Hamilton newspaper provides look at university presidents’ contracts

University presidents’ contracts are beginning to be made public after The Hamilton Spectator won a two-year battle to obtain a copy of the full employment details of McMaster University President Peter George, wrote the Spectator July 3.

The office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario supported the Spectator’s case that universities should make public the contracts of their chief executives, the same as other parts of the public sector. The commission ordered McMaster to give a copy of George’s contract to the Spectator by the end of February. McMaster balked, saying it would go to court rather than abide by the ruling.

However, late last month, McMaster abandoned its request for a judicial review and released the contract, almost two years after the Spectator’s original request under freedom of information legislation in August, 2006, said the newspaper.

The Spectator’s online version of the story included links to documents outlining the contract details of seven Ontario university presidents, including York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. The contracts were provided by the universities.

Experience pays off for quarterback headed to York

Nick Coutu ‘s impressive play caught the eye of the York Lions, who are looking at the strong-armed quarterback to help turn the school’s moribund football program around, wrote the St. Catharines Standard July 4. "Nick is a leader," first-year Lions head coach Mike McLean said. "He has shown the character that is a perfect first block in building the foundation that will become York football. He has got everything we want in terms of intangibles."

Coutu was scouted extensively for months by McLean and incoming offensive co-ordinator Beau Mirau. Coutu had offers from about eight Canadian schools and interest from about 15 American institutions through a recruiting service. In the end, he decided to stay in Canada because of the academics and the big fish/small fish conundrum. He decided to be a bigger fish in a small pond rather that a small fish in a very big pond. "And it was pretty much a no-brainer when York came out of nowhere and offered me a bunch of money," Coutu said.

Despite McLean’s glowing words, Coutu isn’t assuming the No. 1 quarterbacking job is in the bag. "Going into training camp, I know I have to win my job. I have to improve on the reading ability that I have, No. 1, and then I have to work on all my skills."

Coutu leaves for York’s training camp Aug 20. The Lions open their season at home Sept. 1 against the Windsor Lancers.

Argument bolstered to legalize prostitution

The murder of 20-year-old escort worker Chantel Robertson in Edmonton on June 30 bolsters the argument for the legalization and regulation of prostitution, as a variety of organizations have been recommending for years, wrote Mindelle Jacobs in a column in The Winnipeg Sun July 4.

If Robertson had been working in a legal, licensed brothel, she would still be alive. Alan Young, criminal law professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, says he hasn’t heard of a single case anywhere in the world of a prostitute working out of a monitored brothel being killed. "People simply do not go missing or are found dead working in indoor sex trade locations," he says.

Even though women working on the street are in the greatest danger, there have been incidents of violence involving escort agencies and massage parlours as well, says Young. Escort agencies, he adds, simply can’t provide the type of security needed when escorts go to clients’ homes. "There are always going to be what the sex trade calls bad dates," he says. "That’s largely because…we don’t allow them to create safe environments to work (in)."

Racy rider’s Canada Day extra special

York alumna Chantal Sutherland (BA ‘99), the Winnipeg-born jockey who was one of People Magazine‘s Top 100 Beautiful People in 2006, had a Canada Day to remember on Tuesday when she rode four winners – including Executive Flight in her first stakes victory since 2003 – at Toronto’s Woodbine Racetrack, wrote the Winnipeg Free Press July 4.

"It was just all around a pretty good day," Sutherland told the Free Press from Toronto, where she now lives. "But the stakes race (the $100,000 Sweet Briar Too) was really special. All the people I rode for are really good people, so I’m happy for them all."

Sutherland has a degree from York University, is a licensed pilot, has done TV commercials for Esquire watches and was photographed by famed celebrity image-maker Annie Leibovitz for Vogue magazine in 2006.

On air

  • James McKellar , professor in the Schulich School of Business at York University, spoke about Bombardier’s latest bid to supply streetcars to the TTC, on CBC Radio July 3.
  • Pat Armstrong , sociology professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, spoke about standards of care at Ontario nursing homes, on CTV’s “ Canada AM” July 3.