Canadians face six more weeks in Egyptian prison where they sleep ‘on concrete with cockroaches’

The fate of two Canadians, a filmmaker and an emergency physician, who have been held without charge for six weeks in an Egyptian prison, took a dire turn Sunday when prosecutors said they will be held a further six weeks. Incommunicado in a fetid cell with six other men, with access only to lawyers and consular officials, York University Professor John Greyson and Dr. Tarek Loubani have been on hunger strike for two weeks, protesting conditions they describe, in a statement via their Cairo lawyer, as “ridiculous.”…They have not been charged with any crime, but like the hundreds of others arrested on Aug. 16, they are being held on the authority of a document that lists potential charges including arson, conspiracy, terrorism and attacking a police station. If charges are laid, there is a two year window before a mandatory trial. Even without charges, the law allows six months of detention on a felony, reported the National Post Sept. 30. Read full story.

Schulich leads Canada’s green wave
Seven Canadian business schools scored well in a new top-30 global ranking of sustainable graduate business education, with Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto taking first place over all, reported The Globe and Mail and others Sept. 27. The Global Green MBA Survey is published by Corporate Knights, a Toronto-based magazine that promotes social, economic and environmental thinking in corporate decision-making. This year, the magazine expanded its previously Canada-focused survey to 17 countries. Master of business administration programs were rated for the green-oriented focus of their institutional support, student initiatives and course work, with Schulich earning a top-three placement in each category. Read full story.

David Gilmour controversy: writer-in-residence vs. ‘working poor’ academic
“In all the recent talk about dead white males and the living white males who teach them, we’ve missed something about the David Gilmour controversy. It’s not at all unusual for people to want to teach only the things they like, but, generally speaking, it is unusual for them to get what they want,” wrote York University PhD candidate Christine Sismondo in the Toronto Star Sept. 27. “Gilmour has every right to prefer literature written by whatever small portion of the population he chooses. But, since the university is publicly funded and the system is in ‘crisis’, it’s fair to question whether or not it’s right for an institution to spend resources on a course that seems to fall outside of the normal confines of academic inquiry.” Read full story.

Attorney general’s office using collection agencies to collect victim surcharge fines from criminals
On June 19, the federal government closed a loophole allowing judges to waive the surcharge fine for “hardship” reasons and doubled the fines as part of Bill C-37. Now the fines are mandatory: a surcharge of 30 per cent of the fine imposed by the court or $100 for a summary conviction or $200 for an indictable offence…. “Let’s be realistic. The majority of criminals are from a lower socio-economic class where waivers was a responsible way of addressing an impoverished situation,” said Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Alan Young in the Toronto Star Sept. 30. Read full story.

Supreme Court allows wider use of police ‘sniffer dogs’
Police have been granted wider latitude to use “sniffer dogs” to search people’s belongings for drugs, in two cases that suggest the Supreme Court of Canada is becoming tougher on crime – at a cost of personal privacy, reported The Globe and Mail Sept. 27….The ruling “has the effect of giving an enormous amount of deference to the instincts and subjective views of police officers, at the expense of some of the liberties we assumed were in place since the Charter [of Rights and Freedoms] came” in 1982, said Benjamin Berger, a law professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School. He said the ruling moves acceptable sniffer-dog searches out of airports, bus terminals and schools, where people expect less privacy, to the more familiar and common area of traffic stops. Read full story.

Transgender identity finding its way, York Region panel hears
On Wednesday, at the annual conference for Family Services York Region, more than 250 people gathered to explore the challenges of helping gender-independent youth….The growing interest in the subject matter was evident as hundreds of educators, police, parents, medical, social and mental health workers gathered in Kettleby to discuss ways to create awareness and paths forward. Miqqi Gilbert, a York University philosophy professor, lifelong cross-dresser and activist in the transgender community, was one of them. “We need to prepare ourselves, we need to pave the road these girls and boys will travel on,” said Gilbert in the Richmond Hill Liberal Sept. 27. “This meeting today is designed to discuss the issues these adventurers will face and what systems we need in order to aid their exploration.” Read full story.