January 30, 2012
Obiter Dicta FAILS to get ski trip photos. Here is a cat. Osgoodeâ€™s Less Than Strategic Plan
Fake It or Make It: Hill Bunnies vs. Hill Money
The Happiness Project: Resolve This
Editorial: process is over.
Osgoode Hall Law School, 0014G York University 4700 Keele Street Toronto, ON M3J 1P3
Well, it is the end of January, classes are underway and everyone is feeling those winter blahs. Just take a look at the articles written by Cass Da Re and Tracey Hardie. Cass notes that this time of the year is grey and grim and Tracey accurately points out most of us are likely feeling sluggish. Maybe we are still tired from the December exam period. Maybe it is all these cloudy, snowy/rainy days. Whatever it is, January feels exhausting and uninspiring. But January will soon be over. In fact, when this editorial goes to print, it will be the second last day of January. And with February on the horizon, we here at Obiter Dicta want to remind you that there are some positive things coming your way! So cheer up!
Contest Rules • To enter submit a short article (under 600 words) about a social issue • Articles will be judged based on style and content • Articles are due by 4pm on Monday February 6, 2012 • The winner will be announced in the paper on Monday February 13, 2012 • Top articles will be published in the Obiter Dicta
“The definitive source for Osgoode news”
Tel. 416.736.2100 x77527 Fax. 416.736.5736 E-mail. ObiterDicta@osgoode.yorku.ca Website. www.obiter-dicta.ca
“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” - Mark Twain
Editors-in-Chief: Cassie Burt-Gerrans, Andrew Monkhouse, Jennifer O’Dell Sponsorship Manager: Rory Wasserman Business Manager: Kristina Bliakharsky Osgoode News Editor: Kyle Rees Opinions Editor: Nick Van Duyvenbode Arts & Culture Editor: Nancy Situ News Editor: Hassan Ahmad Sports Editor: Joe Marcus Staff Writers: Dave Shellnutt, RJ Wallia, Eric Marques, Tracey Hardie, Cass Da Re, Travis Weagant, Jack LeCasse, Michael Szubelak Contributors: Stephanie Marple Layout Editors: Julia Vizzaccaro, Harjot Atwal, Nancy Situ Photography: Harjot Atwal Website Editor: Nancy Situ, Cassie Burt-Gerrans
Articles are due at 2 p.m. on the Wednesday before date of publication. The appropriate maximum length for articles is 1200 words. Please submit articles in Microsoft Word format via e-mail attachment to obiterdicta@osgoode. yorku.ca. Please attach photographs separately; do not include them in your Word document.
The Obiter Dicta is the official student newspaper of Osgoode Hall Law School. The opinions expressed in the articles contained herein are not necessarily those of the Obiter staff. The Obiter reserves the right to refuse any submission that is judged to be libelous or defamatory, contains personal attacks, or is discriminatory on the basis of sex, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Submissions may be edited for length and/or content.
The Obiter Dicta is published weekly during the school year, and is printed by Weller Publishing Co. Ltd.
Mock Trial: In our humble opinion here at the Obiter, Mock Trial is one of the best things done by our student body (besides putting together a stellar newspaper, week after week). Tickets are on sale now. Don’t delay in getting a ticket because the Thursday show will sell out super, super fast (even faster to go will be those JCR tickets). First Years and Second Years: Applications are Done! January was a stressful time for you. You’ve had applications for ILP, for clinical intensives and if you’re a first year student, possibly applications for summer jobs. That’s a lot of stuff to handle. And a lot of pressure! We’re sure you may be wondering: did I pick the right opportunities? Am I going to do Parkdale for the summer or an ILP placement? Business intensive or CLASP? AHHHHHH. Well, you still have decisions to make, but at least the application
The Prize • A dinner for two at O.NOIR (www.onoir. com) - a dinning experience like no other. • A $250 dollar donation to the Wendy Babcock Fund in the winner’s name. So, dear readers, as you can see there are countless things to look forward to during the dreary winter semester. But if you are still feeling incredibly blah, grab a mug of hot chocolate, a good book, and curl up on your couch. Sometimes that’s the best remedy to chase away these winter blues.
