All Posts Tagged With: "RCMP"
Students warned not to walk alone at night
VANCOUVER – The RCMP’s Major Crimes Unit has taken over the investigation into a series of late-night assaults against female students at the University of British Columbia as officials work to increase safety measures at the Vancouver campus.
The third attack in three weeks involved a man grabbing the woman from behind, ripping her nylons and punching her in the face as she walked to her residence.
Sgt. Drew Grainger of the RCMP’s university detachment said the latest victim suffered a black eye and that the escalating violence has led police to focus more resources on finding the suspect who’s been described in each case as tall, thin, wearing a black hoodie and being in his late 20s.
Police met Monday with UBC administrators and officials from campus security and student housing to discuss the use of more lighting and video cameras to protect students and prevent other types of crimes.
RCMP contacted university security
The Mounties compiled a dossier on the Occupy Ottawa movement, scouring social media sites and even quizzing campus security after protesters held planning sessions at a university, newly released documents show.
Meeting notes show there were also plans to monitor the Confederation Park protest site using a camera mounted to the nearby offices of the National Capital Commission.
The camera is normally pointed at Ottawa’s city hall, the notes say. However, the NCC says it does not operate the camera and it did not use the device to monitor the protests from its offices.
The documents show NCC staff did keep close tabs on the makeshift encampment throughout the occupation, snapping dozens of photographs and reporting on the protesters’ activities.
Obama’s odds, no-money-down tuition, Halo 4 & a drug bust
1. It’s election day in America and things are looking good for President Barack Obama. Statistician Nate Silver, one of the most trusted seers of election results in America, Tweeted Monday that the latest polling suggests a very close election, but that Obama has a 91 per cent chance of winning the electoral college, which would give him another four years in office.
2. If it were up to student newspaper editors, Obama would win. The Daily Campus at Southern Methodist University is the only high-profile student paper to give Romney its endorsement.
3. More details are out from Ontario Liberal leadership candidate Glen Murray on his no-money-down post-secondary plan. Here it is. In partnership with private lenders, university students would be allowed to borrow up to $7,000 per year, roughly the cost of tuition and fees. Repayment and interest would start after graduation based on income. Loans would be interest free in the first 12 months after grad. The Canadian Federation of Students is opposed, naturally, saying it would “saddle youth with a lifetime of debt.”
Education degrees aren’t just for the classroom
I’m currently in teacher’s college at York University and sometimes I find myself worrying about my future career. The Ontario College of Teachers reports that one-third of 2010 education grads were unable to land any employment in the 2010-11 school year, not even supply teaching. In 2011, only 23 per cent had regular teaching jobs.
So what to do? Instead of focusing on how hard it’s going to be to find a job, I’m considering other options. It’s much better than depressing myself reading more discouraging statistics! With that, I humbly present 10 options every education graduate should consider.
1. Teaching abroad
There are many countries where English teachers are highly sought (South Korea, the Middle East, Japan). If you’re an adventure seeker with no immediate obligations, teaching abroad on a one or two-year contract is a great option. The classroom experience could prove useful when you return.
Hint: It’s not schools, and they pay $80k after three years.
Education graduates face a dismal job market. Two-thirds of recent grads in Ontario aren’t working full-time. The University of British Columbia’s teacher’s college recently admitted that many graduates won’t find jobs in teaching.
Things are bad in Manitoba too. The local school boards didn’t even show up at Monday’s University of Manitoba education job fair.
But that same job fair should give education graduates a reason to be hopeful, because it showed how certain other employers value their experiences.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, for example, showed up at Manitoba’s education job fair for the first time Monday. The force is recruiting education graduates for the police academy in Regina.
Students and prof want RCMP to leave them alone
Students — and at least one professor — are disappointed that the usually laissez faire campus hangout Wreck Beach is being targeted by the University of British Columbia’s RCMP officers.
“Invariably, the people who cause trouble on the beach are drunk people,” Corporal Robert Ploughman told the Ubyssey, explaining the recent crackdown. “When the weather’s good, we’re giving out ten to fifteen, twenty tickets a day,” he said, referring to $230 open alcohol fines. He says the tickets are justified because alcohol causes fights, plus falls up the steep stairs to campus.
Carellin Brooks, a UBC professor and author of the book Wreck Beach wishes the police wouldn’t ticket drinkers. “Last night I had a bottle of wine on Wreck Beach and I did not drive drunk, set fire to any cars, or have to be hospitalized,” she told the Ubyssey, pointing out that Europeans often enjoy alcohol in public places without police interference. ”Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could take the same approach at places like Wreck Beach, rather than be punitive with everyone?”
Others feel the same way. Corporal Ploughman said he sometimes gets a standing ovation when he exits the beach.
Coroner concerned by head injuries during police custody
A University of British Columbia student died from a cocaine-induced heart attack three days after being released from police custody in Whistler on Feb. 23, 2010.
Silas Rogers, 20, was arrested for public intoxication during the Vancouver Winter Olympics after taking heroin, alcohol and snorting a crushed-up anti-anxiety medication. He was then taken to the local RCMP detachment, where he stayed for 11 hours. Following his release, he went to a friend’s house in Vancouver and continued to take drugs, including cocaine. He was found unconscious by friends a few hours after retiring to bed, during which time he experienced the deadly cocaine-induced heart attack, reports Metro News.
