News | SSMU Council denounces Bill C-10

Board of Directors upholds J-Board's decision on QPIRG referendum

SSMU Legislative Council decided to denounce Bill C-10 – also known as the omnibus crime bill – to provincial and federal governments.

The decision was made at Council last Thursday, which also voted on motions that were not formally passed at February’s General Assembly, due to loss of quorum.

The motion, moved by Law Representative Ian Clarke, also seeks to make SSMU create a media campaign to denounce the bill, and to support any students that wish to denounce it as well.

“One part will be to get the word out and to say this is not a good idea, we should not stand for it, and the other half is to advocate to the government and perhaps change their stance,” said Clarke.

VP External Joël Pedneault was also mandated to lead the movement, which will denounce the bill to the University’s member of Parliament, Marc Garneau, and to Quebec senators.

The motion to “reform frosh,” moved by VP Internal Todd Plummer, also passed.

Plummer expressed concerns over the way Frosh currently runs, citing that, “it orients students to University life in an inappropriate way, and is dominated by ‘bro culture.’”

Council also passed a motion on “Negative Corporate Influence on Campus,” which seeks, in part, to “build a University community governed by students, staff and faculty internal to the University community, rather than corporate agenda.”

The SSMU Board of Directors (BoD) also met on Thursday and ratified the decision made by the Judicial Board (J-Board) regarding QPIRG’s fall 2011 referendum results.

The ratification came following Council’s recommendations.

VP University Affairs Emily Clare told The Daily that the BoD tries to follow Council’s advice because the latter has broader student representation.

“In order to respect the internal democratic processes of the SSMU, it’s important that the BoD respects Council’s recommendation. We cannot have international students [on the BoD], so it is inherently discriminatory. Therefore, it is important that the BoD respects the will of Council,” said Clare.

During Council, Management Representative Samuel Latham advised councillors to adhere to the recommendations of the Bylaw Review Committee, and discuss whether the decision was unreasonable.

“Based on the report of the Bylaw Review Committee, a decision of the J-Board should only be overturned when it is deemed manifestly unreasonable and motivated by discrimination,” said Latham.

Adam Winer, Clubs and Services representative, stated that discussion should not focus upon “whether we as individual members of Council find that the QPIRG question was one questions or two questions,” as doing so would result in “taking the role of J-Board justices.”

“I think it sets a very worrying precedent if we as Council, or as a BoD, overturn the decision,” he said.

Becca Yu, U2 Arts student, presented a letter to Council, signed by thirty students. The letter expresses “disapproval and frustration” with the J-Board decision to invalidate the results of QPIRG fall 2011 referendum.

The letter mentioned that “the decision made by the J-Board could severely affect campus life by impeding QPIRG’s ability to function in a meaningful way.”

“We are also angered by the way in which the decision was made, as well as the reasoning provided,” states the letter.

The letter pointed to a potential conflict of interest on the part of Justice Raphael Szajnfarber.

After the discussion, the Legislative Council voted to recommend to the BoD to uphold the decision made by J-Board.

VP Clubs & Services Carol Fraser also reported that the Cafeteria Light Project, which has been on-going for three years, continues to be at a standstill because of disagreement between McGill and SSMU on the architectural designs.

Fraser told The Daily that, because the project is funded with student money, the design proposed by SSMU should be upheld.

“If it doesn’t even change the lighting capacity in the cafeteria so much, we are considering not even going with the project,” she added.


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