Letter From An Editor R. v. Jack LeCasse Dissenting opinion by Andrew Monkhouse, CoEditor in Chief This is in reference to the 'article' by Jack LeCasse previous. In my opinion such a piece ought not to be printed in the Obiter or at the very least should have the actual name of law student who wrote it attached to it. The article is not germain and there is no good reason as to why it should be rendered anonymous. The main issue with the article is that it is a short story, one strikingly similar to that which you would be forced to read of a fellow student in grade 8 English class. The Obiter Dicta is not a collection of short stories (poorly written or not). The front cover states that we are 'The Definitive Source for Osgoode News'. So what is 'osgoode news'? It is either law-school or law related (most often written by law students) or alternatively things which would be interesting for law students, preferably with a law student or Osgoode spin (like sports, music and movie reviews). The idea is that our readership is very specific. The 1000 law students, a few of our sponsors and 1-2 pre-osgoode kids who are interested (ok, I admit it, I loved the Obiter before I came here). Running articles that are irrelevant takes away from the paper, costs money for the space, and diminishes what the 'image' of the paper as 'The Definitive Source for Osgoode News'. The paper generally has a number of sections.
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We’re having a WRITING CONTEST: In support of the Wendy Babcock Fund we’d like to announce a contest in her honour, inspired by her ability to raise awareness regarding social justice issues which are often overlooked by the legal profession. In this way, it is our hope that we can continue Wendy’s work.
Editorials, letters to the editor, features, arts & Culture, L&L, Sports, Osgoode News and Opinions. They are meaningfully divided this way on our website: http://www.obiter-dicta.ca/. None of these categories are 'short stories'. We do not print the junk mail that people email to the Obiter account. The only thing that separates this from that is that it was written by a law student. A law student who will not even put his own name to it. That is how much faith he has in it. The exceptions to the rule of 'your name goes on it' in the past have generally been where something would be harmful to the student and it being written was for the good of our community. For instance an expose on law firm hiring practices, an attack on the administration's policies or sex articles. That being said I have put my name on all three of the above. This 'article' certainly is none of the above. I don't have an issue with people writing short stories but you have short story digests, the internet, blogs, and a million other ways to get them out to people who might like them. It shouldn't be in the Obiter. And for those reasons I dissent from Jenn and Cassie, my Co-Editors-in-Chief, on this issue. I would order the article not to be included in the paper and the author be advised to distribute through more appropriate channels. In the alternative I would order that the author be asked to put his real name on the article.
Legal and Literary Society
Ok, so I couldn’t think of anything profound to say this week (or ever).
We are as you read this one month into school. For many of us that means two hectic months left of fist shaking at the TTC and then exams and Bar exams. Weak. Time flies though and in the whirlwind that has been these first few weeks a lot of activities have occurred and many fantastic initiatives are on the horizon. JCR Open on Wednesday’s too??? The JCR is now open! How many times are we going to say that, as many as we want, or as many times as I had to go to Scarborough to plead with Municipal Licensing…but we are a little unsure on how things are going to go. We are committed to doing every Thursday at least into the early evening. Several clubs have booked other days. But last Thursday we didn’t see the influx of students we saw on opening night. Let’s see how this week goes, but I guess despite that limited turnout last Thursday we are debating expanding. L&L along with Dave Meirovici are going to run a “Happy Hour(s)” this Wednesday and gauge responses. Lots of people have asked for additional days, so here it is, make us proud (and some money). Get Paid for Democracy We need a new Elections Officer. You saw the email, but did you read it and realize we’d pay you for it? Ya, we will! Seriously though, it would be great if some people would step up and into this vital position. We are planning some big things for March Elections and need someone with integrity to run the process. We plan on running a referendum on a few key issues, including new L&L executive positions (remember that great article on the Equality Officer) and a touchstone issue that will impact our student community over the next several years. That’s a little hush hush, but needless to say this will be a great time to be part of the election machine. I’m also expecting a great competition this year for the various L&L/SC spots. Remember this year was the first time I’d ever done any student government work so come one, come all!
