Osgoode professor discusses security certificates on CTV

One of five men held on government security certificates as a terror suspect, Mohammed Harkat, has never been charged, and most of the evidence never released, reported CTV News reporter Rosemary Thompson July 11 on “Canada AM”. Thompson asked James Stribopoulos, professor of criminal law at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, what kind of an impact this has on the whole issue of security certificates.

“The problem with this group of individuals, including Mr. Harkat, is the place that we would send them, their country of nationality. Those are countries where we have legitimate concerns about torture and the possibility of being subject to death at the hands of the state,” replied Stribopoulos. “And if you listen to what human rights agencies – international agencies – and the UN have to say about some of these countries, those fears seem to be legitimate. So, we are in a bind because we as Canadians do not want to send people back to be tortured and murdered.”

He said it is common throughout Western democracies post-9/11 to try to strike the right balance between civil liberties and public security. “And that’s exactly what’s on the scale before the Supreme Court at the moment,” he said. “And the question is: Has Parliament in the legislative scheme that they have drafted here struck the right balance? Or have they weighted things too much in favour of the state?”

He said Harkat and some others have argued the latter, that the procedures are not fair. Harkat and his lawyers don’t get the information that the judge and the government lawyers have. “Historically, when we deal with allegations of wrongdoing in this country, the people who are accused get to see the evidence and get to respond to it,” said Stribopoulos.

Columnist finds no feminist triumph in new campus demographics

Feminism has revolutionized the demography of the university, wrote National Post columnist Barbara Kay July 12. Women now constitute 59 per cent of the undergraduate population in Canada. In English literature, 83% of undergrads are female; in social sciences, 68%. Apart from maths and hard sciences, women now rule on campus. This should be wonderful news for liberal parents of girls, who remember their generation’s more skewed reverse ratio. But before they blithely commit the approximately $60,000 it takes to send the average young woman off to reside for four years at one of Canada’s “sacred groves of academe,” said Kay, parents should look at the recent University Student Issue of Maclean’s.

The columnist highlighted an article purporting to cover a typical campus day through the eyes of a woman student. Nineteen-year old Hailey Wojcik from Guelph is supposedly “studying” sociology and communications at Toronto’s York University, recounted Kay. But mostly she’s trying to find a public space where she doesn’t feel sensorially or territorially besieged.

Hailey doesn’t use the word, but she has been “sexiled”, the neologism coined in I Am Charlotte Simmons, Tom Wolfe’s extravagant satire of campus life in the US. The novel was assumed to have been wildly exaggerated but, if Hailey is a “typical” freshie, then Wolfe’s assessment seems spot on target, said Kay. As Wolfe correctly observed, it isn’t actually women who rule on campus, it’s ideologically ramped-up sexual brinksmanship that rules women. Girls are behaving in ways that run counter to their instincts and self-interest to prove they are men’s equals. She has the “power” to join in the social campus norm of promiscuity and indecency or slink off into voluntary sexile. Some power. Some feminist triumph.

On air

  • Paul James, head coach of the York men’s and women’s soccer teams and a member of Canada’s 1986 World Cup team, discussed “trash talking” in soccer on CBC Radio July 11.