Africa will be Chrétien’s legacy

“For Chrétien, I really think Africa is going to be the defining moment of his career,” Farouk Jiwa,  a York master of environmental studies alumnus, told Canadian Press in an interview from Nairobi. He will be one of 80 participants at a five-day Africa-Canada Youth Symposium at Saint Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, to discuss ways to tackle issues such as HIV/AIDS, the environment, peace-building and economic development. Chrétien pledged $500 million in African relief at the G8 conference in Kananaskis, Alberta, last year. Three years ago Jiwa co-founded Honey Care Africa, which helps Kenyans start bee-keeping projects as an environmentally sustainable way to address poverty. He says the symposium’s greatest benefit will be the opportunity to network and exchange development ideas with other young people. “I think we have a lot of challenges ahead of us, but there is certainly a feeling, especially in Kenya, that the youth are being empowered,” said Jiwa, adding the only direction the beleaguered African continent can go now, is up.

York hosts rugby match between Canada and New Zealand

Rugby Canada all-stars will square off against New Zealand Maori at York University Aug. 2, reported the North York Mirror July 16. Jim McLarty, York’s sports and recreation information officer, is thrilled the match will be held at the University’s stadium. “Hopefully it will bring a bit of recognition to rugby in general and to rugby here at York,” he said. York had a powerhouse men’s rugby program during the 1980s and 1990s. But both the York men’s and women’s teams have struggled in recent years. York officials are hoping to branch out and have the school’s stadium, gym and pool play host to various other non-varsity events in the future, McLarty added.

Supervise, don’t jail, animal torturers

“Earlier this month, a judge meted out the maximum sentence (six months) to an accused who tortured and mutilated a cat,” wrote Alan Young, professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School and a criminal lawyer, in a Toronto Star opinion piece July 20. “The whole fiasco was recorded on videotape…. The sheer horror of the taped mutilation has led many to clamour for stiffer sentences for this crime, and the government has promised to address this perceived leniency. As much as I abhor any conduct that exposes the vulnerable to pain and suffering, I cannot see the value of enacting tougher sentences. Instead of the knee-jerk, ‘ship them off to jail’ attitude, greater benefit would be gained from a process that closely examines, analyzes and supervises those miscreants who torture animals.”

Keeping the lid on expense-account abuse

Employers can keep a lid on expense-account abuse with a code of conduct that requires accuracy in financial reporting, Richard Leblanc, a professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, told the Toronto Star for a July 19 story on workplace fraud. “There’s a difference between someone who has a dummy company and is cutting cheques to that company over a period of years that are in the several hundreds or thousands of dollars, versus someone who brings a spouse on a business trip, for example,” he said. “So the punishment should fit the breach.”

Teleky knows how to capture reader

Last year the Vancouver Sun called York humanities Professor Richard Teleky “one of those increasingly rare writers who immediately gain the trust of the reader and sustain it all the way,” noted the newspaper’s paperback reviewer July 19. The Faculty of Arts prof’s first novel, The Paris Years of Rosie Kamin, received widespread critical acclaim in 1998, she said. His second, Pack Up the Moon (2003), begins, like many novels about soul-searching and redemption, at a funeral. It is narrated by American draft dodger Karl Marton, who returns to the US after 25 years, realizing that his lost loves and lost faith are connected.