The next generation class at Schulich ‘gets it’

Having the good fortune of being able to speak to a wide range of industry and academic groups, I was invited to speak to a group of MBAers at Schulich School of Business [at York University] here in Toronto this past week, wrote editor Ian London in March 13. I was delighted and refreshed to listen to their insightful comments, probing questions and broader vision as they saw the key opportunities and threats around the emerging rare earth industry.

A number of the students had just spent the day at the PDAC [Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada] convention, one of, if not the largest, exploration and mining conventions in the world. The make-up of the group also brought added dimension, with students holding a range of undergraduate degrees…in engineering, in economics, in political science, with several now doing a joint law-MBA program. The students also seem to have been pre-reading/viewing on the subject…. A smart, interested and energetic audience, if there was ever one.

The audience clearly and quickly saw beyond the current media buzz around “will there be adequate supply and which company will be first out of the gate.” They also questioned the traditional promotion that surrounds the industry, seeking clearer answers to what they see as some of the key strategic challenges facing the sector.

It is always encouraging to work with the generation that will assume the helm. I’m confident that by sharing our knowledge and experience with their insights and outlook, we could very well see the rare earth and cleantech sectors meeting their potential.

Tory funding sets tone for law-and-order debate

Critics have blasted the Tories’ prison-expansion plans, saying the money should be spent on crime prevention and rehabilitation programs, especially when overall violent crime rates are dropping, wrote Postmedia News March 22, in a story about expectations of new “get-tough-on-crime” measures in the federal budget.

"No doubt there will be comparisons to very high US incarceration rates," said Robert MacDermid, professor of political science at Toronto’s York University [Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies].

Another issue that is bound to come up during the campaign is the Conservatives’ "secrecy" over the costs associated with its crime bills, MacDermid said.

Should we pay for whistle-blowing?

The new chair of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) recently announced that it may implement a whistle-blower program as part of a concerted effort to enhance its enforcement ­regime, wrote Edward Waitzer, Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney Chair in Corporate Governance in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business, in the Financial Post  March 22.

While a wide range of other Canadian regulatory statutes (particularly in areas such as health and safety or environmental law) contain extensive anti-retaliation protections for whistle-blowers, the use of financial rewards as an incentive for whistle-blowing has yet to find favour, wrote Waitzer, [who is also director of the Hennick Centre for Business and Law at York].

The time may be ripe to ramp up whistle-blower programs, particularly in the financial services sector. Presumably, employee and public outrage has mounted with the public perception that corporate misconduct fuelled the recession. Hopefully, the OSC will think through what works best to reinforce and capitalize on this personal sense of caring about, and responsibility for, institutional wrongdoing without undermining other efforts to promote effective corporate cultures.

Lloyd Axworthy – geo blogger

Lloyd Axworthy, former Canadian foreign affairs minister, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and president and vice-chancellor of the University of Winnipeg, is adding a new skill to his repertoire – global blogging for Global Brief, wrote the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce, March 21.

Global Brief is published out of the Glendon School of Public & International Affairs at Toronto’s York University. Global Brief targets a global readership with the works of top and up-and-coming global writers dealing with world affairs at large – international politics, business, culture, movements and trends.

On air

  • Chris D’Souza, course director in York’s Faculty of Education, spoke about the equity and inclusion strategy he helped write for the Toronto Board of Education, on CBC Radio’s “Morning North” (Sudbury) March 21.
  • Alan Young, professor in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, spoke about recent calls for statistics on people who don’t appear for jury duty, on AM640 radio March 21.