—Lee Richardson, CUP Ontario Bureau Chief


Riot police break up Montreal student protest

MONTREAL (CUP)—IN A DAY of action on Feb. 24, thousands of students gathered in Philips Square and marched through downtown Montreal to protest tuition increases set to begin this September.

As of 2:45 p.m., the demonstration was trailed by 17–20 police vehicles, including a riot police van, an ambulance, and a van labeled “Support logistique.” At Berri-UQAM metro station the demonstration splintered down to about 1,500 demonstrators who continued marching toward Jacques Cartier Bridge.

Approximately 50–75 riot police surrounded the remaining demonstrators leading them into Place Émilie-Gamelin beside Berri-UQAM metro. Around 5 p.m., the number of demonstrators dropped to 500.

According to Annie Lemieux, a spokesperson for Montreal Police, the blockade ended at 5 p.m. Lemieux said there were no injuries. One arrest for disturbing the peace was made, although it is unclear if the arrest was related to the blockade.

—Henry Gass, the McGill Daily


Hepatitis C vaccine signals landmark University of Alberta discovery 

EDMONTON (CUP)—A UNIVERSITY OF Alberta team has made a breakthrough in Hepatitis C research, creating a vaccine that could potentially combat all forms of the liver-destroying virus.

The vaccine was developed by Michael Houghton, a U of A researcher who first discovered the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in 1989. The vaccine exposes the human body to a non-infectious subunit of the HCV so it can begin developing antibodies to protect against the virus. These antibodies are able to cross-neutralize against the seven genotypes of the virus.

So far, the research has only completed the first of three phases needed for the Food and Drug Association to approve the vaccine.

—Andrew Jeffrey, the Gateway