News

Broken water main floods Elgin businesses 

 

OTTAWA—A WATER MAIN on Elgin Street broke on Jan. 18, making it the second broken water pipe to burst in Ottawa over the past two weeks   and forcing the city to close down Elgin Street to replace the pipe.

An estimated $30 million will be spent on the project, which will affect many of the businesses on Elgin Street that rely on pedestrian traffic. Jocelyne Turner, spokeswoman for the City of Ottawa, said the water pipe breakages are a result of the cold weather. Another factor playing a role in the damage is the aging of the pipes, which were installed in 1874.

—Luna Kinani

 

Highway 5 expansion under protest

 

GATINEAU, Que.—THE GATINEAU PARK Protection Committee, a group from west Quebec, is preparing to protest the expansion of Highway 5 near Wakefield, Que. on Thursday morning. The highway runs along the eastern edge of Gatineau Park, and the group is concerned the project will result in the destruction of 100-year-old trees and threaten local wildlife.

Jean-Paul Murray, member of the committee, told the CBC he and the rest of the committee are planning “attempts to stop the building through civil disobedience, which includes tree-sitting.”

Local officials in favour of the project say the current road poses a danger to drivers, saying several serious car accidents along the road have made the expansion necessary. Officials say the project has been planned to minimize its environmental impact.

Gatineau Park is under the protection of the National Capital Commission, and Murray hopes they will intervene in the project to protect the park. Construction is scheduled to begin in the winter.

—Emily King

 

Budget cuts force University of Alberta to eliminate 10 faculty positions

 

EDMONTON (CUP)—THE UNIVERSITY OF Alberta’s Faculty of Arts saved nearly $500,000 by closing three vacant faculty positions but needs to find savings of $1 million elsewhere, the university’s dean of arts Lesley Cormack announced at a public forum on Jan. 18.

The need for more savings will result in the university’s inability to support staff positions as determined by the Administrative Process Review Project, which originally aimed to cut 15 positions as the result of a two per cent budget cut.

The faculty saved another $1 million by eliminating seven tenured faculty positions from professors who have accepted retirement packages, which will take effect July 1. Those savings will go toward the next faculty-wide two per cent budget cut, which will eliminate roughly $1.5 million from the arts budget on April 1.

—Alex Migdal, the Gateway 

 

Break-in compromises UVic employees’ personal information

 

VICTORIA—A BREAK-IN OCCURRED at the University of Victoria’s Administrative Service Building some time between Jan. 7 and the morning of Jan. 8. Among the stolen items was a back-up storage device containing personal banking information and social insurance numbers for about 11,000 past and present university employees, including work-study students.

According to Gayle Gorrill, vice-president of finance and operations at UVic, compromised banking information and identity theft remain possible despite no evidence of personal information being used.

Saanich police said the forced entry was an average business break-in and added that the stolen information was a result of chance—thieves were after computers, small electronics, and cash, rather than the storage device.

David Turpin, president of the university, commissioned a review of the university’s security measures in response to the break-in, while the Professional Employees Association of British Columbia called on the university to ensure proper safeguards are in place to prevent further security breaches.

—Michelle LePage