Retired Ontario Supreme Court justice will review the sale of York University lands

Marhsall Cohen, Chair of the York University Board of Governors, released the following statement to the York community on Friday, March 11.

As Chair of the Board of Governors of York University, I am pleased to announce that the recently-promised independent review of the sale of lands by York University to Tribute Homes in March 2002 will be undertaken by The Honourable Edward Saunders QC. Since his retirement from the bench in 1997, Mr. Saunders has been engaged full time in arbitration and mediation principally in the area of business disputes. He will begin the review immediately.

The impartial review will determine if the process through which the price was negotiated with the buyer was appropriate in the light of the criteria imposed by the University, and, whether any improprieties or conflicts existed or occurred in relation to this sale.

Mr. Saunders will have full access to all documents pertaining to the sale and the University will make available all personnel whom Mr. Saunders would like to interview. Mr. Saunders may also wish to contact members of the wider community.

We urge members of the York community and the media to allow the independent review to complete its work without the hindrance caused by further speculation or conjecture. The review will be completed as soon as possible but is expected to take some time. As promised, the report will be made public. You will understand that the University will not be making any further comment on this subject until the report is published.

Mr. Saunders, now retired from the bench, was appointed to the trial division of the Supreme Court of Ontario in 1977 where, as a judge, he heard cases of every nature. For several years he was administratively in charge of the Bankruptcy Court and from 1990 to 1993 he presided over a hearing assessing the 25-year demand/supply plan of Ontario Hydro. Mr. Saunders is a graduate of the University of Toronto and of Osgoode Hall Law School. He was called to the bar in 1953.