Banks tackle cybercrime

Banks, both in Canada and in other jurisdictions, must balance providing their clients with access to new technologies, including mobile technology, with a commitment to security and privacy. This is a traditional competitive advantage for the banking industry relative to new, untraditional providers of banking services, such as the digital currency Bitcoin. “Payment systems, for example, that either already exist or may be developed in the future could provide alternatives for consumers to the banks [if trust were to be compromised],” said Gordon Roberts, professor of finance at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in Investment Executive’s August 2014 issue. Read full story.

How to fix the prostitution law
“It doesn’t take long for the Conservative government’s bill on sex work to go off the rails: In the first sentence of the preamble it declares that ‘exploitation is inherent in prostitution,’ ” wrote Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Bruce Ryder in The Globe and Mail July 24. “In the context of the exchange of sexual services for consideration between consenting adults, this ex cathedra pronouncement is demonstrably false. It ignores mountains of social science evidence and the testimony of many sex workers. The bill perpetuates stereotypes that marginalize and stigmatize sex workers.” Read full story.

The drone ‘blowback’
“It is reported that by 2025, drones will be an $82bn business,” wrote Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Faisal Kutty in Al Jazeera July 18. “With the stakes so high, the enormous clout and lobbying power of this industry, and a majority of the American public lulled into a false sense of security supportive, drones will inevitably be at the centre of U.S. counter-terrorism policy for the foreseeable future. Given this context and some of the findings confirmed by this report, it is incumbent that Washington conduct a fundamental re-evaluation of this strategy, taking into account all available evidence, the concerns of various stakeholders, and the short- and long-term costs and benefits.” Read full story.

Could Canada host the 2026 FIFA World Cup (and do we even want to)?
Vijay Setlur, sport marketing instructor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, said fan support and volunteerism won’t be an issue, but whether the country has enough facilities needed to stage an event of World Cup calibre will be the main challenge. Setlur said most large stadia in Canada are used by Canadian Football League teams, and would need some kind of renovation to increase capacity and/or amenities, reported Global News July 15. Read full story.

Ontario’s jet fuel tax hike would send another 400,000 air travellers across the border
Recent studies by the C.D. Howe Institute and York University’s Schulich School of Business all conclude that jet fuel taxes put an unfair drain on the airline industry and have no sound policy basis, reported the Financial Post July 23…. It is unfair for airlines and all Canadians to suffer as Ontario struggles to get its financial house in order. Read full story.

The CBC’s a service, not a business
“The CBC’s strategic plan to shift priorities from broadcast to digital services and outsource virtually all but news and current affairs programming is, on the whole, a sensible strategy – from a purely business perspective,” wrote York University communication studies Professor Wade Rowland in The Globe and Mail June 26. “The thing is, however, that the public broadcaster is not a business in any conventional sense. It exists not to make money or to satisfy financial goals, but to fill a public need – one that is not being served by private media outlets.” Read full story.

Editorial: A stinging report
York University ornithologist Bridget Stutchbury, a Canada Research Chair in ecology and conservation biology, in her book, The Silence of the Songbirds, pointed to pesticides as a potential factor in the decline of bird populations, reported the Calgary Herald July 25. She advocates moderate use: “Some use of pesticides is probably required; we need to come up with the safest possible products…. We do need them, but probably there are safer ways of doing it,” she told the Herald in an interview three years ago. Read full story.

Aurora’s Pereira wants to complete your movie experience
A love for the movies came to Aurora’s Amanda Pereira from an early age – and now she wants to share the movie experience with people from across Canada, reported The Auroran July 23. The York University graduate is one of eight finalists in the nation-wide contest hosted by Cineplex Odeon to find three new hosts for their pre-show entertainment. Read full story.

Pride Week: From visitor to refugee
Canada accepts refugees on the basis of sexual orientation under a clause of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that protects people persecuted for “membership in a particular social group.” The refugee board does not keep numbers on how many refugees enter the country on this basis. “Canada was one of the first countries in the world to offer refugee protection to people facing persecution on account of sexual orientation,” explained Sean Rehaag, a York University law professor who specializes in refugee and immigration law, in the Vancouver Sun July 25. Read full story.

‘A little brains, a little talent…’
“The pet-peeve language issue I’m going to look at in this post is a particular way of using the word ‘talent,’ which isn’t really a metaphor per se but more of a quality or attribute that is nominalized and reified in ways that detach it from actual people, and their lives and work,” wrote York University PhD candidate Melonie Fullick in University Affairs July 24. Read full story.

Stephen Harper urged to apologize for spat with Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin
The Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists concluded that Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin’s move to flag a potential legal problem was “not inappropriate,” reported the Toronto Star July 25.… The letter was the result of an examination undertaken in response to a May 9 letter written by Manitoba law professor Gerald Heckman, Saskatchewan professors Ken Norman and Brent Cotter, Lucie Lamarche of the Université du Québec à Montréal and the University of Ottawa, Toronto Professor Audrey Macklin and Lorne Sossin, dean of York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School. Read full story.

Annuities vs RRIFs: six questions answered
York University Professor Moshe Milevsky wrote a paper in 2007 in which he calculated the probability of “portfolio ruin” – running out of money – for various investors, reported The Globe and Mail July 26. Read full story.

Yukos owners win $50 billion in 10-year fight with Russia
Former majority owners of Yukos Oil Co. won a landmark $50 billion ruling against Russia for the confiscation of what was once the nation’s largest oil producer and now face another lengthy legal battle to claim their award, reported July 28…. The Yukos plaintiffs will have the right to go to arbitration courts in about 100 countries that are party to the 1958 New York Convention to enforce the ruling, according to Gus Van Harten, a professor specializing in arbitration at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School in Canada. Read full story.

Schadenfreude is a childish emotion
It’s not just a case of the terrible twos. Humans are born to be little green-eyed monsters. A 2008 study from researchers at York University found that when babies were purposefully excluded from a conversation they kicked, yelled and wiggled, reported July 25. Read full story.

Police race data project humming along
While the results of the largest study of its kind in Canada won’t be made public until 2015, the Ontario Human Rights Commission and York University researchers agree there’s been “significant progress,” reported the Ottawa Sun July 24. Read full story.

Stouffville council critic joins mayoral race
Arnold Neufeldt-Fast is running for mayor, reported the Stouffville Sun-Tribune July 24…. He also wants knowledge-based workers employed in town. He was not shy in voicing his opinion that Whitchurch-Stouffville should have sat down with representatives from York University earlier this year who were looking in the region for a location to construct a satellite campus. Read full story.