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HARD NUMBERS: Anglophone universities clobbered, Mountie turncoat sentenced, Tech workers poached, Immigration minister “pissed,” Oldest American celebrated

View of McGill University campus.

View of McGill University campus.

Reuters
22 and 27: Out-of-province applications to Quebec’s leading English-language universities have plummeted in the wake of government-mandated tuition hikes targeting those schools. McGill saw a 22% drop, while Concordia’s was 27%. The Quebec authorities imposed the higher tuition rates as part of a controversial plan to protect the province’s Francophone culture.

14: Former RCMP intel boss Cameron Jay Ortis has been sentenced to 14 years for leaking police secrets to archvillains who were being investigated for money laundering, terrorist financing, and organized crime. Since he’s already been jailed for about 7 years, he will only serve half of the sentence — but the Crown is going to appeal, saying the punishment is too lenient.

6,200: The Great Canadian Tech Poach continues. The Canadian consulate in San Francisco said in the first week of February alone it processed 6,200 special work permits for highly skilled workers who had failed to get the coveted US H1-B visa, a favorite among foreign tech whizzes.

1,000: Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller is “pissed off,” he says. Why? Because despite Ottawa’s entreaties, about 1,000 people in the Gaza Strip with relatives in Canada have been prevented from leaving the besieged territory to join them. Ottawa reportedly sent the requests to Israel and Egypt, which oversee the Rafah border crossing, the only way out of the strip. (See our recent map of Gaza border crossings here.)

116: How old would you guess the oldest known person in the United States is? 105? 110? Keep going. This week, Edith Ceccarelli of Willits, a small town in Northern California, celebrated her 116th trip around the sun. She is the second-oldest person in the world. When Edith was born, women could not vote in the US, Russia was still run by a czar, and the average life expectancy for an American woman was a mere 48 years. Happy birthday Edith!

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