York grad on life support works to make the world better

Osgoode alumnus Enam Bukhari (LLM ’01) needed a way to stop his eyelids from drooping and tape did the trick, wrote the Sarnia Observer June 7. People call him B. He’s 56 years old, a father of three children. He’s been married to Nayyer for 31 years. And he runs a law practice from his St. Catharines home. This is where normal comes to a grinding halt.

Bukhari lives on life support. A machine the size of a laptop breathes for him. He cannot walk. His arm movement is limited; he cannot do things like reach across the table. He’s learned to talk during the pause between puffs of air.

His philosophy is to push the limits. To enjoy life. To forget about all the technology that is keeping him alive. In his words, he has conquered the life support ventilator. “I’m determined to have a full life,” he says. “I don’t stop at anything.”

He’s not kidding. He’s earned his master of law degree in negotiation and dispute resolution from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School. He travels. And he’s an avid volunteer in Niagara.

Dominatrix mounting constitutional challenge says sex is safest indoors

A woman calling herself Canada’s most famous dominatrix says the best years of her life were spent spanking and tying up clients in her north Toronto bondage hotel, wrote The Canadian Press June 6. Along with Osgoode Hall law professor Alan Young, she and the others filed a constitutional challenge last year with Ontario Superior Court.

Young said the challenge has nothing to do with the morality of prostitution. “You can’t in the same breath say something is legal and then prohibit (people) from conducting (their) business in safe settings.”

  • Osgoode Hall law Professor Alan Young, who represents Terri-Jean Bedford, 48, and other current or former sex-trade workers, said laws prohibiting such workers from communicating with clients, working indoors or hiring staff violate their Charter rights and put their safety at risk wrote Canwest News Service June 7.

“Regardless of what you think of selling sex, the premise of the case is it is a legal business and anyone conducting a legal business should not be exposed to the risk of violence,” Young said yesterday. “The law has to protect you as much as any other person in this country.”

Young said that while prostitution is not illegal, communicating for the purposes of it is, which leaves women vulnerable because they are unable to screen clients. He said provisions in the Criminal Code against operating a bawdy house or living off the proceeds of prostitution force women to work on the streets and prevent them from hiring drivers or bodyguards for security.

A concertmaster bows out to teach at York

Violinist Jacques Israelievitch must surely be one of Toronto’s most visible classical musicians, wrote The Globe and Mail June 7. And yet he is heard only rarely.

For 20 years, the French-born concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has been the last musician to walk onstage, just before performances begin. As the longest-serving concertmaster in the TSO’s history, he’s proud of the role he’s played in shaping the orchestra.

He is, however, no stranger to the recording studio. This is the sort of thing Israelievitch plans to do more of in his retirement. Indeed, “retirement” may not be the right word, as he’s accepted a teaching position at York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts. But he’s looking forward to a change of pace.

“Instead of playing more than 100 concerts a year,” he suggests, “I’ll play 20. That will free up 70 or 80 evenings per year. And from now on, I want to hear every note I play.”

  • Jacques Israelievitch is a live lesson in why we use such clichés as not being able to see the forest for the trees, wrote the Toronto Star June 7. The 61-year-old French-born violinist is leaving the Toronto Symphony Orchestra this month after 20 years as concertmaster, the No. 2 job after the music director’s.

Even post-TSO, Israelievitch will remain in Toronto. “What I’m looking forward to most is my new teaching job at York University,” he says, eyes suddenly alight with energy.

Osgoode prof comments on unusual abuse case

An unusual lawsuit filed by a man who was molested as a child claims the Toronto District School Board set the stage for generations of sexual abuse victims by employing a pedophile as a teacher, wrote the Toronto Star June 7.

The case raises the novel legal issue of where a school board’s liability ends when a teacher sexually assaults a student. Does it stop with the victim? Or, if the victim grows up to be a pedophile, does the board’s responsibility also extend to people he abuses – the second generation of victims?

