Held back in Israel, prodigy comes to York

A 14-year-old math prodigy is grateful that York University gave him the opportunity to study his favourite subject, just as long as nobody says the “a” word, reported the National Post April 15. Age is what led Chen Kupperman from an Israeli university to York’s mathematics program, where he began course work as a 13-year-old last September. Israel’s Education Ministry had limited his university-level studies to one course per semester because he was too young, said Chen – even after he scored 99 per cent on the entrance exam. “Age is just another number,” Chen said from his North York home, adding that Israel’s Education Ministry won’t discriminate on gender, religion or race, but it will on age.

Rob Tiffin, York’s acting vice-president of students, says the school is “very happy” to have a student of Chen’s calibre. “We’re always looking for bright international students,” he said, adding the University looked at Chen’s overall academic record but not his age. Tiffin said York has had young students like Chen in the past, but not for a long time. The young Kupperman, who also considered the University of Toronto, discovered York on the Internet. He said he chose York because they responded to his inquiry within two days. Tiffin said York has been able to help the Kuppermans through the school’s financial aid program for international students.

Pursue further charges against Homolka, says lawyer

Karla Homolka, 34, is scheduled to be released from a Montreal-area prison July 5 after serving her full 12-year manslaughter sentence, reported CanWest News Service in The Ottawa Citizen and The Vancouver Sun April 15. Criminal lawyer Paul Burstein, an adjunct professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, said the government’s current strategy of obtaining strict conditions upon Homolka’s release violates the spirit of her plea bargain. “It’s kind of half a measure. If you’re going to do it, you might as well … go deep,” he said, suggesting the government should pursue further charges. “The real reason they don’t want to do this is because they’d be putting (ministry officials) on trial for signing this pathetically misguided agreement.”

Ontario has had ample time to fix censor bill, says prof

The Ontario government is asking for more time to “disentangle” its illegal film censorship powers from a movie classification system, reported the Toronto Star April 15. If an extension isn’t granted, legislative provisions governing both the censorship and classification of films will expire in two weeks and the Ontario Film Review Board will have no ability to provide the public with information about the suitability of movies and videos, a lawyer representing the attorney-general told a court Thursday. But Jamie Cameron, a professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School representing the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, an intervenor in the case, said the government has had ample time to fix the law. It’s unusual for courts to give governments time to make changes once a law is ruled unconstitutional and a 12-month delay is extremely generous, she said. The government admits it knows of only five other times a further extension has been given, Cameron noted.

Anna Porter quits Key Porter

Key Porter Books has announced the resignation of publisher Anna Porter, reported The Montreal Gazette April 15. “I am looking forward to writing and taking on some new challenges,” Porter said. “I have recently joined the boards of Empire (Co. Ltd.) and York University and am looking at other opportunities on the horizon.”