York graduate student complains of abuse at US customs

The internal affairs department of US Homeland Security is investigating after a York graduate student complained he was pushed to the ground, kicked in the ribs, handcuffed and verbally abused by customs officials at a bus terminal in Rochester, NY, wrote the Toronto Star Nov. 2. Less than a minute after Evgeny Efremkin, a Canadian citizen, got off the bus at a stop in Rochester, the PhD student at York University says an officer demanded to see his passport.

When Efremkin asked to see identification, the officer told him to "shut up" and attempted to grab his passport, he said. When Efremkin again asked for identification, another officer grabbed his arm and pushed him to the ground, kicking his ribs and pinning his head to the floor. Efremkin said he was thrown into a car while officials searched his bag and told him he was lucky he wasn’t being thrown in jail. "The officers let me go 10 minutes later," he said, just in time to catch his bus.

Reviewer likes Shulich’s old-school approach to marriage

It’s strictly business tonight as Alan Gregg sits down with self-made billionaire Seymour Schulich, author of Get Smarter: Life and Business Lessons, wrote a reviewer of Gregg’s television show “In Conversation” for The Globe and Mail Nov. 2. What is clear, wrote the reviewer, is that low-key philanthropist Schulich is a character. He’s down-to-earth and, at 67, a bit of a throwback, with his references to “spinsters” and his delightfully old-school approach to marriage and his wife. His book was born of mentoring students in various business schools he’s endowed [including York’s Schulich School of Business].

Work on city’s capital budget begins Monday

Just a week after Toronto council took a first step toward balancing its books in 2008 by approving two controversial new taxes, the budget committee will get down to start work on Toronto’s capital budget, the $1.8-billion portion of the city’s about-$8-billion budget that funds hard infrastructure such as roads and buildings, wrote InsideToronto.com Nov. 1. The capital budget will end up between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion depending, said budget chief Councillor Shelley Carroll, on whether inter-governmental funding comes through on several big-ticket Toronto Transit Commission items including the construction of a subway to York University and the purchase of new streetcars to replace the commission’s aging fleet.

Osgoode prof says government won’t appeal decision on Aboriginal claim

A Court of Appeal decision concerning a native band near Sudbury may have implications for other First Nations claims, including Six Nations, wrote the Hamilton Spectator Nov. 2. In 2002, the Whitefish Band sued the federal government over the sale of some timberland rights in 1886. The trial judge decided the fair value of the timber rights in 1886 was $31,600 and that the band’s compensation today was $1.1 million. Whitefish appealed that decision, claiming it was owed much more.

A hearing has been ordered to determine a fair compensation. Shin Imai, a professor in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School and an expert in Aboriginal land issues, said the three-member appeal court decision is unanimous and that the federal government will not likely appeal the decision. Ottawa says the Crown is still reviewing it.