Volume 92, Issue 34

Wednesday, November 4, 1998

millions of bad feelings


Alberta the latest to join lawsuit

By Mark Brown
Gazette Staff

After weeks of speculation, the University of Alberta's Students' Union has announced its intent to join Western's University Students' Council in its lawsuit against the Canadian Federation of Students-Services.

The USC is suing CFS-S, a branch of the Canadian Federation of Students, for $100 million for the wrongful conversion of assets of the Canadian Universities Travel Service Limited, better known as Travel Cuts.

The USC contends a transfer of assets from the Association of Student Councils-Canada (AOSC) to the CFS-S was never completed and the CFS-S has converted the shares in question for their own use.

"We've agreed to join on board," said Shamus Murphy, president of the Alberta's Students' Union. The announcement was made shortly after Murphy returned from a visit with the USC just over a week ago.

He added, during his visit to Western he was collecting facts to present to his council, but Alberta has supported the suit for some time. "We've been involved from the very start."

While the University of Alberta has announced its intent to join Western in the lawsuit, the union still has to be formalized with the courts.

Todd Burke, lawyer for CFS, said he has not received any formal notice of any further parties joining. He added he would not comment on the matter until he has heard from U of A's lawyers. "It is the intention of my client to defend this vigorously," he said.

On Monday, the USC received the affidavit of documents from the lawyers representing CFS, said Jim Walden, general manager of the USC. "[The list of documents] is overdue. We would have expected them at least one month ago at the latest," Walden said.

The USC must now review the list of documents from the defence and request copies of their documents as necessary, Walden said. He added the USC has already received a request to supply copies of its documents.

The University of Toronto as well as Ryerson, York, Carleton and Dalhousie universities are the other schools in a position to join the suit.

"We have the luxury of time right now. We can still get other schools to join on," Armour said. He added Western is finalizing a package to send to other schools to inform them of the suit.

Ryerson is the only school of the remaining five to announce its position. "Ryerson is not going to be one of the schools to join in this frivolous lawsuit," said Ryerson's Student Union President David Speele. Ryerson would rather work with CFS than against it, he added.

The rest of the universities are waiting for Western to supply them with more information about the lawsuit before they make their final decision.

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Copyright The Gazette 1998