Boardroom diversity and disclosure: A nudge in the right direction?

“This week, Laurel Broten, Ontario’s minister responsible for women’s issues, indicated that the government is collaborating with the Ontario Securities Commission to craft a strategy aimed at increasing gender diversity in corporate boardrooms,” wrote Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Aaron A. Dhir in the Toronto Star May 31. “This initiative flows from a novel passage in the securities regulation section of the Liberal party’s proposed budget. It declares that ‘[t]he government strongly supports broader gender diversity on the boards and in senior management of major businesses.’ The chosen method for pursuing this goal is to explore the best way to require firms to disclose ‘their approaches to gender diversity.’[…]But will this diversification strategy work?” Read full story.

Why it’s worth paying for public transit
“Ontario politics in the coming months are set to revolve around a debate on whether taxes should be raised to pay for a massive expansion of public transit and transportation infrastructure in the highly urbanized and acutely congested Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, home to about half of the province’s population,” wrote Andrew Jackson, the Packer professor of social justice at York University, in The Globe and Mail May 30. “The planning agency Metrolinx has just proposed a detailed plan to finance investments of more than $2 billion a year over 25 years through a 1-per-cent hike in the provincial sales tax, a 5-cents-a-litre increase in the gas tax, a non-residential parking levy and higher development charges that would push some of the costs on to business.” Read full story.

Erratic behaviour in the boardroom: What should Rob Ford’s staffers do?
How would a business grapple with a problem like the highly questionable behaviour of a CEO?…Background checks for those applying for positions at the C-level are much more thorough than in the past, said Richard Leblanc, a professor of governance law and ethics at York University….Many companies even hire independent firms to scrutinize a candidate’s suitability, and have new CEOs sign contracts requiring them to maintain a good reputation or risk dismissal. “It’s almost like an athlete, where the athlete has a rider in his contract – a morals clause,” says Leblanc in Canadian Business May 30. “Your actions can affect the brand of a company, so boards now are moving towards a broader definition of reputation risk.” Read full story.

Unifor: Super union unveils not-so-super name
Labour leaders say “Unifor”, the new name of Canada’s pending super union, stands for “unity, solidarity, strength, determination and a modern, forward-looking perspective for everyone.”…“What a silly name,” said Alan Middleton, a veteran marketing professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in the Toronto Star May 30. “As a pure brand name, it’s unimpressive. It has no description, logic or emotional magic.” Middleton added it is clear the new union wants to open its door to a lot more people and that makes it harder to connect them to a name. “Brand names need to either accurately reflect the activity of an organization or show its uniqueness, distinctiveness and power. This one does neither.” Read full story.

Law in the digital age
Is eliminating the need for jurisdiction in cases that involve the Internet, with the prosecution and defense in different countries, the best place to start? Because obviously, it is not practical for victims to have to file lawsuits in every country where an offender or offending website is based. George Takach, a Toronto-based technology lawyer at McCarthy Tetrault and adjunct law professor at York University, agrees, although he does acknowledge the need for the law to evolve in this area. “The concept of jurisdiction remains very important, although it certainly becomes more complicated when dealing with cybercrime,” he said in the Toronto Standard May 30. “One only needs to consider the history of state prosecution of political dissidents to realize that there is some risk in allowing any country to assert legal authority over anything, anywhere, at any time.” Read full story.

Argos tap top coaching talent
Every training camp allows each CFL team to tap into all levels of football and provide a platform for coaches to expand their knowledge. This year is no exception, regardless of location, reported the Toronto Sun May 30….The Argos have also invited a number of visiting coaches from various CIS schools, including McGill University’s Clint Utley, Pat Donovan and Mickey Donovan; University of Guelph’s Stu Lang, Kevin MacNeil, Todd Galloway and Neil Lumsden; and Warren Craney and Harry LaFlamme from York University. Read full story.