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Double homicide in Ottawa South

OTTAWA—ON OCT 26, convicted drug trafficker Graham Thomas, 35 and Jason Chapman, 31, believed to be his driver, were shot and killed at Ottawa’s Gloucester Centre inside a tanning salon Thomas owned in the mall on Oct. 26.
Thomas has been charged with drug trafficking, impaired driving, driving while disqualified, and various degrees of assault. He was to appear in court this week to testify as a witness in an intimidation trial, as well as next September on assault charges.

It is believed that Thomas had ties to the Rizzutto crime family and the Hells Angels.

—Samantha Cowan-Cholette

Evictions may be in the future for students

OTTAWA—ON OCT. 20, the Carleton Condominium Corporation No. 24 passed a new regulation that would prohibit students from renting its units. With these new rules, only families are permitted to rent the units, according to a letter published by the corporation this week.

Carleton University student and tenant Nicholas McLeod has taken a strong stance on the regulation, organizing opposition to the newly minted rule.

“I condemn the condo board’s decision. It is appalling that they would single out one group for discrimination,” said McLeod, who has lived in the corporation’s condominium’s units for the past three years.

When the new rules come into effect on Nov. 21, students and landlords are able to force a vote on the matter if the corporation receives a requisition from 15 per cent of the condo owners. Of the 300 units available, students occupy 30 per cent.

—Graham Mac Vannel

Quebecois students protest tuition hike

QUEBEC CITY, QUE.—ON OCT. 21, students from Concordia University, the University of Montréal, the Student Federation of Quebec University, and the Student Federation of Quebec College gathered outside the Quebec Congress Centre to protest rising tuition rates for Quebecois students.

The proposed $1,625 increase in annual tuition raised concerns that education, which many protesters see as an essential public service, could slowly become less available to Quebec residents who lack the money necessary to pay for a university degree.

—Nate Gibbs Remenda

Dropping the gender-oriented washrooms

WINNIPEG—AT THE UNIVERSITY of Winnipeg, a coalition of student groups and the administration want to create gender-neutral washrooms by the end of the academic year, much like their fellow Winnipeg university, the University of Manitoba.

The University of Winnipeg has aimed to introduce gender-neutral washrooms since 2007, but turnover in student leadership has prevented the goal from gaining momentum until now. The administration and LGBTTQ centre at the University of Winnipeg are hoping to offer washrooms as important “inclusive spaces” that are not gender specific.

The University of Manitoba already has unisex washrooms, but as David Vo, coordinator of the Rainbow Pride Mosaic, the LGBTTQ community at the university, explained to the Manitoban, “In order for it to be gender neutral, there must not be any signs that indicate males or females,” which is a problem associated with the unisex washrooms.

With only one gender-neutral washroom in place, the University of Manitoba may add more of these washrooms to their student body.

—Graham Mac Vannel