In Toronto, filmmakers show support for Canadians detained in Egypt

The filmmakers Alex Gibney, Atom Egoyan and Sarah Polley on Tuesday joined the writer Michael Ondaatje and others at the Toronto International Film Festival in a public demand that Egyptian authorities free two Canadians who they said have been held without formal charges in Cairo since Aug. 16, reported the New York Times and others Sept. 10. John Greyson, a director and film scholar from York University in Toronto, and Tarek Loubani, a doctor and professor from Western University in London, Ont., were arrested during an uprising in Cairo, where they had stopped while in transit to Gaza. Read full story.

Canadian citizens held without charge for 25 days
Two Canadian citizens, who were detained on Aug. 16, are still being held by the Egyptian authorities despite there being no charges announced against them, reported Daily News Egypt Sept. 10. Emergency room doctor Tarek Loubani and York University film Professor John Greyson have been receiving consular assistance from the Canadian embassy and officials have been able to visit them regularly, according to Canadian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Lynne Yelich…. Under the current state of emergency in Egypt anyone can be detained without charge for an undefined period of time. Read full story.

Charter of Quebec Values: Can it stand up to court challenges?
Legal experts say they’re not sure whether the Parti Québécois government’s move to ban “overt” religious symbols would stand up to court challenges. In releasing vague details of its controversial Charter of Quebec Values Tuesday, the PQ said it would try to shield it from legal challenges by entrenching the concept of religious neutrality into the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms….Benjamin Berger, professor at York University’s Osgoode Law School, said the proposed Charter of Values raises the often-forgotten issue of religious equality. “It fails to distinguish between religions in which there are obvious manifestations of religious adherence and those in which there aren’t,” he said in the Montreal Gazette Sept. 11. Read full story.

Bee species named after Royal Saskatchewan Museum researcher
As someone who names bee species for a living, Cory Sheffield says he is honoured to have a new species named after him….Mexalictus sheffieldi was found in the mountains of Guatemala in 1987 by researchers at the Canadian National Collection in Ottawa and stored in a vial. Years later, Sheffield was looking through the specimens and realized one of them looked different from other bees collected. It turned out to be a new species and the only specimen of that species. Sheffield notified a former colleague, Sheila Dumesh from York University, about the specimen, and when she published her bee research earlier this month, she named the species after Sheffield, reported the Leader-Post Sept. 11. Read full story.