How much money do banks make off student loans?

Note: This article originally appeared on OpenFile Montreal, to which this blog post linked for the full text. Since September 2012 OpenFile’s website has been “on hiatus” and the news organization shut down due to financial insolvency. Therefore, the full text of article is now posted below. Mel Lefebvre was on the way to starting …

Founder of Montreal pots and pans protest surprised by success

Founder of Montreal pots and pans protest surprised by success Hundreds of people stood at the corner of Beaubien and Christophe-Colomb in Montreal banging on their pots and pans Wednesday night to protest Quebec’s Bill 78. “It’s a casserole frenzy here,” said François-Olivier Chené, the movement’s Montreal founder, speaking over the clamour as the crowd continued to …

Documentary: The hidden world of food waste in Quebec

Documentary: Wasteful Thinking – The hidden world of food waste in Quebec With the world’s population projected to hit seven billion later this  year, a stable supply of food has never been more important. Recent spikes in food prices have set off riots around the world and  have been linked to revolutions in the Middle …

Earth Day, Election Politics and You

With Facebook and Twitter alight with news and people’s voices on the impending election, and the media reporting every last controversy it can uncover, Canadians across the country still complain that the real issues are not being tackled. But at least one issue in this campaign has its own day. Ten days before the election, …

At least you’re not from Ontario

Give me a break. That’s what students across Quebec have been telling the provincial government about tuition fees. On March 31, thousands of Quebec CEGEP and university students took to the streets in the latest of a string of protests against tuition hikes. Okay, I get it—tuition’s going up. But even better than a break, students here …

Human rights gone wrong

Why the Federal Government Mysteriously Cut Funding to an NGO Colombia’s victims of war, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s rape victims, those displaced by climate change in Guatemala, and the people of Sudan’s new south are some of the world’s most vulnerable. But they have something else in common: only days into the Canadian federal …

“I’ll give you two choices: either I smash your face in or you tell me what’s going on.”

What to do when given a choice like that?  Any self-respecting non-masochist would readily choose option two: explain what is going on.  But here, as with most stories, context is everything. Earlier that Monday (Nov. 22) I had been covering the preparations for État d’Urgence (State of Emergency), an annual event organized by the art …

Citizen groups demand Quebec shale gas moratorium, petition numbers rise

Citizen groups in Quebec are disturbed by the provincial government’s gung-ho approach to shale gas development. “With shale gas the government refuses to say, ‘Maybe it’s not a good idea,’ and it’s distressing because there are a lot of citizens saying, ‘Stop it!’” said Kim Cornelissen, vice-president of the Quebec Association Against Atmospheric Pollution (AQLPA), …