CanWest bets on an industry outsider – and York grad

Rick Camilleri had no background in newspapers or TV, but he’s now in charge of CanWest Global Communications Corp., reports The Globe and Mail April 2. In less than a year, Rick Camilleri, the former head of Sony Music Entertainment (Canada) Inc. and a graduate of York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, has become one of Canada’s most powerful media executives. He joined Winnipeg-based CanWest last summer and within seven months took direct control of Canadian operations. His domain as chief operating officer includes 16 conventional TV stations, 11 big-city daily newspapers and seven specialty channels across the country, says The Globe.

Air Canada’s Milton made mistakes, says York prof

Fred Lazar, a professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, says if Air Canada hadn’t bought its imperilled foe, there was a good chance Ottawa might have bailed out Canadian Airlines and put it back on its feet, reports The National Post April 2 in an analysis of Air Canada’s move for bankruptcy protection. Air Canada also did not hedge enough of its fuel costs in 2000 and 2001 before prices spiked. “It was a serious financial tactical mistake,” Lazar said. And, despite hostile unions and no-layoff provisions, Lazar maintains Robert Milton, Air Canada’s president and chief executive officer, “should have taken a tougher stance” in trying to wring labour concessions. After Sept. 11, the airline also could have approached its leaseholders and renegotiated more favourable terms, knowing the market for used planes would be weak, he suggested.

Cauchon says pot law valid despite rulings in three provinces against it

Alan Young, a professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, says Justice Minister Martin Cauchon has failed to address the issue of decriminalizing pot quickly enough, reports Canadian Press Wire April 1. He was referring to recent decisions by judges in three provinces to toss out simple possession charges and Cauchon’s subsequent promise to revamp legislation. Now Cauchon is saying Canada’s pot possession law is still valid, says CP.