Convergence not so smart

“Everyone was talking about convergence. This was the wave of the future. This was where the smart money was going,” said economy Prof. Fred Lazar,York’s Schulich School of Business, in a CBC “News and Current Affairs” documentary Dec. 15 about the Quebec cable company Videotron fiasco in Quebec.

Disrespect for legal process

“It seems to me there’s an utmost disrespect that was shown for the legal process. The court feels they’ve been put in a difficult position. The Minister of Justice should not have done that,” said lawyer and Osgoode Hall Law School Prof. Alan Young, reports The Globe and Mail Dec. 14. Young was referring to a Supreme Court decision to postpone a hearing on the constitutionality of marijuana laws in light of the federal government’s decision to introduce legislation to decriminalize marijuana. Young represents former hemp-store owner Christopher Clay, one of three convicted pot smokers appealing their convictions in the highest court.

Worthy tribute to Chambers

The Films of Jack Chambers is a good book that should be in the library of every Londoner, wrote James Reaney in The London Free Press Dec. 15. Edited by Kathryn Elder, film and video librarian at York University, the book is a worthy tribute to the late London artist, Reaney said.

Feds won’t fight Enron-like tax evasion

The government hasn’t had the best record in prosecuting corporate tax-evasion cases in court and has been very careful to only try cases it thought it could win, said Joanne Magee, a tax law professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, reported a CP Wire story on how big companies’ tax advisers try beating Canadian taxes.

Immigrant services needed in 905

“There’s a real need for integration. Immigrants in Toronto do have an advantage — there is more there for them. But there are also more needy immigrants in Toronto, there’s more poverty because there is more lower-cost housing in the city,” says Frances Frisken, a retired professor of urban studies in the Faculty of Arts at York, in a Toronto Star story Dec. 14 on immigration flowing out to the regions. “There is very little affordable housing in York and Halton and it makes a real difference in where people go,” she says. “But cultural and language problems still exist even if people can afford to buy a house. We have this idea that it’s a big city issue and the 905 is not something we have to think about much at all.”

Most gifts imported, not Canadian-made

A hundred years ago, Canada had a much more diverse range of manufacturing, said Daniel Drache, director of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies at York, in a Toronto Star story Dec. 14 on how most Christmas gifts are now imported products. “There were manufacturers in Halifax and Toronto who made Christmas decorations out of tin or glass,” he said. Toys, checkers and chess sets, and musical instruments were all made here, Drache said. “All these things have gone.” Maybe it’s time to take the holiday season back to more simple times, Drache added. “We wouldn’t have the same world, but it might bring us back to more basic values.”