Afghan-Canadian mulls army career

Twenty-three-year-old Ramis Jamali seems like the ideal Canadian Forces recruit, wrote the Toronto Star Jan. 9. The fourth-year York psychology student speaks English and Dari, a language common throughout much of Afghanistan, where several thousand Canadian soldiers are deployed. What’s more, he said he’s entertained thoughts of a military career. Trouble is, years after the first Canadian troops arrived in Afghanistan to help overthrow the Taliban, prospective Afghan-Canadian recruits like Jamali – who are familiar with both the language and culture of the crippled Middle Eastern country – say they remain overlooked by Canada’s military. "We really don’t see very much interest from the Canadian military in our community," Jamali said. Capt. Holly Brown, a Canadian Forces spokeswoman, conceded prospective Afghan-Canadian recruits may have fallen through the cracks.

Schulich professor recommended that citizens decide

Citizen members of a select group will choose a company to redevelop a troubled downtown block next to Kitchener’s City Hall, on the advice of a York professor, reported The Record (Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo) Jan. 9. The group that will evaluate the development proposals does not include a single member of city council. Councillor Berry Vrbanovic said a consultant advised the move. That consultant is James McKellar, associate dean, external relations for the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Gates could open new public era

One small step for a city, one giant leap for a neighbourhood. After decades of decay, the Trinity Bellwoods Gates have been refurbished, restored and, now, re-opened, wrote the Toronto Star ‘s Christopher Hume Jan. 9. The gates, which stand on the north side of Queen Street West at the head of Strachan Avenue, were installed in 1904 as the main entrance to Trinity College. The college occupied the site from 1852 to 1925, when it joined the University of Toronto and moved. Though the school buildings were eventually demolished, the gates were left, perhaps as a reminder of past glories. According to local resident and activist, retired York University political science Professor Ed Dosman, the restoration is the first of a two-part program that will also see a courtyard and fountain installed just north of the gates, wrote Hume.

On air

  • Ananya Mukherjee-Reed, political science professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, discussed the current situation in Iraq on TVO’s "The Agenda" Jan. 8.