Examine cross-border intelligence sharing, suggests prof

A York University professor is suggesting that Ottawa seriously examine the relationship between Canadian and United States police and intelligence authorities, particularly when officials north of the border are kept “out of the loop 90 per cent of the time” on security matters that involve the US, reported Edmonton’s weekly See Magazine in a July 22 story on new intelligence-gathering electronic technologies. Daniel Drache, associate director of York’s Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies and author of Borders Matter: Homeland Security and the Search for North America, wants the Canadian government to conduct an “audit” of the impact that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – the powerful agency set up to protect the US following 9/11 – has had on Canada, including on immigration matters and on the rights guaranteed in the constitution. In the absence of a “made-in-Canada security policy” under the current Liberal government, US security priorities are driving policy decisions in Ottawa, argues Drache. Canadian authorities “are taking an ad hoc approach. They have no framework and they haven’t made any assessment of Homeland Security,” he added.

Tennis tournament going after corporate big spenders

For the past year, Tennis Canada has made a frantic effort to get the long-awaited stadium at York University built in time for the men’s tournament, expected to host the world’s best players such as Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick, reported the Toronto Star July 23 in a story about enticing corporate sponsorship. Compared with the old York University stadium – which was so shabby that it was not only an embarrassment for Tennis Canada, but put Toronto in real danger of losing the event – the new stadium is the real deal, said the Star.

The next challenge will be filling all those extra seats, said the Star. Tennis has been struggling to bring new fans to the game. The younger demographic is bleeding away to basketball, while baby boomers have shelved racquets for golf shoes. There’s also the Blue Jays, a rejuvenated Toronto Argonaut franchise and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“Tennis appeals to an upscale demographic, which is great for advertisers, but for a major advertiser it would only be one part of their campaign,” said Steve Rosenblum, research director for PHD Canada, one of the largest media management companies in Canada. However, because upscale viewers tend to be more elusive and watch fewer sports, tennis can be attractive to companies promoting luxury items, Rosenblum said. Mercedes Benz, American Express and Evian have been some of the long-time sponsors of the tournament.

When phase two of the stadium is completed to include more topside seating, the facility will have cost an estimated $45 million, with $5 million each from the federal and provincial governments. The rest comes from Tennis Canada, which borrowed $18 million, and the private sector. There will be a total of 16 courts in the new facility, four indoors at the Compass Group Canada Centre of Excellence just south of the main stadium and another four that can be covered during winter.

“Their challenge is to create a kind of buzz that will make people want to see and be seen there,” sports marketing consultant Bob Stellick said.

Lawyer sues over Inuit benefits

A retired Edmonton lawyer has launched the lawsuit against the federal government, claiming Inuit people are entitled to health and education benefits, just as status Indians are. But Kent McNeil, a professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, says the federal government may argue it has transferred such responsibilities to the Inuit through land claim agreements, reported Broadcast News and Canadian Press July 23. “The federal government has tried to restrict its responsibility as much as possible,” said McNeil.


Elvis certainly loved his Cadillacs – and so does actor and York theatre grad Peter Keleghan, best known for his Gemini Award-winning portrayals of Jim Walcott in “The Newsroom” and Alan Roy in “Made in Canada” (both on CBC-TV), reported the National Post July 23 in its Celebrity Drive column. “I bought one ’64 Caddy that was a bit of a clunker.” At the time, he was in Los Angeles, searching for work during pilot season, which is when potential television shows are shot for the next season. When Keleghan moved back to Toronto, he had the Cadillac shipped to Detroit, where he picked it up and drove it across the border.

His first career choice was to become an airline pilot, especially after he obtained his pilot’s licence at the age of 16. However, high-school physics and chemistry proved his downfall and meant he could not join the armed forces to learn how to fly jets. So, acting became his prime focus. He was accepted into the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in England, and when he returned to Canada he completed his BA in English at York University in 1984.

On air

  • Social scientist Lesley Jacobs, criminology professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, commented on the risk of child abduction, the unpredictability of the crime and the impossibility of assuring a safe neighbourhood, on a panel on Report on Business TV’s “Michael Vaughan Live” July 21.