Pre-campaign fundraising a ‘grey’ area

Toronto mayoral front-runner Barbara Hall won a legal victory last Thursday on her pre-election campaign activities, but her main rivals quickly seized the ruling as a political hammer to chip away at her lead, said an article in The Globe & Mail Sept. 19. Robert MacDermid, a specialist in election finances and political science professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, was not surprised by the judge’s ruling, which quashed a summons against Hall. But he said pre-campaign activities like those of the Friends of Barbara Hall group, which raised and spent $107,000 to assess her chances before she launched her mayoral bid, fall into a “grey area” of the law. Since several of Hall’s opponents spent money – though not on the scale of the Friends group – before opening their campaigns, MacDermid questioned the wisdom of pursuing a legal attack. “She will have to defend herself in the court of public opinion,” he said. 

Cross-promotions stretch marketing dollars

Companies are teaming up on marketing to get more bang for their promotional buck, reported The Globe and Mail Sept. 19. “Cross-promotions have been around for a long time, but they are even more urgent for marketers today,” said Alan Middleton, a marketing professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business. “The intensity with which it takes place and the complexity now is more evident, and more people are doing it. You are looking not only to borrow the brand interest and reputation of the partners, but also their customer base.” It’s also a way to make marketing dollars stretch further, he added.

‘Forbidden fruit’ of Canadian politics

In an opinion piece in The Globe & Mail Sept. 19, about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom’s notwithstanding clause, Tsvi Kahana, executive director of the University of Alberta’s Centre for Constitutional Studies, cited Patrick Monahan, dean of Osgoode Hall Law School. Monahan, following the failure of the Meech Lake accord, wrote that Section 33 was “the forbidden fruit of Canadian politics.”

Osgoode alumnus appointed BC judge

Justice Peter Lowry, a British Columbia Supreme Court judge since 1991, has been appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal of BC, reported The Vancouver Sun Sept. 19. Lowry received his bachelor of law degree from York’s Osgoode Hall Law School in 1970. 

On air

  • Global TV news shows carried an item Sept. 18 on the mayoral candidates debate the day before at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School in which other candidates attacked Barbara Hall over accusations of improper fundraising.
  • James Laxer, political science professor at York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, discussed his latest book, The Border: Canada, the US and Dispatches from the 49th Parallel, on Rogers Cable TV’s “Daytime” Sept. 18. He explained how the Sept. 11, 2001, attack changed the informal atmosphere that existed in border communities and by 2005, all Canadians wanting to cross the US border will be fingerprinted, photographed and registered.