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CAUT Bulletin Archives

February 1997

Ambushed by the Heritage Committee

Angst, combat, defeat and endurance — rather than terms to describe warring nations or Olympic competition these have been the hallmarks of the proposed Canadian copyright legislation known as Bill C-32.

PSE Groups Join Forces to Lobby Government

There is unprecedented cooperation in federal lobbying between higher education organizations in Ottawa this academic year. This cooperation is evident in such areas as research, student aid, copyright and opposition to the GST being charged on books and magazines.

Book taxes — a paper curtain

The article on "The GST & Books" in your January issue did a fine job of outlining some, but not all, of the problems caused by taxation on books. I am especially concerned with the effect that taxes on books have on the free flow of printed matter into this country. It makes no difference whether the tax is GST, PST, a new harmonized tax, or an import duty: all such levies, if they must be collected as books enter the country, serve as obstacles that restrict Canadians' access to material published in other countries.

High praise from AUT

In a brief article (vol 43, no 9), you report on the latest step in the UNESCO saga in adopting the statement on rights and responsibilities of higher education teaching personnel. In passing, the article notes that CAUT Executive Director Donald Savage has been a consultant in the UNESCO process.

The Association for Canadian Studies Award of Merit

The study of Canada fosters an understanding of ourselves, illuminating the diversity of the Canadian experience. Those who have contributed to this on-going project deserve high praise. To acknowledge contributions to the development of Canadian studies in Canada, the Association for Canadian Studies (ACS) created the Award of Merit.

Software for Income Tax Returns: A look at the most popular programs available

Income tax is an unfortunate fact of life for just about every Canadian. The system lets the government tax away up to one-half of our hard-earned dollars, and to make matters worse, forces individuals to labor through a sea of forms to figure out how much they must fork over each year.

Secret Letter to Quebec Premier

On Nov.8 the chairs of the boards of governors of six Quebec universities (Laval, Montreal, Sherbrooke, Concordia, McGill, Bishop's, plus a board member from Université du Québec) wrote a private letter to Premier Bouchard. The contents of this letter has now leaked to the faculty associations in Quebec. The purpose was to suggest to the Premier a policy for dealing with the universities in the province.

Benefits in Brief

Changes to Employment Standards

Where Has the Balance Gone?

While the meaning and repercussions of the December amendments to Bill C-32 are vast and open to diverse interpretation, there are some highlights and indeed some "dimlights" of which we should all be aware.

A New Bosnia Means Rebuilding its Universities

A program of summer courses was held at the University of Tuzla in July-August 1996 to contribute to its recovery after the Bosnian tragedy and to demonstrate international moral commitment to a university and city which have maintained a tolerant and multicultural identity.

A Time to Reflect on Health

Since 1909 International Women’s Day has focussed attention on women’s work. When hundreds of young working class immigrant women were killed in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City in 1911, IWD became truly international. March 8 provides a time to both reflect and act on what has happened in the lives of women during the past year. For many of us IWD was an important introduction to the women’s movement and issues. The marches, demonstrations, dances and celebrations in early March are often the focus of debates and struggles within the movement itself. The first time we marched with women through the streets of Vancouver in the 1970s we were overcome by the energy and commitment of groups whose banners proclaimed the Vancouver Women’s Health Collective or rape crisis centre, lesbian mothers, anarchafeminists, anti-poverty or arts collectives. In the later 1990s our enthusiasm tends to fluctuate. Despite gains made by grassroots and academic women in Canada, hundreds of thousands of women remain isolated through poverty, ill-health, violence, race, geography, lack of access to education, little economic decision-making power, poor wages and double or triple workdays. Why then, should we continue to celebrate what appears to be a paradox? Perhaps because the victories feel so precious.

Lost Forever - A Nation’s Heritage Looted by its Own People

Afghanistan has lost its past to war. Great palaces and mansions are destroyed, historical monuments have been shelled, the National Museum is rubble. Every item of state treasure has been smashed, sold or stolen. Few countries have been so systematically raped by their own people.

Winnipeg Welcomes Refugees

The University of Winnipeg has been welcoming WUSC refugee students each year since the beginning of the 1980s. That makes Winnipeg one of the first campuses to join a program that has successfully plucked more than 400 students out of refugee camps around the world and given them a new start in Canada.

Profs not accountable to "management rights"

In November the CAUT Bulletin published a report on a joint conference of the Canadian Association of University Business Officers and Academic Vice-Presidents (Conference Had No Place For Faculty). The report quoted the following attack on the CAUT in a document circulated at the meeting:

"Tax everything!" says prof

Sherri Torjman's article "Hysteria Poor Substitute for History in Public Debate" about the CPP is a lesson that can be transferred to the position paper in the same issue of the Bulletin (January 1997) "The GST & Books: A Taxing Problem for Canadians."

Censoring the Internet

As access to the Internet becomes more widespread so too does the debate between free speech and censorship of the information highway.

Privacy on the PC

Most of us live quiet and humdrum lives with very little to hide. But we still pull our shades at night.

A Bug’s Eye View of the University

A couple of years ago, a UBC dean circulated a document called Differentiated Roles for Faculty. Few were surprised, as administrators across Canada have been talking about differentiation since the 1960s as a way to encourage "research-intensiveness."