Monahan says Senate term-limit move has free-trade parallel

Constitutional-law expert Patrick Monahan, dean of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, said there is a precedent for the Senate’s move of refusing to pass a bill limiting senators’ terms to eight years unless the government agrees to refer it to the Supreme Court to determine whether it is constitutional, wrote The Globe and Mail June 8. They say there are doubts about whether the provinces must approve the change. In 1988, Liberal senators refused to pass the free-trade legislation put forward by then-prime minister Brian Mulroney unless an election was called.

Monahan said he believes that the term-limiting bill is constitutional, but others disagree, so it is appropriate for the prime minister to refer it to the Supreme Court. "Certain noted scholars have raised issues at the Senate. I don’t agree, but many times people’s opinions turn out to be wrong when you go to the Supreme Court of Canada."

  • The current situation is not intractable, wrote columnist John Ivison in the National Post June 8, referring to comments by Monahan that senators are within their legal rights to call for the government to refer the matter to the Supreme Court. He suggested that if Harper really wants the bill passed, he should pass the question on to the court and proceed with the bill’s passage through the House of Commons. If it were later deemed unconstitutional, term limits would simply not apply eight years or so down the road. "It would be desirable to have the matter clarified," he said.
  • Monahan also spoke about the constitutional aspects of the stalled Senate reform bill on CTV NewsNet, June 7.

At last, Bloom’s MBA dream job arrives

Finally, the phone rang. It was one of those life-altering calls that many of my classmates had received in recent months, wrote Richard Bloom, an MBA student at York’s Schulich School of Business, in his ongoing column for The Globe and Mail June 8.

Now – after countless MBA classes, readings, assignments, all-night study sessions and job interviews – it was my turn. "Hello, Richard, I have some good news for you," said the recruiter who helped coordinate the search for the position for which I had been interviewing. "I was just informed you can expect a call from an HR representative in a couple of days with an offer. Congratulations."

Coincidentally, that call came roughly two years to the day that I had decided to quit my job at The Globe and Mail to pursue an MBA and a career shift. After years as a reporter observing the workings of business, I had decided I wanted to be a participant.

Family censorship creates deep interest in free speech

Osgoode alumna Mira Sundara Rajan‘s great-grandfather died more than 80 years ago at the age of 39, wrote The Vancouver Sun June 8. Yet all these years later it was the influence of Subramania Bharati, who was first exiled from his home for his writings and later lauded as India’s national poet, that led Sundara Rajan (LLB ‘97) to become an expert on copyright law and be named to the Canada Research Chair in intellectual property law at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Law.

Sundara Rajan’s career direction had its start at Osgoode when she was mulling over ideas for a paper in her final year with David Vaver, professor of property law at Osgoode from 1985 to 1998, when he accepted an appointment to Oxford University, wrote the Sun. "I dropped into his office and I had no idea what to do," she said. It was only in chatting about her interests that Sundara Rajan told the story about the copyright of her great-grandfather’s work and the idea was born. It formed the basis for that paper and further study at Oxford – also with Vaver as her adviser.

Osgoode alum serves on board for local branch of St. John Ambulance

St. John Ambulance’s Brampton Branch recently held its annual general meeting to recognize volunteer achievement and elect its board of directors. Returning to the board is long-time Bolton resident, Lieutenant (Navy reservist) Paul Hong (LLB ‘06), a graduate of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, wrote the Caledon Enterprise June 9. Hong is a naval officer in the Canadian Forces and serves as organist at Holy Family Church and as an Aide-de-camp to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. Hong takes on the position of Chair of the board of directors.

Brush with success

Queen Elizabeth Collegiate’s annual downtown summer art show, which opened last night, displays the best of the school’s advanced creative arts students, wrote the Kingston Whig-Standard June 8. For some students, the art show represents the first time their work has been on public display. Michelle MacKinnon, for instance, includes designing tattoos among her artistic accomplishments. “It’s so cool to see your artwork on someone else’s skin,” said the 18-year-old, who is heading off to York University this fall on a $21,000 scholarship.

Watson Scholarship winners demonstrate Kiwanian spirit

After only a year at St. Mary’s Catholic School, student Mercy Youlien stood out enough in her principal’s eye to be nominated as the top student for the Kiwanis Casa Loma Watson Scholarships, wrote Toronto’s Annex Guardian June 7. An immigrant from Cuba, Mercy said the award will help her on her way to York University, where she plans to do a double major in English and religious studies. Eventually, she would like to become a teacher. "A winner never quits and a quitter never wins," wrote Youlien in her submission to the scholarship fund.

Student’s film wins her a meeting with Al Gore

Making a video to meet Al Gore was a perfect combination for York student Emily Pickering, wrote the St. Thomas Times-Journal (Ontario) June 7. The 17-year-old Grade 12 student at Parkside Collegiate Institute was a winner in the Al Gore video contest put on by the Thames Valley District School Board and St. Joseph’s Health Care. Pickering attended Gore’s visit to the London Convention Centre on May 31 and watched a live slide show presentation upon which his Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, is based.

"I’ve been making random videos since Grade 7," said Pickering, who is attending York University this fall for film production and screenwriting. "I’m interested in drama and documentaries. I like movies that make you think or feel."

On air

  • A paper on big retailers and organic foods by Irena Knezevic, a doctoral candidate in the York-Ryerson Joint Graduate Program in Communication & Culture, was mentioned on a farm report by CKNX radio (Wingham, Ont.) June 7.
  • Dennis Raphael, professor in York’s School of Health Policy & Management, Faculty of Health, spoke about poverty and health on CBC Radio (St. John’s, Nfld.) June 7.
  • Alan Young, criminal law professor in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, spoke about the legality of a swingers club in Moncton, NB, that authorities are trying to close, on CBZ radio (Fredericton, NB) June 7.