Report reveals horrors of forced labour

Research conducted by a York University business professor sheds new light on the use of forced labour, how it continues to thrive and what can be done to prevent it, reported The Globe and Mail Jan. 9. The report was commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a British-based non-profit organization, and co-authored by Andrew Crane, professor of business ethics and director of the Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business at York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto. The study looks at the use of forced labour in three industries: food and agriculture, construction and cannabis grow-ops. Although the report is based on research conducted in Britain, Crane said its findings and recommendations are instructive for Canada, as well. Read full story.

Pre-campaign mayoral robocalls in Richmond Hill prompt concerns
This year’s municipal election campaign may have just kicked off last week, but someone – and no one is admitting who – may have jumped the gun with a robocall survey made throughout town in December. The automated phone calls, inviting people to choose which of three politicians – Dave Barrow, Vito Spatafora or Carmine Perrelli – they would support for mayor, came the week of Dec. 17, more than two weeks before campaigning was legally allowed. . . . “In my 20 years of living in Richmond Hill I’ve never had a call of that nature,” said York University Professor Irene Henriques in the Richmond Hill Liberal Jan. 9. . . . “Who is paying for this? Could it be that watchdog group? I’m truly disappointed,” said Henriques. “This kind of activity leads to a loss of social capital and trust.” Read full story.

Why say it when you can spray it? Researchers have been at the chemical substances again
We’ve heard all the jokes about Smellyvision, which would add smells to your TV experience, and now it looks like we’re about to hear them all over again, but this time, for the Smellyphone. Yes, we’re talking about communication via smells. . . . Nariman Farsad and Andrew Eckford of York University, Toronto, Canada, and Weisi Guo of the University of Warwick in the U.K., published a paper just before Christmas entitled “Tabletop Molecular Communication: Text Messages through Chemical Signals”, reported TelecomTV Jan. 10. Read full story.