by Barbara Black
Concordia students will go to the polls Nov. 27, 28 and 29 to elect a
new or re-elect the current executive of the Concordia Student
Union and Council of Representatives.
Patrice Blais, vice-president (finance) and acting president, has said
that contrary to a front-page report in the Oct. 25 issue of CTR,
only the president, Sabrina Stea, has resigned.
In Blais view, this makes the coming election a by-election, and
not an election for the recall of the current executive because of a series
Stea resigned just before a petition of 3,200 names calling for the recall
of the current executive could be presented to the CSU. However, the election
will be of the whole executive slate.
The nomination period is Nov. 5 to 12, after which the names of those
running for election can be published. The chief returning officer is
Jessica Lajambe, who gained experience with student elections last fall,
when a massive effort was mounted for a successful accreditation drive.
Chris Schulz, who is leading the effort to overturn the current executive,
is disappointed that CSU Council delayed the election to a date when many
students will have finished the term and left campus. The Council claimed
that the students needed more time to familiarize themselves with the
issues and with the slates standing for election.
On Oct. 25, the university presented its preliminary motion to throw out
a request for an injunction by Tom Keefer and Laith Marouf. The universitys
position was that since they had not yet exhausted their internal recourses
at the university (i.e. an appeal to the Board), there was no role for
the courts to play at this time.
The judge took the matter under advisement, and University Counsel Bram
Freedman said he has no idea when she will render her judgment on the
motion. In the interim, the proceedings in the injunction case are suspended
pending her decision.
Keefer and Marouf were accompanied at court by about a dozen supporters,
who were berated by the judge for allowing a cellular phone to go off
and for trying to tape-record the proceedings.
This was the second day of the hearing into a request for an injunction
against the university by Keefer and Marouf, who have been excluded from
Concordia as the result of an altercation with security guards in the
summer. At the first session, on Oct. 10, the pair were granted limited
access to the university to fulfill their duties for the CSU.
A CSU Council of Representatives meeting was held Oct. 18 to discuss a
petition with more than 3,000 signatures, calling for a special election.
Council members were reminded of the meeting through bailiffs letters
delivered to their homes, which angered some of the student representatives.
Acting CSU president Patrice Blais asked Freedman at the Senate meeting
the next day about
how Schulz acquired the addresses, which he considered confidential. Freedman
replied, as follows:
As promised, I have looked into this matter and can inform you of
the following. The names and addresses of CSU council and executive members
were, indeed, released to the attorney representing Mr. Schulz by the
University. I was unaware of this fact when questioned at Senate.
However, Freedman goes on to explain that he has done research into the
legality of giving out the addresses. As a Part III company constituted
under the Companies Act of Quebec, the CSU is subject to sections 104
and following of the Act which states that the names and addresses of
all directors of a company are public information.
It should be pointed out that, in accordance with the CSU by-laws,
members of the executive are ex-officio members of the Council with speaking
rights and the right to present motions. As such, the names and addresses
of members of the executive are covered by this legislation, as well.
Further, the CSU is subject to An Act respecting the legal
publicity of sole proprietorships, partnerships and legal persons,
which mandates, at section 10, an annual declaration of registration which
must include the names and domiciles of the directors as well as of the
president, secretary and principal officers where they are not members
of the board of directors.
As such, as a result of this law, as well, the addresses of members
of the CSU Board and CSU Executive are public information.
Finally, section 55 of the Act respecting access to documents
held by public bodies and the protection of personal information
states, at section 55, that personal information which, by law,
is public is not nominative information.
In conclusion, I am hereby confirming that the names and addresses
of the CSU directors and executive members were, indeed, released to the
attorney representing Mr. Schulz, and that there was absolutely no breach
of any law in so doing since the information requested is public information
in accordance with the legal provisions cited above.