Is Schreiber’s extradition on hold for judicial inquiry?

By stirring up a major political controversy to dog past and present Conservative governments, Karlheinz Schreiber may have found a way to avoid extradition to Germany to face corruption charges – at least temporarily, reported the National Post Nov. 14. From his cell at the Toronto West Detention Centre, the German-Canadian dealmaker has positioned himself as a key figure in Canada’s latest political scandal, portraying himself in interviews and affidavits as a man who has key information on former prime minister Brian Mulroney and events surrounding the 12-year-old Airbus affair. With current Prime Minister Stephen Harper announcing plans for a full public inquiry Tuesday Schreiber is now indispensable to the process. 

Patrick Monahan, dean of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, said Schreiber’s presence must be assured at the inquiry; otherwise it would be pointless. But his extradition doesn’t have to make it an either/or proposition. "I would have thought that the obvious solution here is to send him back to Germany with the agreement that he will be sent back to Canada for the period necessary for his testimony, which presumably might be a couple of weeks," Monahan said. "Failing that, he would stay here until he testifies at the inquiry and then he would go back to Germany."  

Legal decision creates concern     

A narrow Supreme Court of Canada majority decision affirming police have the right to speak to those who have asserted their right to silence has left some lawyers concerned about the respect for the solicitor/client relationship and the incentive for officers to keep questioning detainees until they get a statement, reported The Law Times Nov. 12. The majority’s approach gives the police “no disincentive at all from over-reaching and engaging in potentially oppressive tactics,” says James Stribopoulos, professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School. “The incentive structure that’s created because of this case is all about giving the police reason to keep trying until they get the statement,” he says. 

Stribopoulos says he is worried about those who are facing their first encounter with the criminal justice system, who are most in need of the Charter’s protection, but are “most likely not to receive it because they don’t know what’s required.” He says, “It’s hard not to conclude that most reasonable people, if they’re in police custody, and they say to the police, ‘I don’t want to speak,’ and the assertion of the right has no practical effect, are ultimately going to conclude that the right is really a hollow one.”

Glendon Gallery to show work by Tony Urquhart

Tony Urquhart has won international acclaim for both his drawings and his paintings, but it’s his mixed-media box sculptures that are most uniquely his own, reported The Record (Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo) Nov. 14. Urquhart, who’s been making the boxes for more than 40 years, came up with the idea of contacting galleries from across Canada that have boxes in their permanent collections and asking them to display their boxes for the month of November. There is a virtual record of the exhibition by virtue of the Web site of the Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art. Titled Coast to Coast: The Little Worlds of Tony Urquhart – Forty Years of Opening Boxes, the virtual exhibition features photographs of a number of boxes. Also included is a short introductory essay by veteran Canadian art critic Joyce Zemans, director of the Arts & Media Administration Program at York’s Schulich School of Business, who curated the show.

Another exhibition opens at the end of November at York University’s Glendon Gallery featuring works by Urquhart, Conestogo-based sculptor Ann Roberts, an internationally acclaimed ceramics artist and University of Waterloo colleague, and David Sorensen. The exhibition is titled In the Footsteps of Expo 67, which recognizes the fact that all three artists exhibited at Canada’s national centennial celebration in Montreal.

On air

  • Ricardo Grinspun, economics professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, participated in a discussion about Pakistan’s economic problems, on CTS’s “Michael Coren Live” Nov. 13.
  • Alan Young, professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, participated in a legal roundtable about the 10-year sentence handed Canada’s youngest multiple murderer and the Canadian terror suspect stuck in Guantanamo Bay, on CTV Newsnet’s “The Verdict” Nov. 8.