During his time in jail, recordings showed that Rogers struck his head eight times against the floor and the walls. The jail guards didn’t notice because the video monitor at their workstation was broken. Owen Court, the regional coroner, said in his report that although the falls were not the cause of death, he found it troubling that “an obviously intoxicated individual fell and struck his head numerous times while in police custody, yet received so little attention.”
RCMP counter-terrorism unit, CSIS and FBI search across the globe for missing students
Three Muslim University of Manitoba students have been missing since 2007 when they mysteriously left Winnipeg for Pakistan. They are being investigated as part of what the Globe and Mail calls “one of Canada’s most expensive and elaborate national security investigations since 9/11.”
RCMP counter-terrorism unit officers from across the country, and CSIS agents have descended on Winnipeg as part of the probe. The American Federal Bureau of investigation has “dispatched agents to the Middle East as part of their hunt, and the young men have been the subject of secret briefings to U.S. presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama,” the Globe reported.
Ferid Imam, Muhannad al-Farekh and Miawand Yar have not been in contact with their families and the investigation has caused broader distress among the Winnipeg Muslim community. Officers have interviewed several other men in relation to the case. “It’s been going on for three years. Families have come to me for stress and counselling,” Shahina Siddiqui, executive director of the Islamic Social Services Association, told the Winnipeg Free Press.
As of Friday, the RCMP is treating the students as officially missing, and would not comment on the nature of the investigation.
After RCMP officers were assaulted at UBC party, fraternities should show some regret
Across this great land of ours, young first-year students are earnestly hunkering down for a semester’s worth of classes after a week of introductions, orientations, and—perhaps—even enjoying a few alcoholic beverages. Or a lot.
Universities not-so discreetly allow such imbibing—heck, some organize week-long events centred around the concept—because they want students to feel they had a rich, fulfilling time getting their bachelor degree, and having a wicked awesome first week at your new university certainly helps with that.
Of course, this trade off is only beneficial to universities if students somewhat behave themselves. If not . . .
Which leads me to last Saturday’s delightful shenanigans at the University of British Columbia, where dozens of police had to be called in after a party at a fraternity got out of hand. A group of around 15 people were fighting in the Fraternity Village courtyard, and when two RCMP officers attempted to break up the brouhaha, they were physically assaulted. And while no one was seriously hurt in the incident, you don’t have to be a public relations expert to know that a story involving a frat party, assaulted police officers, and a possible gun will get picked up by the media. Unsurprisingly, the university said “the fraternities must take responsibility for all individuals they host at their parties and in their houses. Many clearly failed in this duty.” They’re now talking with the fraternities to find a solution so this doesn’t happen again.
Thus far, the response of most frat members I’ve gotten in touch with has been to a) turtle up and not talk to the press (as they’re generally instructed to do by their superiors) or b) complain about biased media coverage. They do have a point. Most articles either had sensationalist headlines (“Mounties assaulted at rowdy UBC frat party”), grossly overstated the number of people at the party (it was estimated between 500-1000, but each of the fraternities are separate organizations with separate buildings, so it’s impossible for one party to have more than 200-300 people. What the police did was take the number of people at each separate party, add the people in the courtyard, take the total number, and say close to 1,000 people were at the party. Big difference in semantics. End rant.), didn’t point out that the vast majority of people who cause issues at fraternity parties, including this case, are not UBC students (something the RCMP readily admits) or didn’t include any sort of response from the fraternities themselves.
However, given the negative perception of frat boys in society, when your first response is to claim victimhood, as the Intra-Fraternity Council President did when he said “It’s unfortunate that the fraternity systems are being taken advantage of by people outside of the UBC system for the social activities that we offer,” you aren’t exactly helping your cause. And when a university wants to curb excessive partying on campus, they can move quite quickly.
Take Queen’s University as an example. For years, Homecoming events were a highlight of the year for students, and a lowlight for permanent residents. Amazingly, when adults see thousands of drunken students laying waste to the streets for an entire weekend—complete with a burning car or two—the cry of “can’t students have a little fun?” falls on ears made deaf after hours of being kept awake at night. And so, at a certain point, the university put their foot down, and suddenly, there was no Fall Homecoming, at least until 2011.
Mind you, UBC is limited in what they can do in this situation, as the fraternities have a 99-year lease on the property, and it is private property. But it’s still owned by the university, and they can certainly make life difficult for fraternities in a number of ways (having Campus Security patrol the area, reducing the housing capacity, etc.). So if fraternities want to avoid more hassles down the road, they would do well to show some contrition in the coming weeks.
Deputy commissioner warns SFU prof over negative comments made in the media
Simon Fraser University’s head of criminology says an RCMP officer threatened to pull funding for the department in response to critical comments made against the Mounties. According to emails, obtained by Postmedia, RCMP deputy commissioner Gary Bass appears to have issued a “thinly veiled threat” against SFU’s director of criminology, Robert Gordon, for publicly criticizing RCMP “arrogance” in handling the Robert Pickton case.
The RCMP is one of the primary donors to SFU’s Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies, which is a part of the criminology department. In the email the deputy chief accuses Gordon of making inaccurate statements in the media, and questions the relationship between SFU and the RCMP. “The ongoing bias you display against the RCMP in articles such as this have caused many to ask why we would want to continue to be in that partnership given this apparent lack of support from the head of the department,” the email, sent on Aug 22, stated.
Bass told Postmedia that the RCMP has no plans of pulling funding for two research chairs at the Institute. “We have no intention of pulling away from that contract. We have a great relationship with SFU,” he said.