Should the case get to trial, another key issue will be whether the board should have reasonably expected that if Kernaghan was abusing children, his victims may later do the same, said Allan Hutchinson, a law professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

York sculptor makes art on a washroom wall

Michael Davey is a Ward’s Island resident, professor in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts and a sculptor, wrote the National Post June 7, in a story about art installations on Toronto Island. His found-object construction Accumulation is an assemblage of water-smoothed asphalt, brick pieces, stones and other beach detritus. Each of the mainly human-made objects is carefully placed on one of the hundreds of tiny ledges formed by the relief texture of the concrete washroom walls.

$3.83 to power hybrid plug-in for 6 days: ‘I’m sold’

Last week, I had the opportunity of test driving a vehicle that, in a variety of driving scenarios, uses considerably less gasoline than conventional cars, wrote a columnist in the Toronto Star June 9. When booting around the city, it almost uses no gas at all. Instead, it relies mostly on electricity from the grid. Just plug into a wall socket overnight and you’re ready to go in the morning.

The Toronto Atmospheric Fund has observed all this first hand. The agency is overseeing a 10-car plug-in hybrid pilot project involving retrofitted cars from Toronto Hydro, the City of Toronto, York University, Bullfrog Power, Autoshare, Toronto & Region Conservation Authority and the ministries of environment and transportation.

Muslims told to demand equal voice in media

Muslims must “demand that right to participate” in national media, Khurrum Awan (LLB ’07), the primary witness in the Maclean’s magazine hate speech hearing, told a weekend conference of the Canadian Arab Federation, wrote the National Post June 9.

“And we have to tell them, you know what, if you’re not going to allow us to do that, there will be consequences,” said Awan. “You will be taken to the human rights commission, you will be taken to the press council, and you know what? If you manage to get rid of the human rights code provisions [on hate speech], we will then take you to the civil courts system. And you know what? Some judge out there might just think that perhaps it’s time to have a tort of group defamation, and you might be liable for a few million dollars,” he said.

Anti-abortion groups on York campus denied funding

The student council at York University unanimously voted last Sunday to ban funding for anti-abortion groups on campus, wrote the North York Mirror, June 5. Gilary Massa, vice-president external of York Federation of Students, said it’s a move the student union has been discussing since a debate was held in March between the pro-choice and anti-abortion groups.

“We want to keep the student centre as a safe space,” she said. Groups with the sole purpose of promoting anti-abortion ideas will still be allowed to operate on campus. Religious clubs and organizations, added Massa, are eligible for funding from the student union as their main mandate isn’t to support anti-abortion. “They will not be affected by this,” she said, noting the federation’s clubs committee will continue to make the decisions on how much funding each student group receives.

An extreme fitness test

They call it the NHL Entry Draft Combine, wrote BC’s Vernon Morning Star June 8. And while the players ride bikes rather than tractors, the word Combine is fitting since the players are somewhat treated like animals. Vernon-based Red Wing scout Marty Stein said it’s not unusual for some of the players to vomit during the 13 individual tests designed to evaluate strength and fitness of the lottery draft hopefuls.

Zac Dalpe of the Penticton Vees, ranked 16th among North American skaters going into the June 20-21 draft in Ottawa, went through the Toronto-based Combine last weekend. It was the 14th year Norm Gledhill, a professor of kinesiology in York’s Faculty of Health, has tested these elite hockey players.

Sweet victory for national business champ

Two York University business students competed in a national entrepreneur competition last month in Toronto, with the hope of winning $10,000 and representing Canada at the international level, wrote Insidetoronto June 4. One came back with the grand prize. Joseph Moncada was named the 2008 National Student Entrepreneur Competition Champion and took home the grand prize handed out by Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship, a national charitable organization aiming to teach young Canadians to create successful futures for themselves and their communities.

Moncada and Lawrence Krimker, both 2008 grads of York’s Schulich School of Business, had been crowned the 2008 Ontario Student Entrepreneur champions. The duo then went on to claim the top spots in the 2008 Regional Student Entrepreneur Competition, along with a $1,000 cash prize each and a chance to compete at the national level.