Westray Bill doesn’t make shareholders accountable

“In 1992, the Westray mine in Pictou County, owned by Curragh Resources Inc., exploded, killing 26 miners. A subsequent inquiry found ‘that the company was derelict in carrying out its obligations … and management ignored or encouraged a series of hazardous or illegal practices,’” wrote Harry Glasbeek, professor emeritus at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in a commentary published in Halifax’s Daily News Oct. 28. “In 2004, the federal government passed Bill C-45, the Westray Bill. It makes it easier to convict a corporation such as Curragh Resources. Of course, it is now bankrupt and will never be charged. The principal goal of corporations and their executives is the maximization of the wealth of their shareholders. Most shareholders probably would prefer that it be done within the law. But, they are not held legally responsible if it is done unethically or unlawfully. This protection against risk is the means law uses to inveigle people with money to invest in corporations.” Glasbeek is author of the new book Wealth by Stealth: Corporate Crime, Corporate Law and the Perversion of Democracy.

Close to the action

The Toronto Sun printed this letter from Rex Jansen of Mississauga Oct. 28: “I do remember when everybody at CNE Stadium wanted a domed stadium. CNE Stadium was a sub-standard facility. So is the SkyDome. The seating at the 100 level is so gently sloped, you are far removed from the action by the 20th row. Ivor Wynne in Hamilton is better. The front row is 10 feet from the sideline. The relatively steep slope of the seating keeps everyone close to the game. Let’s hope we get the same thing at York University. Let the Argos bid farewell to the SkyDome and play outdoors, on natural grass. Dress for the weather, and a great time will be had by all.” The Sun commented in response: “Football as it was meant to be played.”

Jazz singer a political junkie

From singing in the Corpus Christi School gymnasium to performing in the Downtown Toronto Jazz Festival this past summer, Angela Scappatura has had quite a year. Now the York grad is set to release her debut CD, reported The Sudbury Star Oct. 28. A Little Bit of Sugar is proof there’s life after Diana Krall. The album is released under Itchy Pink, Scappatura’s own label/publishing/promotion company. While writing about relationships is her forte, she shows the same gusto with politics. Scappatura been studying political science at York University for the past few years. At the time, she was heavily involved with the student PC party. “I love politics, I’m a current affairs junkie,” she said.

Baroque versus modern sound

“Baroque instruments are more mellow, gentler, softer and have a greater flexibility in colouring than modern ones,” said Jeanne Lamon, Tafelmusik’s music director since 1981, told Victoria’s Times Colonist in an Oct. 28 story highlighting the orchestra’s tour. “Over the last 200 or 300 years people have been making instruments louder and stronger, to project over larger and larger halls, bigger and bigger orchestras. They are more penetrating, more powerful. Like laser beams. When you play the classics, things like Mozart on modern instruments the sound is wrong,” said Lamon. In 2000, Lamon was appointed a member of the Order of Canada, and other honours include the Prix Alliance from the Alliance Francaise; a 1994 honorary Doctor of Letters degree from York University; and the prestigious Molson Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts.

On air

  • Nick Rogers, history professor in York’s Faculty of Arts and author of Halloween: From Pagan Rituals to Party Night, estimates Canadians will spend $700 million on Halloween, reported “VR Land News” on CKVR-TV, Barrie, Oct. 27.