Argos hope knee injury won’t hinder former York back

Andre Durie is ready to prove the skeptics wrong, wrote the Toronto Star May 11. Despite missing the last two Canadian Interuniversity Sport football seasons due to a serious knee injury, the 25-year-old York Lions running back has returned to the field determined to play the game again and not just at the college level. The 25-year-old Mississauga resident has signed with the Argonauts with every intention of making the CFL team’s roster.

Now after two operations, the latest last fall, Durie is ready to defy the doctors and resume his football career, wrote the Sun. "Before they told me the chances were zero, so I’m trying to defeat those odds," he said. "Everything is back to normal. I’m taking this month to get back to my football form." Durie sees no reason why he can’t make it back. "I’ve already been through the worst," he said. "This is the easy part."

The club also announced yesterday the signing of 290-pound defensive tackle Sean Simms of Etobicoke, another member of the York Lions.

  • Mike (Pinball) Clemons has yet to hear the story first-hand, but his newest recruit is also one of his biggest fans, wrote The Toronto Sun May 11.When the Argos signed York University free agent running back Andre Durie yesterday, they took a chance on a one-time can’t-miss talent. As a bonus, they got a Pinball disciple.

"I was playing in a (minor football) game and we had a chance to meet the Argos before the game," Durie, who was eight at the time, said yesterday. "Pinball was the first guy I met and he signed my hat. I’ve been a huge Pinball fan ever since. It’s kind of a dream to be playing for him and the team I loved."

Meanwhile, added the Sun, apparently it was York U day for the Argos, who also signed defensive tackle Sean Simms.

Osgoode prof says CN suit is a ‘bad move’

A York University Aboriginal law professor says he has never seen a case of a native band council being sued for the actions of its members, wrote the Belleville Intelligencer May 11. Shin Imai, a professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, said the recent CN Rail lawsuit that includes the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte band council along with protesters who blocked a Deseronto-area CN Rail crossing April 20 is highly unusual."Every year, there are hundreds of court cases involving Aboriginal affairs. I read most of them, and I’ve never seen one like this," he said.

Imai, who is not familiar with the details of the lawsuit, said under federal law, band councils have very little influence on their constituents. In some past cases, naming a band council in a lawsuit has been an intimidation tactic, said Imai, who has authored a handbook of Aboriginal law. Such tactics have not always been successful, and at first glance, the lawsuit seems to be "tactically, a bad move," he said. "Carrying a big stick doesn’t necessarily increase the chance for peace," he said.

"I can tell you that the Indian Act doesn’t give band councils any power to control the members, and tactically, (the CN suit) seems like a bad move."

Hollywood unfairly targets us

According to Hollywood titans, Canada is a film-piracy villain, allegedly responsible for 20 per cent of illegally copied movies worldwide, wrote columnist Mindelle Jacobs in The Toronto Sun and several other Canadian newspapers May 11. It’s strange therefore that Canada rates barely a mention in a report on movie piracy commissioned by the Motion Picture Association of America. Canada isn’t even on the chart, for heaven’s sake.

According to the MPAA study, piracy rates are highest in China, where 90 per cent of the potential market is estimated to be lost. Other nations where piracy is a huge problem are Russia, Thailand, Hungary, Poland, Mexico, Taiwan, Spain, India and Italy. “I don’t think [Canada’s share of the piracy] cuts into their profits enormously,” says Seth Feldman, film professor in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts. “Their profits are so large, they wouldn’t even notice.”

Students learn book production cover to cover

Youth in the Jane Street and Finch Avenue area got a chance to learn first hand how to create their own artist books through a bookmaking workshop last spring headed up by the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) , wrote the North York Mirror May 10. The AGYU partnered with self-published writers and illustrators Willow Dawson and Stef Lenk to offer the workshop at The Spot, a youth drop-in centre affiliated with the Jane/Finch Family and Community Centre at Yorkgate Mall.

