New Schulich communications program cited in plans for national ad week

We need to take our message to all sectors, to demonstrate just how vital our industry is to the economic vitality and growth of Canadian businesses, wrote Claude Carrier, Chair of the Institute of Communications Agencies’ national advertising celebration initiative, and Gillian Graham, ICA CEO, in Strategy magazine Feb. 1. We need to demonstrate that what we do has enormous value.

Our goal is to organize one blockbuster occasion that will drive our message home once and for all. That is our challenge to the marketing communications industry. The event is an example, like the Masters in Marketing Communications Management Program launching this fall at York University’s Schulich School of Business, of our willingness to lead the promotion of our industry through meaningful communication – and action.

We’re developing a weeklong celebration of advertising, held simultaneously in major centres across Canada. We basically want to open our doors to the public, both figuratively and literally, and let people into our world to experience what we do. Similar events have been organized in the United States and France.

Osgoode grad takes freedom of speech message to television

Osgoode alumnus Khurrum Awan (LLB ’06) was interviewed on CTV NewsNet Jan. 31, about his group’s human rights complaint over a Maclean’s magazine article the group says was inflammatory against Muslims. Below is an excerpt of the interview with CTV’s David Akin.

Akin: Could you tell us why you have a beef with Maclean’s?

Awan: Well, you see, our concern first of all is that the article itself is actually very inflammatory. What it says is that Muslims living in the West need to be feared by virtue of the numbers in which they exist and because they are part of a global Muslim conspiracy to take over Western societies and subject them to an oppressive form of Islamic law.

Moreover, they’ve actually published 19 similar articles in a two-and-a-half-year period, articles which allege and represent, for instance, that Muslims commonly engage in sex with minors and animals, that Muslims believe in drinking the blood of non-believers, and that the CBC sitcom “Little Mosque on the Prairie” is part of a conspiracy to make Islam acceptable just like homosexuality in Western society.

Now our concern is that not a single counterview response in the form of an article has been published to any of these 19 articles and, moreover, what we did is we asked Maclean’s for a meeting to discuss our concerns and we said that we would like to be able to publish a representative response of adequate length to this article.

This is really about the right of communities to participate in our national discourse on issues that relate directly to us. Our position very publicly is that Maclean’s can continue publishing the articles that it wants. Mr. Steyn can continue publishing the articles they want. We just simply want to extend free speech to make it more inclusive of the communities in question. And if we do that, we don’t have to, you know, get into this false trade-off that we always assume that somehow free speech and minority rights and free speech and multiculturalism are somehow diametrically opposed.

US presence in Afghanistan has ‘a veneer of UN authority’, says Osgoode prof

After invading Afghanistan and toppling the government, Washington won UN authorization for the new government it installed, and for its ongoing intervention through NATO, wrote Linda McQuaig in the Toronto Star Feb. 5. As a result, the US presence in Afghanistan – like the one in Iraq – now has "a veneer of UN authority," says Michael Mandel, professor in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

Fine arts grad paints the history of Fenelon Falls

Every Monday a group of talented artists meet at Bobcaygeon, Ont.’s Kawartha Settlers Village in the basement of Henderson House. One of them is York alumnus Owen Masters (BFA ’82), wrote a reviewer for the Lindsay Post Feb. 5. This is Owen’s second year painting with the group. He is doing a series on the old buildings in Fenelon Falls, which is where he lives. He is calling this series the Features Of Fenelon Falls, and he has completed his first one, the Cow & Sow Restaurant and Bar, and is currently working on the second one in the series, the Old Fenelon Fall Theatre. He sadly said that it is closed now, but the beautiful old building remains…and that is what he is capturing on his canvas.

On air

  • Richard Weisman, law & society professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, spoke about the power of an apology by disgraced pathologist Dr. Charles Smith to one of the people his testimony helped convict, on CBC Radio’s "Metro Morning” (Toronto) Feb. 4.
  • Sarah Flicker, psychology professor in York’s Faculty of Health, spoke about her survey of teen sex practices that points to a need for better education on the subject, on CBC Radio’s “Metro Morning” (Toronto) Feb. 4.