More questions about the PM’s well-connected chief of staff

When Nigel Wright took a leave of absence from Onex Corp. to become Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff nearly two years ago, hard questions were asked about potential ethical conflicts, wrote a Maclean’s columnist in its Sept 19 issue. The PMO has denied Wright has broken any rules in subsequent dealings with lobbyists from Barrick Gold and Omers pension fund. Some outside observers suggest the government is setting a low ethical bar. A key point is how things look matters along with what actually transpired. “From my perspective,” Lorne Sossin, dean of York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, says in an email, “the real question is whether a public official should act in a way to advance or appear to advance private interests.” Sossin goes on to ask: “So, is the PMO aspiring simply to ‘follow the rules’ or to lead by example when it comes to providing access to lobbyists?” 

Census data shows more young adults opting to live with mom and dad in 905 regions

More than 75 per cent of 20- to 29-year-olds in GTA municipalities are still living with their parents, according to newly released census data, reported the Toronto Star Sept. 19. Arian Saffarian, 26, and his 31-year-old brother are both still living at the Oakville home where they grew up after their parents emigrated here from Iran in 1996. Saffarian is in his final year at York University then has student loans to pay off. 

YorkU student paper targeted by protesters

York University’s student newspaper was the subject of a demonstration Wednesday, reported CBC Radio’s “Here and Now” Sept. 19. Jane Finch Action Against Poverty organized the rally near Excalibur’s office.