Virtually normal: Montreal student tries to contact his online prof, only to learn he’s dead

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MONTREAL — Feeling a little disconnected in a world of virtual meetings, events and lectures?

No one’s come face-to-face with the new reality quite the same way as Aaron Ansuini, a Montreal student who tried to contact his university lecturer this month. 

Ansuini attends Concordia University and is taking a course on Canadian art history, taught, of course, by video.

But at one point he had a question, so he looked up the professor, Francois Marc Gagnon, to find his email address. Then he got a shock.

“When I was looking up his name to get his email address I pulled up his obituary,” Ansuini said.

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Gen. Vance to be investigated — concerns about allegations were known for years in military circles

Canada’s former Chief of Defence staff, Jon Vance

Concerns about Gen. Jon Vance’s alleged relationships with female subordinates were talked about among military leaders and in the defence community over the past several years, but no action was taken because no official complaints were ever filed.

The Canadian Forces announced Wednesday it will investigate allegations about the former chief of the defence staff. National Defence spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier said the investigation will be independent but added that “the specifics around any investigation have yet to be determined.”

The investigation follows a report by Global News that Vance allegedly had an ongoing relationship with a woman he significantly outranked. Global also reported that Vance is alleged to have made a sexual suggestion to a second, much younger soldier in 2012, before he was appointed chief of the defence staff.

This newspaper requested comment from Vance but he has not responded.

One of the women in the Global report raised concerns about Vance’s behaviour with the Canadian Forces Ombudsman but she declined to file a formal complaint, this newspaper has confirmed. She wanted the ombudsman’s office to be aware of the issue. Without a complaint little could be done, according to sources familiar with the matter.

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XI’S GOTTA HAVE IT! Canadian Olympic Committee Warns Athletes Not to Criticize China.

The Canadian Olympic Committee said its athletes should avoid publicly criticizing China ahead of the 2022 winter games in Beijing, due to concerns that critics could be prosecuted under the Communist Party’s national security laws, the Globe and Mail reported on Thursday.

David Shoemaker, chief executive officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee, said the committee plans to spend “a considerable amount of time” instructing its competitors on what “they might consider not commenting on, perhaps, at least until after the Games have taken place.”

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