Meet the new Dean of Osgoode (for a day), Clifford McCarten!
As Dean, I would standardize the format and delivery of electronic readings across all courses.
I have been a post-secondary student off and on for the past ten years. In that time, institutions have gradually shifted from a predominately physical (i.e., coursepacks) to a predominately electronic mode of delivering edited collections of primary and secondary materials. Costly printed coursepacks of materials freely available online through institutional subscriptions and CanLII have long been a source of grumbling amongst students. So, like many of my colleagues, I laud the curation of digital links and PDF files of journals, cases and other materials.
But when we envisioned a future free of physical coursepacks, we never foresaw the multi-format, unedited overabundance of files, subfolders and changing content we see in course websites and syllabi today. With the transition to digital, we were promised jetpacks, but are stuck driving rattly old trucks.
The Federal government narrative – that you can worry about the environmental impacts all you want, but the oil sands are fundamentally good for the Canadian economy – makes a lot of intuitive sense on two levels. First, the narrative is grounded in the historically positive ethos surrounding resource extraction in Canada. Canadians have long understood what laid at the foundation of our economy: staples. And although the nation’s economy has grown, and grown up, since the introduction of the staples theory, there remains a strong resonance to the idea that staples – and staples extraction – are fundamental to Canada’s economic identity. Continue reading
Strange things have been happening at Osgoode lately. On February 5, 2014, Dean Sossin was seen wearing a funny wig at Osgoode. Then, an email was sent about becoming the Dean of Osgoode.
Dean Sossin in his younger days at Osgoode Hall Law School.
And now this, Dean Sossin wearing a clown wig somewhere downtown Toronto?! Has Dean Sossin quit his job, ran away and joined the circus? Well no, do not panic. I am here to tell you that everything is fine. That email you got is an invitation to be the Dean for a day. You don’t get to keep Dean Sossin’s job. About the wigs, well it is all part of “Flip Your Wig for Justice”, a super fun campaign that may well become another yearly tradition like Halloween! But for lawyers and law students (and anyone else interested in access to justice issues), and for a good cause!
So, what is this “Flip Your Wig for Justice” business?
This is the second of two parts of an Olympic post-mortem (read the first part here), in which I arbitrarily assign ranks to the participating countries.
Following the 2012 Summer Games in London, I published a story in the Obiter declaring Grenada to be the Winner of the Olympics. I realize that this was an arbitrary designation, but it was not entirely unfounded. I developed a method of statistical evaluation to determine the relative performance of participating countries, accounting for their population and their wealth. Under this metric, a rich country with a high population (like the United States) is expected to win the most medals, while Grenada wildly exceeded expectations by winning a single medal. The results of my analysis aren’t terribly useful as a ranking tool, but they do pose interesting questions about why some countries perform the way they do at the Winter Games. Let’s take a look. Continue reading
In this, the first of a two-part Olympic post-mortem, I take a historic opportunity to bloviate at length about Canada’s forgotten talent.
I’m not going to explain the game. If you want to know how to curl, take the 90 seconds to look it up on Wikipedia. To an outsider, cricket and American football are difficult to understand, but there’s no use pretending that the roaring game is hard to learn. In fact, there’s an old adage about curling: “the easiest game to learn, and one of the hardest to master.” So I’ll save my column inches for more important things.
Curling started in Scotland, and the country still has a strong tradition in the sport. In fact, despite representing Great Britain (a name that the International Olympic Committee inexplicably insists on using to describe the United Kingdom) every four years at the Olympic Games, no British curling team has ever come from England, Wales, or Northern Ireland. At the annual World Championships, the United Kingdom doesn’t compete; Scotland does. This year, the Murdoch and Muirhead rinks both medalled. David Murdoch is a two-time world champion, and Eve Muirhead is the reigning world champion. This is Muirhead’s second Olympic Games, and she is 23 years old. Not only are Scots skilled curlers, but the island of Ailsa Craig, less than 20 kilometres from the country’s west coast, supplies the granite for more than 60% of the world’s curling stones. Scotland has nothing to prove.
Last February 11, Ontario’s Minister of Labour, the Honourable Yasir Naqvi attended Osgoode to give a special lecture on “Employment Law, Politics, and the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act”. As it turns out, the day before, the Obiter received an unexpected email with an invitation from the Minister’s Director of Communications to interview the Minister after the lecture. I accepted, of course. The perks of being Obiter Dicta’s News Editor!
Minister Naqvi accepts a token of appreciation from L&L President Dylan McGuinty.
Minister Naqvi completed an LLB at the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. Although a proud alumnus of the said university, he began his lecture by confessing that Osgoode rejected his application three times. “I can tell you that you are far smarter than I am,” the Minister said without a hint of jealousy or regret. Indeed, after he finished law school, Ottawa became the Minister’s permanent home. He has now been representing the riding of Ottawa Centre for the past six years, and the lecture marked a one-year tenure as Minister.
Terms like corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) and responsible investment are often used as buzz words – positive and reassuring music to our socially responsible ears. For those business-oriented but sustainability-minded law students, exploring this interdisciplinary area is often inaccessible. Yes, we want to change how business is practiced; yes, we want to learn more about this burgeoning field; yes, we want to collaborate with like-minded and diverse individuals dedicated to making the world a better place.
Performance of Sustainable Equity versus SP500
Moreover, as every Osgoode student knows, there is a wealth of student clubs, initiatives and opportunities within our thriving law school community. All too often, however, great organizations are reluctant to collaborate.
It’s time to change all that.
Annie has appeared on television to showcase her cooking prowess.
By now a good majority of the Osgoode community has taken a virtual culinary journey across the world, thanks to our own culinary critic and food-blogger extraordinaire, Annie Chu. Through her blog, Chu on This, Annie’s creativity and inner-foodie has really taken off. Chu on This (www.chuonthis.ca) offers an epicurean voyage, as she documents the sights, smells, and tastes of famous eateries and hidden treasures in Toronto and abroad. When Annie began this project, it was initially no more than your regular personal blog. But Chu on This is special because she shapes her imaginative intuition with her humorous narrative and captures her love of life throughout her posts.
Lunar New Year just wrapped up this past week, and with that spirit in mind your intrepid food sleuths undertook to scout a Toronto downtown dim sum hotspot. Cha Lau is an authentic and budget-friendly option for dumplings, steamed dishes and other “small plate” Chinese goodies.
Chau Lau Dim Sum
Cuisine: Dim Sum
Food: (shared) Beef and Chinese mushroom dumplings, Chinese olive and pork dumplings, ultimate shrimp rolls, shrimp and mango rolls, beef spare ribs, sesame balls, duck pastry, egg tart. Also, beef brisket noodle soup (Dan) and chicken noodle dumpling soup (Luke)
LLBO Licensed? Yup. However, Dan had filmed “Drunk Cases” the night before and was in no condition to imbibe anything other than tea or water. Continue reading