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Study confirms cougars have returned to Eastern Ontario

PETERBOROUGH, Ont.—A FOUR-YEAR STUDY by the Ministry of Natural Resources confirms what many rural residents were already sure of: Wild cougars have returned to Ontario. Although considered extinct, the major research effort documented tracks, fur, photos, DNA, droppings, and sightings of the animals.

The evidence, however, does not indicate the cougars’ origin. Some may have been here all along, or were raised as pets and escaped or were released. A cougar can travel thousands of kilometres, causing researchers to believe they could have moved here from Manitoba or the United States.

The study found 21 pieces of hard evidence, such as tracks and fur, proving the cougars’ return. Although only a low density of cougars is believed to exist in Ontario, the province’s deer population makes it an ideal home.

—Marie Hoekstra  

Post-recession, it’s an ‘uphill battle’ for young people seeking jobs: Study

MONTREAL (CUP)—WITH THE 2012 convocation only weeks away, future graduates face a grim job market as young workers have been the worst affected by the recession, according to a recent study by TD Economics.

The 2008 recession hit young workers hard: Workers under 25 held more than half of the 430,000 jobs that were lost over the recession, though they represent one-sixth of the labour force.

Those aged 20–24 have fared better than those aged 15–19, but job recovery is still dismal for all young workers though the recession has ended. About 175,000 young workers have left the labour market since the start of the recession—meaning they stopped looking for jobs. Youth unemployment now stands at 14.5 per cent, double that of the rest of the population.

—Sarah Deshaies, CUP Quebec Bureau Chief

Annual police brutality march in Montreal ends with riot police, arrests

MONTREAL (CUP)—AN ANTI-POLICE BRUTALITY protest on March 15 turned violent when demonstrators and police clashed in the streets of downtown Montreal. Around 2,000 protesters turned out for the demonstration, gathering at the Berri-UQAM metro station at 5 p.m. before marching through downtown.

Some demonstrators wore red squares around their right eyes in solidarity with Francis Grenier, whose right eye was injured last week when reportedly hit with a flash grenade thrown by a police officer.

The anti-police brutality demonstration, organized by the Collectif Opposé a la Brutalité Policière, was impaired by small groups of protestors who committed acts of sporadic violence. Projectiles were hurled at store windows and police vehicles after riot police stopped the march.

Rows of riot police used pepper spray on demonstrators on at least two occasions to move the crowd away from police lines. Between 100 and 150 people were arrested outside the National Archives and Library of Quebec.

—Laurent Bastien Corbeil and Erin Hudson, the McGill Daily

McMaster Students’ Union votes against joining blood protest campaign

TORONTO (CUP)—A MOTION FOR McMaster University’s Student Union (MSU) to join a protest movement against a ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men has failed. The decision has been reached by a vote involving the McMaster Students’ Union  and its 35-member Student Representative Assembly (SRA).

The vote was on whether to join the “End the Ban” campaign run by the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), which opposes the Canadian Blood Services’ ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men. Eighty-seven Canadian post-secondary institutions are part of the campaign to end the ban.

According to SRA member Ryan Sparrow, the main reason the motion was voted down was because it would have required an alliance with the CFS—this being such an important factor MSU and SRA contacted the Canadian AIDS Society to request working together in a McMaster-specific campaign outside of the CFS.

—Lee Richardson, CUP Ontario Bureau Chief