Judge blasts ruling by refugee board member with zero acceptance rate

The day the Toronto Star broke the story on a wide variation of acceptance rates by refugee board members, a Federal Court judge issued a decision chastising an adjudicator who had not granted asylum to anyone in three years, wrote the Star March 9.

In an order issued Friday on an appeal by failed refugee claimant Bingrou Xu, the judge eight times repeated that the credibility findings by Immigration and Refugee Board member David McBean were "unreasonable".

Data analysis by Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Sean Rehaag revealed last week that McBean granted asylum to none of the 169 cases assigned to him since his 2007 appointment, with most of his rejections citing claimants’ credibility as an issue. The data also showed several board members had extremely high acceptance rates.

Libya unrest causes oilsands rethink

Revolution in the oil-producing Arab world has created chaos in oil markets and ignited new interest in Canada’s oilsands, wrote CBC News online March 8.

"The higher oil prices we’re seeing because of what’s happening in Libya are certainly very useful for pushing the Alberta tarsands as an alternative," Schulich School of Business Perry Sadorsky said in an interview Tuesday. "That’s a major factor in why some people have changed their tune."

It’s not yet clear where the dust will settle as these populist uprisings unfold. But one way or another, Canadian companies in the oil patch are bound to be affected. "I think we need a few more weeks to see how this plays out," Sadorsky said.

Off the record: Confidential sources and the courts

Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Jamie Cameron joined Ivor Shapiro, ethics professor, Toronto Star investigative reporter Robert Cribb and Torstar Chair John Honderich at Ryerson University’s journalism school in a March 4 discussion, wrote The Precedent legal blog March 9.

One thing that came up again and again at the panel discussion was the question of when the relationship between a source and journalist should be revealed and for what reasons, and who should get to decide, wrote The Precedent.

“As it stands, the journalist seeking protection has the burden to explain why the relationship needs to be protected. I think that’s wrong,” says Cameron, who went on to say that the burden should be on the other party to explain why the confidentiality agreement should be broken.

For that comment, Cribb quipped that Cameron “might be my best friend in the world right now. We rarely get that kind of support from the legal community.”

Schulich grad receives coveted Trailblazer Award at ReelWorld Film Festival

Vikas Kohli [MBA ’00] of FatLabs will be the first to receive the coveted Trailblazer Award from the ReelWorld Film Festival for his work solely as a film composer and music producer, wrote Ontario’s Oye! Times online March 8, in a story about the graduate of the Schulich School of Business at York University.

It’s been an adventure over the past year, with several of the films Kohli has composed for receiving awards and it seems fitting that now the composer himself will be recognized for his tireless contributions to the arts.  It is also perfect timing since the IIFA (International Indian Film Academy) awards – Bollywood’s equivalent to the Oscars – are coming to Toronto, and in 2008 Kohli was the first Canadian to have a song performed live at the high-profile gala.

Now a sought-after composer and music producer, Kohli is known internationally for his expertise at fusing together genres as varied as punk, hip hop and Bollywood pop.