Jewish festival structure vandalized at York

A traditional hut erected by students in a York University field for the eight-day Jewish festival of Sukkot was torn down over the Thanksgiving weekend, reported major Toronto dailies Oct. 16. Toronto police are investigating it as a possible hate crime, reported The Globe & Mail, but The Toronto Sun said the police have reported the incident to the Hate Crimes Unit and are treating it as “mischief.” Gary Brewer, York University vice-president finance & administration, who is responsible for security, issued a statement Oct. 15 saying that, “Although the perpetrators and their motivations are unknown, disrespect for any religious symbol is unacceptable, and we fully support the ongoing investigation,” reported the Toronto Star.

Life’s no party for Ontario NDP

Ontario’s incoming premier Dalton McGuinty has refused to lower the eight-seat minimum requirement in order for the seven recently elected New Democrats to gain party status, noted The Ottawa Sun Oct. 16. Bob MacDermid, political science professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, said most Canadian legislatures have a far lower threshold for parties to obtain official status. MacDermid commented Oct. 15 on the same issue on several Toronto region radio programs: “680 News” (CFTR-AM); “Citypulse at Noon” (CITY-TV); and “VR Land News” (CKVR-TV).

On air

  • Lorna R. Marsden, president and vice-chancellor of York University, was introduced as a member of the head table at a meeting of the Canadian Club of Toronto, aired on “Podium” (Rogers TV) Oct. 15. She was present for an address by David Pecaut, Chair of the Toronto City Summit Alliance, of which Marsden is a member.