Tennis stadium to be named Rexall Centre

Tennis Canada announced that it has reached a 10-year partnership with Katz Group Canada Ltd. to become the primary naming rights partner for the new $45-million national tennis centre to be built on the York University Keele campus, reported major Toronto newspapers May 30. The 12,500-seat stadium will be called the Rexall Centre, named after the Katz Group’s private label brand. Work on the project is expected to start this spring and be completed in time for the 2004 season. Meanwhile the lineup for the 2003 Rogers AT&T Cup, which will be held at the National Tennis Centre in August, will feature Serena Williams, Anna Kournikova and Martina Navratilova.

Drug tests favour sponsor’s product, York study says

Drug testing funded by the pharmaceutical industry is four times more likely to show results favouring the sponsor’s product than publicly funded research, a new study by a York professor has found, reported The Globe and Mail May 30. Dr. Joel Lexchin, a health policy and management professor at York University’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, was lead author of the study, done with a team of researchers who analyzed 30 research articles published over a period of two decades. The articles examined the outcome of drug research based on who had funded the work. “These findings indicate a systematic bias in drug testing and this is a serious problem as an increasing number of clinical trials…are funded by the pharmaceutical industry,” Lexchin said. In Britain, the study received major media coverage: BBC World Service interviewed Lexchin about it; the Financial Times and Web site also picked up the story. In Toronto, CFTO-TV mentioned the study on its “WorldBeat News” May 29.

Judge at Phillion bail hearing once argued to uphold his murder conviction

The prosecutor who once asked Canada’s highest court to uphold Romeo Phillion’s murder conviction is the judge who will decide if he should be released on bail, reported Canadian Press May 29. Justice David Watt, a former Crown lawyer, disclosed his previous involvement with the case when Phillion’s lawyer, James Lockyer, and student Anna Martin of Osgoode Hall Law School’s Innocence Project were at the Superior Court of Justice to set a date for the bail hearing. Phillion, 64, is asking federal Justice Minister Martin Cauchon to overturn his 1972 conviction for the Aug. 9, 1967, murder of Leopold Roy. Lockyer and Martin had known of Watt’s involvement but had forgotten about it while poring over thousands of documents in the case. In fact, they went to court with the hope Phillion’s bail hearing would be conducted by Watt, the senior criminal court judge in Toronto, which didn’t change after being reminded of his connection.

Campus will bloom with cherry trees

A photo in the Canadian Japanese weekly The Nikka Times May 30 featured Takashi Koezuka, Japan’s consul general in Toronto, and York University President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden planting a Japanese flowering cherry tree, at a ceremony May 28 on York’s Keele campus. The University will plant 250 such sakura trees to celebrate warm relations between Canada and Japan.

Green candidate joins the race

Doug Smith, a resident of Carnarvon in Haliburton County and former York University sociology professor, will represent the Green Party in the upcoming provincial election for the seat in Haliburton-Victoria-Brock, reported The Lindsay Daily Post May 27.