Canada needs sound fiscal thinking, not balanced budget laws

“In last year’s Speech from the Throne, the Harper government promised to introduce legislation to require ‘balanced budgets during normal economic times, and concrete timelines for return to balance in the event of an economic crisis,’” wrote Andrew Jackson, the Packer Professor of Social Justice at York University, in The Globe and Mail Jan. 28. “This proposed legislation makes little sense in terms of sound economic policy. But it will likely be introduced as part of the federal budget, expected early next month.” Read full story.

Q&A: 50 days in Egypt’s notorious Tora Prison
Canadians John Greyson, a filmmaker and professor at Canada’s York University, and Dr. Tarek Loubani heard the gunfire in the distance, left their Cairo hotel, and became witnesses to a day-long massacre of Egyptian demonstrators. After Loubani helped victims and Greyson recorded the carnage, they were detained by Egyptian police and sent to the infamous Tora Prison on the capital’s outskirts, where the country’s worst criminals reside. There they would remain crammed “like sardines” in a cell for 50 days, alongside 36 others, reported Al Jazeera Jan. 28. . . . Greyson spoke by phone from Canada, recalling his 50-day ordeal after being branded a “Canadian terrorist” by Egyptian authorities. Read full story.

Making lemonade: Benefits of the LPP
“In early January, I attended an information session about the new Law Practice Program,” wrote Osgoode Hall Law School student Rebecca Lockwood in Canadian Lawyer Jan. 27. “There were only around 20 students there, along with a handful of Osgoode staff and Law Society of Upper Canada representatives. I was shocked – I expected a full room. After all, the program details remained quite mysterious until very recently. Didn’t students want to know more about the proposed solution to the great articling crisis?” Read full story.

People of African descent mostly absent from curriculums
Yohann Jomson is a black, English-speaking Bay Islander who has worked on the issue of bilingual intercultural education in Honduras for more than five years, reported Honduras Weekly Jan. 28. One reason it is not relevant to Black Bay Islanders is that the national school curriculum of Central America totally leaves them and their history out, as noted by the recent book by Trinity College historian Dario Euraque and Honduran historian Yesenia Martinez. The publication of this book in Spanish in Honduras by Editorial Guaymuras was partially funded by the Harriet Tubman Institute of African American studies of York University in Canada. Read full story.