More execs get rich on stock options

Stock options have made millionaires of many of Canada’s best-known executives, but the latest issue of the Canadian Tax Journal devotes a 90-page section chiefly to the idea that they are bad for companies and shareholders, reported The Globe and Mail Nov. 19. Amin Mawani, an accounting professor with York University’s Schulich School of Business, wrote that while a third of Canada’s 100 largest public companies used stock options in 1991, all of them do now. “In recent times, many senior executives have accumulated substantial wealth from stock options as their companies have floundered by both accounting and stock market measures,” wrote Mawani.  “For example, the [2001] management information circular of Nortel Networks Corp. reveals that John Roth, the former chief executive officer, exercised options to earn $135-million in 2000, just before the company’s share price dropped drastically.”

Film fest focuses on multicultural education

Just when you think teaching in classrooms is the better way, the first annual Regent Park Film Festival is set to screen Nov. 20-22 – and Chandra Siddan, festival director, educator and filmmaker (and a 2003 graduate of York University’s Faculty of Education) is thrilled with the endless learning potential, reported Metro Toronto Nov. 18. The film festival’s main goal is to educate students, residents and neighbouring areas about the immense cultural backgrounds represented in Regent Park. “The film festival is a grassroots attempt to break this isolation, bring multiculturalism into the realm of popular education and to make youth see that through learning about themselves, empowerment and social change can happen,” Siddan said.  

Companies battle rudeness

Bad manners and a lack of courtesy have been on the rise at work for years, but that trend may be reversing, say those who specialize in promoting social skills, reported The Globe and Mail Nov. 19. Monica Belcourt, a human resources professor with York University’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies and president of the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario, said most medium-sized to large employers have a complaints process that employees can use to deal with serious civility problems at work.

Victims are ‘gatecrashers’ of justice system

Victims and their families were not invited to the “first-ever” National Victims of Crime Conference, hosted by the Department of Justice, wrote Patricia Pearson in an essay in the Nov. 24 issue of Maclean’s magazine. Alan Young, a professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, put his finger on an undercurrent of discomfort over this as he sat on a panel of three law professors, wrote Pearson. “Victims are the gatecrashers” of the criminal justice system, he observed. 

York grad elected in new mayor’s old ward

The Toronto Star profiled Bill Saundercook, the new councillor for mayor-elect David Miller’s old ward, Parkdale-High Park, Nov. 19. Saundercook graduated from York University in 1979 with a BA in physical education and sociology.

Immigrants abuse drugs less

A tendency among recent immigrants to Canada to frown upon the drug culture helps explain why several types of drug abuse are lower in the Toronto area than elsewhere in the province, according to the Ontario Student Drug Use Survey, reported the Toronto Star Nov. 19. The Institute for Social Research at York University administered the study for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, which has been surveying students in Grades 7-12 since 1977.

On air

  • Daniel Drache, senior research fellow and associate director of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies at York University, predicted the transition from Prime Minister Jean Chrétien to Paul Martin will be complex, on “Windsor Now” (CKLW-AM), Nov. 18.
  • Robert MacDermid, political science professor with York University’s Faculty of Arts, discussed a Centre for Social Justice study that argues some politicians are too close to big business, on “This Morning Live” (CKMI-TV), Quebec, Nov. 18.