Arms reduction losing appeal to Russians

Sergei Plekhanov, a political scientist in York University’s Faculty of Arts, says arms reduction is losing its appeal to many Russians as Washington withdraws from other treaties and the credibility of the UN is called into question, reports The Globe and Mail March 21 in a story about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s criticism of the American attack on Iraq. “It’s a hardening of Russia’s position, which reflects real concerns,” Plekhanov said. Putin still wants a close relationship with the United States and other Western countries, but he fears it will be harder to maintain because the Iraq crisis has caused deep rifts in the West, he said. “The Russians will try to contain the negative impact it has had on Russian-American relations. But I wouldn’t expect them to say simply, ‘It’s none of our business, and the United States and Britain can do what they like’.”

Legal experts say attack on Iraq is illegal

The US-led coalition’s war against Iraq is illegal, say dozens of Canadian law professors and experts in international law, including Craig Scott and Robert Wai at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, reports The Globe and Mail March 20. Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, a McGill University law school professor and one of Canada’s best-known experts on international law who signed the letter, says launching an attack on Iraq violates the United Nations Charter. An open letter signed by 31 of Canada’s professors of international law at 15 law faculties from coast-to-coast makes the same point.

Double cohort gets special consideration

Many Ontario universities will admit the double-cohort class before all other types of students – including those from other provinces, foreign countries, college transfers and mature students, reports the National Post March 21. ”It’s quite unfortunate,” said Rodney Webb, associate vice-president of academics at York University. He was commenting on an agreement between universities and the Ontario government: to receive $368 million in extra funding, university admissions offices agree to favour Ontario’s Grade 12 and 13 high school graduates this year.

Students stage ‘die-in’ to protest war

At York University, about 200 students held a “die-in” March 20 to protest the American invasion of Iraq, reported the Toronto Star March 21 in a story about anti-war protests on streets and campuses throughout the city. Some, like Adriana Laborde, came out of helplessness, the Star said. “I’m here because of the injustice that’s happening in Iraq,” said the third-year biology student. “We have no power to stop this war, so being here is the least I can do.” Others, such as York Federation of Students Vice-President Pablo Vivanco, drew hope from the crowd. “The battle to end the war in Vietnam was won on the streets of America. We might not be able to stop the bombs today, but we have to have faith in the masses. We can stop this war.”

Parties woo young Quebec parents

Ken McRoberts, a York University political scientist and principal of York’s bilingual Glendon College, says it was only natural for a new issue to dominate an election campaign in Quebec given that, for the first time in decades, sovereignty is not the central theme, reports CP Wire March 20 in a story about the upcoming April 14 provincial vote. But the choice of family issues is not unique to Quebec. “There’s continuing demand among many Canadians to have a national day-care program,” said McRoberts. In Ontario, where an election is widely expected later this spring, a key issue will be strengthening public services, including those affecting children and families, he added.

Happy birthday, Ed!

Ed Broadbent, former New Democratic Party leader and a member of York University’s Board of Governors, was born on this day at Oshawa, Ont. in 1936, reports The Nanaimo Daily News March 21 in a column of famous Canadians’ birthdays. Son of a GM auto worker, Broadbent got his PhD at the University of Toronto and taught political science at York University before winning a federal seat for the NDP in Oshawa-Whitby in 1968.

New Hamilton Hydro boss a York MBA grad

The Hamilton Spectator describes the steps Hamilton Hydro’s new president Max Cananzi, a professional electrical engineer with an MBA from York University, is taking to adjust to revenue shortfalls.

York grad new CIA of Empire Life Insurance

The Empire Life Insurance Company announced the appointment of Deborah Frame, who earned an MBA at York University’s Schulich School of Business, as chief investment officer, reports The Globe and Mail March 20.

Professor includes caseworker’s ideas in book

Terence G. Ison, professor emeritus at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, was so impressed by research into improving income support for the long-term disabled done by Kenora Workers Compensation caseworker Ernie Craik, a recent Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal winner, that Ison promoted Ernie’s solutions and ideas in his book, Compensation Systems for Injury and Disease: The Policy Choices. A viable alternative to the current fragmented approach, reported the Kenora Daily Miner & News March 20.