Some tough questions - Macleans.ca

Some tough questions

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Yesterday, it was revealed the York Federation of Students president had left his campus to campaign for the Canadian Federation of Students in Ottawa. (Read the article here) Today, the YFS explained why they went to Ottawa. Jeremy Salter, YFS’ executive director, wrote on Facebook:

“We had made a commitment to be in Ottawa long before the strike started. We evaluated the situation and divided our resources to have people both in Ottawa and Toronto. We also traveled [sic] back to Toronto as required. Our office is closed and we are not on the picket line. We have been ding all that we can to address student concerns. Our table has been set up since last week and we have only now received confirmation to have meetings with both parties. Should you have any other questions please let me know.”

As a journalist, I often have to cancel on prior commitments to cover more important stories. That’s life; things change. I can understand the anger that students feel about the misplaced priorities of the YFS executive. However, let’s put aside the priorization issue for a second. This statement raises a few question:

  1. If the prior committment to the CFS and SFUO was so important, why didn’t the YFS inform the student body? “We also traveled [sic] back to Toronto as required.”
  2. When did they leave and when are they coming back?
  3. Who paid for the flights?
  4. How many extra plane tickets were used to travel back and forth during the SFUO referendum?
  5. Who paid for these tickets?

Additional:Wassim asks even better questions below:

A few more relevant questions…

– Are you still being paid while you are campaigning in Ottawa?
– Where are you staying while you campaign in Ottawa, and who is paying for your accommodations, if any.
– Do you receive money for food or other expenses incurred while you are in Ottawa? If so, who is incurring these costs?
– The strike began on November 6th. The CFS/SFUO campaign began on November 7th. What kind of commitment did you make to “be in Ottawa”, and to whom?
– What are you doing in Ottawa exactly, that could not have been done by other CFS Members, and more importantly, University of Ottawa students?