Allyson Adley, AGYU education co-oridinator, said the art gallery chose to work with youth in the Jane Street and Finch Avenue area because of the close proximity to the University. "York University is located in the Jane and Finch community and we wanted to build more connections," she said.

Sandeep Kler, team leader of The Spot, said she welcomed the workshop as a lot of youngsters in the community are interested in art. "Some want to go to school for art," she said. "They worked really hard, really intensely. Anyone from York University acts as role models and I feel a lot of youths will get inspired to go to York. The book project was a really good influence and a fun activity to do."

Bird lovers sound alarm calls

The first warm days of May have brought the birds back, wrote the Owen Sound Sun Times May 11. It has been nearly two decades since the publication of John Terborgh’s seminal book, Where Have All the Birds Gone? In a book filled with portents of disaster, the author tracked the disappearance of songbirds from our forests, asking can we save the birds that are left?

Bridget Stutchbury, a biology professor in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, who has been studying songbird migration for more than 20 years, would argue yes, but only after a long and often depressing review of the recent plight of the world’s bird populations. In Silence of the Songbirds: How We Are Losing the World’s Songbirds and What We Can Do to Save Them Stuchbury has written another wake-up call, a book as significant today as Rachel Carson’s vital Silent Spring was in 1962.

Canadian pension funds becoming buyout players

A rare voice of caution about the The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board fund is raised by Moshe A. Milevsky, professor of finance at York University’s Schulich School of Business and executive director of the Individual Finance and Insurance Decisions Center, an industry-funded research group, wrote The New York Times May 11. Currently about 66.8 per cent of the investment board’s assets are in equity. While that percentage is likely to decline over time, Milevsky said there remained a broader question.

"A lot of my academic colleagues ask whether a pension fund should have equity at all," he said. "Clearly there is some probability, probably negligible, of markets not keeping up with the risk-free investment benchmarks,” Milevsky said. “Who’s backstopping the fund if something dramatically goes wrong over the next 25 years?"

Brickbats for the NDP under Layton

If you’ve been cursing the reign of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, with his environmental shell games, contempt for the press, institutional homophobia and rabidly pro-American agenda, then you can thank NDP leader Jack Layton for handing him the keys to 24 Sussex Drive, wrote Geoff Olson in a column for the Vancouver Courier May 11.

As noted by James Laxer, political science professor in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, in an in-depth story last year in The Walrus, about the most Layton would say against Harper and his party after he broke with the Liberals in 2005 is that the Conservatives were “wrong in the issues,” wrote Olson.

Laxer made a pretty good case for suspecting that the NDP leadership, who knew a minority government would forever elude them, preferred a Conservative victory over the Liberals. In his article in The Walrus, Laxer listed the concessions the NDP has made over time, including its indefensible decision to remain silent on free-trade issues in the critical Mulroney years.

Music icon Cockburn receives fourth honorary degree

Bruce Cockburn, the Canadian music icon who once penned a song about retaliatory killing with a rocket launcher, has received an honorary doctor of divinity from Queen’s University, wrote the Kingston Whig-Standard May 11. The Queen’s doctorate is the fourth such honour for Cockburn. He has also received a doctorate from York University. Later this month, he will receive his fifth, a doctorate of letters from Memorial University in Newfoundland.

Young artist credits Georgetown experience

Local artist Kailey Bryan will be holding her inaugural exhibition at the Evoked Emotions Gallery in Norval until May 26, wrote the Georgetown Independent May 11.

The recipient of the Georgetown District High School Millennium Award for fine art in 2005, Bryan is now studying visual art at York University. Painting since she was a young girl, her original works are already hanging in homes and offices across Canada, with some pieces purchased by people in the United States as well. Inspired by music, travel, people and life in general, Bryan says she paints in a large variety of styles with her primary medium being oil or acrylic on canvas.

On air

  • Carl Ehrlich, humanities professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, was interviewed about the discovery of Herod’s tomb, on CBC Newsworld May 8.