Egypt, let our people go

Two Canadians, John Greyson and Tarek Loubani, who are detained by the Egyptian government without charge, should be released immediately, reported The Globe and Mail Aug. 26. The Canadian government has demanded their release and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says there is no basis for holding either man. Keeping them in prison for another week, as the Egyptians seem prepared to do, is indefensible….Greyson is a professor at Toronto’s York University, a prominent gay activist, an artist and one of Canada’s most noted film directors (Patient Zero, Lilies). Loubani is a professor at Western University in London, Ont., and an emergency room doctor who has dedicated much of his life to improving ER training in Gaza. Read full story.

Why there’s no reason to panic about rising rates
The spread is widening and today’s [interest rate] gap is more the historical norm, said York University Professor Moshe Milevsky, who is the usually unnamed author behind a report that says you do better going with variable [rate mortgages] about 88 per cent of the time….“Look at the premium now. There have always been periods over the past 40 years where this thing widens,” said Milevsky in the Financial Post Aug. 26. “This is one of the larger ones because of the steepening of the yield curve. On the short end they are holding the curve down and the Bank of Canada sees no indication they will be raising [the overnight rate]. Who is going to win? The Bank of Canada or the bond market? Place your bets.” Read full story.

Be the change you want to see
There was a time when most lawyers probably wouldn’t have dreamed of offering their services for free. But now the justice system is increasingly out of reach for many low- to mid-income people, soon-to-be lawyers are learning about the importance of access to justice early on….Some law schools are taking this even further by requiring students to complete a certain number of public interest hours in order to graduate. York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School implemented a 40-hour requirement in 2006 and is the only law school in Canada to require students to do community legal work in order to get their law degrees, reported Canadian Lawyer’s August 2013 issue. Read full story.

Health budget poor
Public resources allocated for health sector in general and mother, newborn and child health (MNCH) in particular are not only woefully low but are often spent in a manner that disproportionately benefits the rich relative to the poor, reported The Nation and others Aug. 27….A study in the area of MNCH has highlighted that the public spending on health as percentage of GDP has never exceeded 0.7 per cent and this proportion has been dwindling over time. The study, launched on Monday, has been conducted by York University Professor Sadia Mariam Malik and funded by Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Programme, Research and Advocacy Fund. Read full story.

Q-and-A with Peter Jenkins
Adjunct Professor Peter Jenkins teaches a course at Osgoode Hall Law School called Legal Values: Law, Ethics & Social Media. Offered for the second time in the winter 2014 term, it’s a small first-year course open to 20 students, with five spots reserved for upper-year students. Jenkins spoke about the course in Canadian Lawyer’s Fall 2013 issue. Read full story.