York Lions skate with Maple Leafs at ACC

With a half-dozen Leafs in Turin and two more skating with the Marlies farm club, Toronto needed bodies for its practice and put out the call to four York University Lions, reported the National Post Feb. 23. Among the fill-ins was forward Tyler Harrison, younger brother to part-time Leaf and current Marlie Jay Harrison. “He just said ‘well, it’s a great opportunity, it’s going to be fun for you and just have a good time out there,'” said the younger sibling. He enjoyed himself though he was “obviously a little nervous stepping on the Air Canada Centre ice for the first time.” Defenceman Steve Chabbert equated it with winning a university championship, goalie Kevin Druce called it a “a great honour to be here with the Leafs” and blueliner Marcus Smith said, “I live in Markham, I watch them every day, so to actually come in and see these guys is an unbelievable experience.”  The Toronto Star, Toronto Sun and Global TV also covered the story.

York alum’s band name inspired by a bakery

In a feature story on York alumnus Andrew Cull (BFA ‘02), The Daily News (Halifax) noted Feb. 23 that Cull plays guitar for the Fancy Lebanese Country Band. “Our music isn’t really Lebanese, even remotely,” he says. “The closest thing we have to Lebanese is a Jewish guy, and that’s not close at all.” So where did the name come from? “Our first rehearsal space was an apartment I lived in above the Fancy Lebanese Bakery. They were always nice to us.”

Cull wrote the music for Neptune Theatre’s new production Soul Alone. The original play – about a girl who adopts the personality of her dying twin sister – was written by Conor Green and Anthony Black, both of whom were Cull’s classmates at York University. “Anthony’s a fan of the band, so it seemed like a good fit,” says the guitarist, who stepped into the fashionista footwear of a 13- year-old girl to write the music. “A lot of my songs are country tunes, so they’re about word play,” says Cull, who works in Neptune’s prop department. “Songwriting starts with a good line, a good twist.” From there, he builds the lyrics and the music around the line, putting in “whatever hits me in the chest in that sort of good music kind of way.”

Don’t expect judicial hearing fireworks, says Monahan

Commenting on the upcoming review of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Supreme Court nominee, Patrick Monahan, dean of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, said “it’s probably going to be a very constructive session. I really don’t expect any fireworks,” reported the Toronto Star Feb. 23. The session will be directed by constitutional expert and former Osgoode dean Peter Hogg, and Monahan said questions will primarily focus on nominee Marshall Rothstein’s vision of what it means to be a judge. “I suspect they’ll want to talk about his judicial philosophy, his approach to the Charter [of Rights and Freedoms], how he sees the question of balancing rights against the collective interest,” said Monahan, adding Rothstein would bring “sterling silver credentials to the table.” Nor will the committee likely have much luck getting Rothstein to explain or justify past rulings. Monahan said legal tradition holds that “a judgment stands by what it says.”

RIM’s success was in being a pioneer

Part of Canadian tech firm Research In Motion’s success was as a pioneer of the wireless e-mail space, according to Ashwin Joshi, marketing professor at the Schulich School of Business at York. In a Toronto Star story Feb. 23 about the court battle between Canadian company Research In Motion and US patent-holding firm NTP Inc., Joshi said being a pioneer can be a blessing or a curse in securing a product’s market share.

Manitoba trustee agrees with Osgoode tax expert, partly

Manitoba school trustee Ruth Ann Furgala noted in a Feb. 22 editorial in the The Daily Graphic (Portage La Prairie), that Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Neil Brooks, research associate with Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, had shared his thoughts about taxation with the readers of a Winnipeg newspaper. In the opening sentence of “Taxes are the basis of civilization,” Brooks asserted he likes paying taxes. While I may not pay my own taxes quite as enthusiastically as Mr. Brooks apparently does, wrote Furgala, I do admire his social conscience. Brooks described Canada’s public schools as “our democratic treasure.” I happen to agree.

 On Air

  • Poonam Puri, professor in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, discussed a report on auditors she co-wrote for the Fraser Institute, on Report on Business Television Feb. 22.