Trinidad and Tobago’s 11 senators in cabinet ‘undemocratic’

A constitutional scholar claims the appointment of 11 senators to the cabinet of the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament by Prime Minister Kamla Bissessar-Persad is borderline unconstitutional, given there has been virtually no debate on the practice. Glendon College Professor Radhakrishnan Persaud, born in Trinidad and Tobago and trained in Canada, questions whether the practice is in keeping with the constitutional conventions in Westminister-style parliamentary democracies throughout the Commonwealth, reported The Caribbean Camera Sept. 12. Read full story.

Professional misgovernance: Activism for its own sake can be costly to companies
“Solutions to problems are often within our own grasp. When it comes to corporate governance, wizards should be suspect,” wrote Edward J. Waitzer, director of the Hennick Centre for Business and Law at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and Schulich School of Business, in the Financial Post Sept. 15. “This point is made in a recent paper by Professors Marcel Kahan and Edward Rock, who demonstrate how the rhetoric around many of the recent governance crusades (e.g., poison pills, say on pay, majority voting in director elections or the hazards of ‘empty voting’ and other ‘proxy plumbing’ problems) are not justified by the stakes involved.” Read full story.

Terence Corcoran: Tories versus the left on China
The most detailed critique of the China deal was re-posted Monday by Gus Van Harten, an Osgoode Hall Law School professor, on the, reported the Financial Post Sept. 15. In comments that are nearly two years old, Mr. Van Harten claimed that the China deal “has profound implications for Canadian labour law, environmental regulations and democratic standards. If enacted … the trade promotion deal will give unprecedented powers to China’s state owned enterprises (SOEs) that are now investing billions in Canada’s natural resources.” Read full story.

Islamic treasure house: The Aga Khan Museum
Ruba Kana’an, head of education and scholarly programs at Toronto’s new Aga Khan Museum – a specialist in Islamic art history, with a doctorate in the subject from Oxford and several years of teaching it at York University – is confident that the museum’s various opportunities for learning will find receptive audiences in Toronto and far beyond. “There is a thirst, a very healthy curiosity about art from different parts of the world,” Kana’an said in Canadian Art Sept. 15. Read full story.

Breaking down the harm to Canada done by treaty with China
Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Gus Van Harten, a global authority on investment trade deals and international arbitration panels, wrote a letter nearly two years ago to Prime Minister Stephen Harper urging a full public review of FIPA, the highly controversial investment and promotion treaty with China, the world’s second largest economy…. Following the Harper government’s surprise announcement on Friday that it had ratified the treaty, republished Van Harten’s letter on Sept. 15, in which he explains why the deal is bad for Canada on numerous counts. Read full story.

TT celebrates 52nd independence anniversary
The celebration of any anniversary is time for reflection. And as nationals of Trinidad and Tobago in the diaspora paused in observance of the 52nd anniversary of their country’s independence, eyes centred on democracy in the twin island republic here in the City of Toronto…. Keynote speaker Radhakrishnan Persaud of York University’s Glendon College advised that national independence implies coming of age, the capacity to make choices and to act as a sovereign state among the community of nations. The Trinidad and Tobago national, who is professor of political science and an expert in constitutional law and public policy, reminded his audience that independence also demands a nation deals as effectively as it can with its challenges – institutionally, politically, economically and socially, reported Indo Caribbean Word Sept. 3. Read full story.