John Ivison: Provinces could kill new prostitution law by refusing to enforce it

It is highly possible that opposition from provincial governments could see its provisions to prosecute johns and pimps, rather than sellers of sex, wither from lack of use. The federal government has constitutional authority for creating criminal law, while the provinces implement and administer those laws, Alan Young, a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, pointed out. “The provinces can decide to nullify a new enactment simply by refusing to prosecute cases brought under this law,” he said in the National Post Dec. 8. Read full story.

Health Canada fails to properly regulate drug ads: 10-year study
Health Canada is indifferent to enforcing its own regulations when it comes to prescription drug ads targeted to health consumers, according to a pair of academics who’ve published a first-of-its-kind, 10-year study which they say proves that, reported the Vancouver Sun Dec. 9. “The feds have essentially washed their hands of pretty much all direct involvement with direct-to-consumer advertising,” said York University Professor Dr. Joel Lexchin, an emergency room physician who co-authored the paper with the University of B.C.’s Barbara Mintzes. Read full story.

Jewish studies alive and well, Brandeis prof says
Even as interest in the humanities dwindles at universities, the number of classes and students in Jewish studies seems to be remaining steady, a renowned professor of American Jewish history says. In a keynote address at York University on Dec. 7, Brandeis University’s Jonathan Sarna said Jewish studies remains quite popular among North American students, reported the Canadian Jewish News Dec. 8. Read full story.

GIF of the day: Philippe Blanchard
Philippe Blanchard’s show at York University’s Glendon Gallery closed Nov 21, but because it comes with these GIFs, it gets a nod here, reported Art F City Dec. 8. This work uses computer-controlled sculptures and lighting to create the illusion of movement – those patterns aren’t really moving. Read full story.

Bilinguals more efficient at higher-level brain functions, study says
New research suggests that those who speak two languages likely have the “bilingualism advantage,” meaning that they’re more efficient at language processing and other tasks, reported the Latin Post Dec. 8. The “bilingualism advantage” has long been assumed to enhance an ability to differentiate between important information and non-important material, stemming from how bilingual individuals process and practice language. And those assumptions have been proven to be true, according to York University psychologist Ellen Bialystok, who wasn’t involved with the research. Read full story.