Offer of election help isn’t out of the ordinary, says Osgoode dean

The Prime Minister’s Office denied yesterday that any Conservative offered Chuck Cadman a million-dollar life insurance policy but refused to say that no financial benefits were ever held out in exchange for his vote against a Liberal budget, wrote The Globe and Mail March 6.

A legal expert agreed that, for an offer to be illegal under the Criminal Code, it must have been extended "corruptly". "Clearly, giving someone a million dollars is outside any reasonable bounds of the normal political process," said Patrick Monahan, dean of the Osgoode Hall Law School. "But it doesn’t seem to me that assisting a candidate in a campaign, which may or may not be done in respect to many candidates, is something out of the ordinary or something that would require the intervention of the police."

Alumnus songwriter joins media group’s advisory board

IndieMV Media Group, Inc., a company that is pioneering new business models and social media sites for the distribution, licensing and marketing of digital media, today announced that York alumnus Eddie Schwartz (BA ’77), a highly-accomplished and well-known entertainment industry and business figure, has joined the company’s advisory board, reported Business Wire March 6.

Schwartz, a prolific composer with more than 200 hit songs to his credit, is currently president of both the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Association of Canada, and also serves as a membership consultant for SOCAN in Nashville, Tenn.

A prolific songwriter from Toronto and now a Nashville resident, Schwartz began writing songs in his teens and fronted the Toronto rock band Icarus in the late 1960s. After studying English literature and music in York’s Faculty of Arts, he turned to song writing professionally in 1978 and proceeded to pen more than 200 hit songs, including "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" (for Pat Benetar), "Don’t Shed a Tear" (Paul Carrack), "The Doctor" (the Doobie Brothers) and "When There’s Time for Love" (Lawrence Gowan). A wide array of artists have covered his songs, among them Joe Cocker, Carly Simon, Peter Frampton, Donna Summer, Amy Sky, April Wine and Matt Minglewood.

Culturally sensitive service

The South Asian Couples Counselling Program is a service being conducted under the umbrella of York University’s Faculty of Health, to address the problem of mainstream therapists who do not understand or appreciate South Asian family values, wrote Brampton’s South Asian Focus March 6. Interestingly, the service is being provided free of charge.

Started by Dr. David Reid, a senior psychologist in York’s Faculty of Health, and Saunia Ahmad, a York PhD student and multilingual (English/Hindi/Urdu) couples therapist, the program is led by experts in the area of couples therapy and ethnic minority issues. It forms part of a larger research initiative on understanding South Asian family dynamics.

South Asian couples come in with complex issues related to their marriage such as frequent arguments, infidelity, lack of sexual intimacy, violence, interference by in-laws etc. Many are however afraid of coming in due to the stigma and fear of being judged by a therapist. Explains Ahmad: "We do not decide who is right or wrong. What we do is help partners develop a better understanding of one another so there is more respect and confidence between them."

No need to debate abortion

Five letters in yesterday’s paper lambasted Kelly Holloway, president of the York University Graduate Students’ Association and vice-chairwoman of the student centre, for cancelling a debate on abortion on the grounds that it was "non-debatable", wrote Muriel Beauroy in a letter to the National Post March 6. I agree with Holloway’s decision, and not only because she appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada on this matter. The debate, if there is one, occurs in the mind of the pregnant woman.

On air

  • Roy McMurtry spoke about his appointment as chancellor of York University on Toronto’s CFRB radio March 4.
  • Camille Williams-Taylor, a Toronto District School Board principal on secondment to York University’s Faculty of Education, spoke about the challenges of teaching in a diverse classroom, on CBC Radio’s’ “Metro Morning” March 5.
  • Hanna Cho, a master’s student in the joint Ryerson-York Communication & Culture Program, spoke about the idea of no-cost citywide WiFi access, on G4TechTV March 5.
  • Dennis Raphael, professor in York’s School of Health Policy & Management, Faculty of Health, spoke about social determinants of health, on CBC Radio’s "Ideas", March 4.