Corruption, Canadian-style

Wesley Cragg, ethics professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, commented in the National Post and The Globe and Mail Oct. 8 on a global report noting corruption in Canada’s public service, which is hurting its international reputation as a corruption-free country. “Those are all building concerns and if you add to that the events of municipal corruption in Toronto [where an inquiry is probing a computer-leasing deal that spiralled out of control]…people’s perceptions begin to shift,” said Cragg. “Canada suddenly doesn’t appear to be quite as clean as it used to be.” Canada has remained one of the world’s less corrupt nations. But, in this year’s Transparency International index of corruption perceptions, its score and ranking slipped slightly. “It’s not a pattern, but the worry is that there could be a pattern that is emerging,” Cragg said.

‘The free season is over’ for pot

Alan Young, professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, was quoted in a Globe and Mail story Oct. 8 on how the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that a federal program to supply marijuana to the seriously ill dehumanizes users by forcing them onto the black market to obtain a reliable supply. “As of 9am this morning, the free season on marijuana is over,” Young said. “The deficiencies in the law have been cleared up by the court.” The ruling leaves uncertain the thousands of charges laid during a two-year period in which the law was held to be invalid. The ruling also opens the door to large-scale, private cultivation to supply large numbers of people whose pain is alleviated by marijuana. Young was also interviewed about the recent rulings on “Toronto Tonight,” (CKXT-TV) Oct. 7.

Putting their best leg forward

Fred Lazar, professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, was quoted in a Globe and Mail article Oct. 8 on a WestJet Airlines Ltd. statement that it will give passengers more leg room by removing dozens of seats from its jets. “It’s an easy way of removing capacity and it’s convenient to customers. You do it on 30 planes, you’ve eliminated one plane,” said Lazar, who specializes in the airline industry.

An equation for friendship

The remarkable story of the lifelong, 50-year friendship of former York mathematics Professors Donald Solitar and the late Abe Karass appeared in George Gamester’s column in the Toronto Star Oct. 5. In 1968, Karass and Solitar accepted positions at York. Here they started the successful MA Program in Mathematics for Teachers. Their outstanding joint research contributions resulted in York being recognized as one of the leading research centres for combinatorial group theory.

On air

  • Robert MacDermid, political science professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, was interviewed about last week’s provincial election on “Windsor Now” (CKLW-AM) Oct. 2.