A bull market of memories

The 150th anniversary of the Toronto Stock Exchange, which is being celebrated today has set off a bull market in such memories among the people who have worked on Bay Street, reports The Globe and Mail Oct. 24. Historian Christopher Armstrong of York University says the seed for the Toronto Stock Exchange was planted in 1852, when someone put an ad in what was then The Globe newspaper, inviting interested parties to a meeting to form “an association of brokers.” Armstrong says progress towards a working exchange was hit-and-miss for about 20 years. In the 1860s, people would get together in the morning, trade a few shares and head back to their offices. After a gold rush in Madoc, Ont., in 1867, there was an attempt to establish a mining exchange, but it fizzled.

Freeing up ethics watchdog ‘the right direction’

The proposal [by the federal government to create an ethics commissioner] was praised by Ian Greene, a conflict-of-interest scholar and York University political science professor, as “a step in the right direction,” which will, if approved, move the ethical standards for all federal parliamentarians closer to the more demanding rules now applicatble to provincial legislators, reported the National Post Oct. 24.

A discourse of denial

The Star’s undertaking of this in-depth piece of research [on race and the police] provides an important civic service to our city in that police mistreatment of blacks may once again return to the public agenda,” write York University’s Frances Henry, professor emeritus, and Carol Tator, anthropology course director, in an opinion piece in the Oct. 24 The Toronto Star. “The study needs to be placed in a larger perspective. We are not so much concerned with the specific findings that clearly speak for themselves but with the immediate and visceral reaction [of denial] of the official agencies responsible for the police.”

Study cited in bias against blacks

The Toronto Star’s

findings that for simple drug possession blacks were arrested and held in custody more than whites is only the latest to demonstrate what blacks have long complained about and study after study has confirmed, wrote the newspaper’s Haroon Siddiqui Oct. 24. He cites, among others, two studies done by York University sociologist Gail Kellough and University of Toronto criminologist Scot Worley.

It’s not enough, Mr. Martin

In her commentary in The Globe and Mail Oct. 24 on Paul Martin’s proposals for parliamentary reform, specifically those aimed at empowering the individual member of Parliament through measures that would loosen party discipline, Barbara Cameron, York University political science professor, writes: “This is a laudable objective. However, without more fundamental reforms than those he proposes, the empowerment of individual members of Parliament might increase the influence of well-financed lobby groups and decrease the influence of the average Canadian. We could see the kind of intense lobbying of individual members of Parliament by powerful economic interests that is typical of the American Congress.”

On air

Joel Lexchin, health policy and management professor at York University, discusses how drug companies who offer perks to physicians are affecting the patient. He says often some of these drugs are new products that we know little about, on CBC National’s “Health Matters” Oct. 23. ... Reg Whitaker, research professor emeritus, York University, discusses the role of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Commission on “Goldhawk” on ROG-TV in Toronto Oct. 23. … “News” on CKAT-AM in North Bay Oct. 22 reported that Paul Martin brought his federal/Liberal leadership to Toronto’s York University.