Osgoode student wins Harry Jerome Award

When York student Denise Ann Williams, 24, was a little girl, she focused on what was in front of her: school, sports and whatever else she might learn from her mother, Barbara, a Trinidadian immigrant raising three kids on her own, wrote The Globe and Mail Oct. 26. Tonight, with her mother at her side, Williams will take in a decidedly different view – from the 42nd floor of Toronto’s tallest office tower – as she reaps her latest reward for hard work: the Harry Jerome Scholarship for black law students, sponsored by one of the country’s top firms, Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP.

"Law school’s really hard when you don’t have the funds there to help you," said Williams, a second-year student at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School. "My mom is my sole source of income." Her mom, a nurse at a municipal home for the aged in Toronto, has been that and so much more for Williams and her sisters, despite the oft-reported odds against single, black immigrant mothers trying to make their way in a costly city, wrote the Globe. "There were probably a lot of times when my mom could have given up, and she didn’t," Williams said. "If you don’t have the motivation to get up after you fall, you’re never going to make it."

In high school, Williams played basketball, won two terms as student council president and earned the Governor General’s Academic Medal for graduating with the highest average. This, in turn, led to an undergraduate scholarship at York University, where she earned a four-year bachelor of science degree in kinesiology & health science from the Faculty of Science & Engineering.

And justice forever…

The plaintiff is dead, the original judge trying the case has moved on, and more than 160,000 pages of transcript have been churned out – and still the so-called Castor Holdings trial grinds on, wrote The Globe and Mail Oct. 26. Canada’s longest-running securities trial entered its 10th year in October, leaving some observers wondering whether the case would ever reach a conclusion. Castor will likely remain one of a kind, wrote the Globe. Mary Condon, a professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, says that recent changes to securities laws in Ontario and other provinces should speed up class action suits. While plaintiffs still have to prove fraud, they may recover some damages if misleading statements were made, and they don’t have to show that they acted specifically on the basis of them. "I think things will go faster," she says.

Universities become big-time investors

The value of Canadian university endowment funds has reached an all-time high, surpassing $10 billion, according to a new survey, wrote the Ottawa Citizen Oct. 26. The latest figures from the Canadian Association of University Business Officers show the country’s ivory towers have come of age as a fundraising and investing force, generating average annual assets worth $1 billion. The Citizen noted that Standard and Poor’s debt-rating agency ranked York University eighth in a list of the top investor universities with a per-capita endowment value of $6,687, or a total of $246 million.

Lack of frost has potential for good and bad, says York professor

Jack Frost is missing in action, setting a record for his absence from the London region, wrote Ontario’s London Free Press Oct. 26. Agriculture experts and climatologists warn the longer season without freezing temperatures has the potential for both good and bad. The warming in southwestern Ontario is consistent with the models for climate change, said Mark Winfield, a professor in York’s Faculty of Environmental studies. "It is not necessarily a good news story…how it will play out is still guesswork."

Toronto officer seriously injured after cruiser, car collide

A Toronto police sergeant was taken to hospital with serious injuries after his cruiser and a car collided at Driftwood Avenue and Finch Avenue West around 10:30pm last night, wrote the Toronto Star Oct. 26. The officer was responding as backup to a call for a foot chase by officers at York University. He was travelling at a high speed and with sirens and lights in use. He was taken to Sunnybrook hospital; the driver’s injuries were non life- threatening. A hydro pole was also hit, causing wires to fall onto a TTC bus on Finch Ave. Passengers remained on the bus until Toronto hydro crews arrived to remove the wires. No one on the bus was injured.

York student joins musician busker’s charity performance

Longtime Our Lady Peace fan, York student Steven Isidori, filmed the band’s 37-year-old frontman Raine Maida on Oct. 25 as he busked to raise money for the War Child charity, wrote The Toronto Sun Oct. 26. Isidori then rented a guitar for $10 to help drum up some change for the cause. "I’m a student. I complain how I’m poor, but today is my day off. Why not get up and do something for someone else?" said Isidori, who is studying business.

On air

  • Keerat Grewal, a graduate student at York, spoke about a study she led of Indo-Canadians and heart disease, on Radio Canada International Oct. 25.
  • David Wiesenthal, psychology professor in York’s Faculty of Health, spoke about commuters and stress on Citytv’s “Breakfast Television”, Oct. 25.
  • Marcel Martel, Avie Bennett Historica Chair in Canadian History in York’s Faculty of Arts, took part in a panel discussion about “Canada’s historical amnesia”, on TVO’s “The Agenda” Oct. 25.