To bond or not to bond

Should you invest in Canadian savings bond mutual funds or a Canadian Premium Bond? Moshe Ayre Milevsky, a business professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, provides this advice in The Toronto Star Oct. 10: To do better with a bond fund, you may have to choose one with lower fees than average and a manager who has the flexibility to shift to bonds with a short maturity date if interest rates show sings of rising.

Ban corporate donations

“In the final report from our 2001 cross-country hearings on corporate accountability, we recommended eliminating corporate (and union) donations to political parties, elections and leadership campaigns,” wrote co-chairs of the Canadian Democracy and Corporate Accountability Commission Avie J. Bennett, York University chancellor, and Ed Broadbent, member of the York University board of governors, in a letter to The Toronto Star Oct. 10. “Interestingly, we found in public opinion polling that a solid majority of Canadians, including a majority of shareholders, feel the same way.”

Little Republican Annie

“During its heyday under Harold Gray, who drew the strip until his death in 1968, ‘Little Orphan Annie’ combined the mass appeal of ‘The Simpsons’ with the conservative politics of Rush Limbaugh. While Republican politicians as varied as Clare Boothe Luce and Jesse Helms publicly praised Orphan Annie for embodying rock-ribbed American values, liberal publications such as The New Republic denounced her attacks on the welfare state and celebration of capitalism as ‘fascism in the funnies’,” wrote Jeet Heer in an essay in The Boston Globe Sept. 15. Heer is finishing a doctoral thesis at York University on the cultural politics of American comic strips.

Testing US pot in Canada

Alan Young, Osgoode Hall Law School professor and marijuana decriminalization crusader said, “It’s ridiculous” that Canada’s first clinical study on the use of medicinal marijuana will use cannabis grown in the United States while a large, Canadian-grown stash of the drug sits on ice, as reported The Globe and Mail Oct. 10. He wants the Canadian-grown drug, created as part of a $5.7-million, five-year federal contract by Prairie Plant Systems, released for domestic use. “It really begs the question why they’ve awarded this contract in the first place.”