Judge overturns election rule, cites York political scientist

A Supreme Court judge in BC struck down a section of the Canada Elections Act hiding federal election results in the Maritimes from Western Canadian voters before polls close in the West, reported The Globe & Mail Oct. 24. Judge Stephen Kelleher pointed out that the Crown’s own expert witness, political scientist Robert MacDermid of York’s Faculty of Arts, agreed that negative voting patterns result only when voters know the anticipated final result of an election before they cast their ballots. And returns from the Maritimes, MacDermid acknowledged, were not enough to determine the outcome of a federal election.

Qualified immigrants stuck on hold

In response to a story about an immigrant couple, unable to get jobs, suing Ottawa, sociologist Anthony H. Richmond, a professor emeritus with York University’s Faculty of Arts, wrote to The Globe & Mail Oct. 24: “The federal government has been aware of the difficulties facing immigrant professionals in gaining recognition for their qualifications for more than 40 years. A study of 1959 citizenship applicants prepared by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration (report CR2, published in 1961) stated: ‘If the newly landed immigrant has a professional training, he may not always be permitted to start even at the lowest level in his profession.’ The report mentions medical doctors, dentists and chartered accountants as facing particular difficulties. It also noted that licensing was a provincial responsibility, and that there were variations between regions of the country. Since then, little progress has been made in removing the barriers. Employers require professionals and skilled workers to have Canadian experience before hiring them, but licensing authorities prevent immigrants from demonstrating their abilities.”

Man admits to killing students

A Toronto man has admitted stabbing two York University students to death in their Mississauga apartment in 2001. Sri Lanka-born Mehaboobbhoy Adamjee, 34, pleaded guilty  in a Brampton court to two counts of second-degree murder, reported the Toronto Star Oct. 23. He admitted that he killed Nuzhat Amiji, 23, and her brother, Naeem, 20, by stabbing on or about Nov. 6, 2001. Peel Region Police have never revealed the motive for the double murder except to say that Adamjee was related by marriage to both the victims. Nuzhat, a second-year student, was pursuing a double major in French and communications in the Faculty of Arts. Naeem, in first year, was enrolled in the Business and Society Program, Faculty of Arts.

Football player faster than a marble down a drainpipe

York Lions football player Andre Durie‘s story merited a profile in The Toronto Sun Oct. 24. Durie, who ran for a provincial record of 349 yards on 27 carries on Oct. 18 as York University beat the University of Ottawa 25-17, is a 22-year-old freshman in York’s Faculty of Arts who loves to run inside, wrote a Sun sports reporter. He is 5-foot-11, 195 pounds and faster than a marble down a drainpipe, reported the newspaper. “You can put as good a team together as you like,” York coach Tom Gretes said. “But you really can’t do anything big until you get a franchise player. Andre is that franchise player. He’s still learning. Sometimes he has to follow his blocks,” said Gretes. “You can’t go all the way every play, and sometimes you just want to avoid a big loss.” Gretes had long known of the young man from Mississauga Iona high school but the boy had US college written all over him. “If things don’t pan out,” Gretes remembered saying, “keep us in mind.” Durie did.

Executives and the greed imperative

Writer Robert Evans cited Alan Young, law professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in a piece debunking myths surrounding absurdly high executive compensation, in a Globe & Mail feature Oct. 24. One of the myths is that if an organization sets “greed is good” as the abiding rule it will attract highly competent people who rejoice in the avaricious playing field and delight in the rewards, he wrote. “The iconoclastic lawyer/scholar Alan Young makes this point better than I can,” Evans continued. “Most executives, managers and professionals will work for the money if you set the rules of the game to produce this result. If you set them so, the greed imperative may lead to behaviour that your mothers advised you to avoid and that may produce an unpleasant encounter with an unsympathetic judge.”

On air

  • Martin Shadwick, defence analyst at the York Centre for International & Security Studies, discussed the defence minister’s plan to cut $100 million from military headquarters in Ottawa and his new focus on the army, including a $600-million boost to buy new armoured vehicles, on “The Bill Good Show” (CKNW-AM), Vancouver, Oct. 23.
  • Sociologist Anne-Marie Ambert, professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, commented on nine-year-old Cecilia Zhang’s abduction, in a feature carried on Global Television’s news programs Oct. 23.