Russians look for Canadian business acumen

Alina Pekarsky, professor in York’s Schulich School of Business and project director of the Canada-Russia Program in Corporate Governance, a training curriculum initiated by Schulich, was quoted in an article in The Globe & Mail Oct. 9 on how Russia is seeking Canada’s governance guidance. “Russians are hugely welcoming to Canadian ideas,” said Pekarsky. Canadian-style caution is seen as key to attracting international investment, the article noted. “Canadians are seen as not so pushy and aggressive as Americans (who are also involved in governance programs in Russia). [They] are thought of as more careful and less likely to take the big risk.”

Leader-in-waiting’s caucus meeting unprecedented

Patrick Monahan, dean of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, was quoted by CanWest News Service in the National Post and The Vancouver Sun Oct. 9 regarding federal Liberals who gathered the day before for what some MPs called a “fruitless” caucus meeting with Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. The meeting, which wrapped up 30 minutes early because MPs ran out of issues to discuss, came the morning after a well-attended evening caucus on democratic reform called by Paul Martin, who is expected to win the party’s leadership in November. Monahan said Martin’s parallel caucus meeting is unprecedented in Canadian history. But he said it is to be expected that a new prime minister would want to get on with the job of governing.

Taking care of business

Richard Leblanc, professor in York’s Schulich School of Business and an expert in corporate governance, wrote an article in The Globe & Mail Oct. 9 on the elements that really make a board effective. It’s not structure, but membership and process, he argued. “Over a five-year period, I observed the inner workings of some of this country’s largest corporate boards (21 in total) and interviewed nearly 200 directors. Better-educated directors are better directors, which makes for a better board. Director education should be paid for by the company, not out of directors’ pockets. It’s a wise use of shareholder funds.”

Prescription for better drug testing

Mary Wiktorowicz, health policy professor in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, was quoted by Reuters wire service Oct. 8 regarding her study that indicates Canada’s cheaper drug-testing procedures put individuals’ health at risk. “Drugs with potentially dangerous side effects are going out into the market and our medicine cabinets before they have been subject to as stringent testing as used in the US,” she said. The study, in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, noted that pressure from transnational drug firms to harmonize global testing procedures continues. And Canada is moving toward less stringent standards and relying on advice from experts who have a conflict of interest with the drugs they test.

On air

  • Alan Young, professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, discussed marijuana and the recent Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that ill people should be able to grow their own marijuana or have access to a designated grower, on TVO’s “Studio 2” Oct. 8.
  • Featured footage of the Sept. 17 mayoral candidates’ debate at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School appeared on Global TV Oct. 7.