Martin divestment precedent questioned

“The recent controversy over Paul Martin’s ownership of Canada Steamship Lines illustrates how ad hoc responses to unfounded allegations of conflict of interest can produce unfortunate public policy outcomes,” writes Patrick J. Monahan, dean-designate of York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in an opinion piece in the National Post March 18. “While Mr. Martin’s concession seems to have quieted most critics, the problem is the precedent that this episode seems to have established – to the effect that public office-holders may be required to permanently divest business assets as a condition of holding office…. But that decision should surely not become the rule in future cases, on the grounds that it is essential that the highest public offices in the land should remain genuinely accessible to Canadians from all backgrounds and walks of life.”

New CRC in art, digital media and globalization

A new Canada Research Chair in Art, Digital Media and Globalization was announced yesterday at York University, reports Canada News-Wire March 18. It will document how artists have been shaping the visual culture of global media, while changing their own practice and exhibition of art. Janine Marchessault, recipient of the new Chair in Art, Digital Media and Globalization (Tier II), is Chair of the Film and Video Department in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts. Rey Pagtakhan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development), and Industry Minister Allan Rock announced $107.4 million in investment for 106 new Canada Research Chairs at universities across the country.

US worried about urban war in Iraq

Canadian defence analyst Martin Shadwick, a member of the York Centre for International and Security Studies, said the US is rightly worried about fighting in cities where it isn’t unusual for casualties of attacking forces to run as high as 50 per cent, reports The Ottawa Citizen March 18. In 1993 the US had 18 of its soldiers killed in Mogadishu, Somalia, in a battle later described in the movie and book, Blackhawk Down. “Mogadishu was a slight taste of what could happen in a matter of hours,” said Shadwick, who teaches strategic studies at York University…. “Technology may not provide the silver bullet the US is looking for,” said Shadwick, “but it could conceivably help reduce casualties on both sides in the future.”

New site allows schools to search for online cheats

Last fall, the University of Toronto joined York University and the University of Western Ontario in purchasing a licence to use, an online program developed by a California company that compares electronic copies of student essays to a databank of existing papers and Web pages, reports the Toronto Star March 18. York University also bought the software last year.

Horse keeps York grad’s memory alive

In stall No. 20 at the Toronto Police Service’s stables at Exhibition Place sits a beautiful, dark, three-year-old horse. The plaque outside on his stall reads “Elvis Zovic, half crunch.” Much like the young man he is named after, the horse is vibrant and ready to one day take on duty with the service’s mounted unit, begins a story in The Mirror March 16 about a recent tribute to the late Elvis Zovic, a mounted police officer and York University graduate who died in a traffic accident June 25.