Bill C-10 L&L as an elected student body has taken the advice of some students and decided to make a statement in opposition to Bill C-10. Ok, well at this point we have all voted unanimously to develop a statement that only indicates that L&L feels the bill is unworkable in its current form. We have approved taking this statement to the student body and soliciting signatures. If you agree that the Bill is problematic and want to attach your voice to L&L’s (maybe even SC barring a vote there) then you can do so. If not, don’t. This way we speak as a student government elected to act on issues that are of interest and applicable to the student body with the support of those who have signed. We will not be
saying the entire student body stands in unison on this so I think it’s a good compromise. Can I just say, this discussion around Bill C-10 has given me a new appreciation for student activism and engagement. The meeting was packed, the emails were plenty and the discussion was heated but respectful. It was inspiring to see all of you engaged on such a crucial issue and I hope we can keep that up on many other fronts. Hats off to you all. Residual Matters We are plugging away in our support of those raising funds for Wendy Babcock, expect a big event devised by her friends in the near future. I’ll let them explain, but it could be GREAT! Also, Deans Formal (check out page 15) and the First Year Formal are being planned so expect to hear more about them soon. *** That’s it folks. We haven’t received any comments or suggestions on how we can improve our functioning from you, so that obviously means we are doing a perfect job! Kidding! We’re doing our best and always love hearing from you. Hope you enjoyed what I think was the best ski trip ever (kudos Sandra and Co.) and I’ll see you all at Mock Trial.
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Rain Maker Provides 20K in Club Funding Your VPX/I Elena Iosef along with the rest of the L&L team have worked tirelessly over the last month to get club budgets approved. While not a perfect process, I’d like to make a wild statement that I can’t even back up with facts, but I know
in my gut it’s true: this term L&L approved the most funding EVER for student clubs coming in at over $20,000. Slow clap indeed! Really all the money in our coffers is for you, students, so with that in mind we fairly and equitably distributed funds and approved as many requests as possible. This will help the organizers of some of the coolest events ever devised at Osgoode come through on their unique ideas. Check out the Flaming Feminist Cabaret, the Christian Law Society’s Conference, National Debate Tournament, ILP Advocacy Week, OWN Fashion Show and much, much more!
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Osgoode’s Less Than Strategic Plan NICHOLAS VAN DUYVENBODE Opinions Editor Likely similar to you, I had not taken a look at Osgoode’s Draft Strategic Plan 2011-2016, until this week. I had an open mind when reading it, since there had been a pretty extensive submissions process, and I always value the importance of being receptive to ideas. When I began reading through I become increasing agitated at the complete and utter lack of details, tangible objectives, or measurements of success that could be reported on in the 5 year plan (among other reasons). Before entering law school, I worked as a policy analyst for the Federal government, so I have read many a document that really means very little in substance, and is filled with vague and meaningless terms... but damn, this document was clearly written by a seasoned writer of bureaucratic waffle and self congratulations. The first few pages (and most of the document) reads like something straight out of the BBC TV show, Yes, Prime Minster (if you haven’t seen this yet, watch it!). There’s plenty of vague statements throughout the document with no targets, or any detail such as: * Expanding “opportunities for students to work with external partners in the public and private sectors”; or, * The creation of a mandatory upper year “praxicum”; take note that there are no details on what students are going to be committed to doing, and from conversations with Student Caucus members, this has yet to be determined, but I’m glad we’re committed though as students to this new model (along with a new upper year writing requirement)!; or, * A commitment to “rejuvenating faculty” and commitment to “student first pedagogy”, but how is this to be accomplished? Yes, you are right again, there are no details, no mention of objectively measurable tasks such as in the case of “student first pedagogy” that would entail details like releasing information on how student evaluations impact tenure or how hiring practices are structured. * Further, non-measurable, vague statements include: “active collection of the law Library will be significantly more effective” and “commitment to old and new research ways” and lastly the establishment (while yes, a measurable outcome) for Experiential Learning, without any explanation of its purpose and function, other than to liaison with the Office of Clinical Education. While I understand the in vogue standing that experiential learning curmonday - january 30 - 2012
rently holds, Osgoode’s very evidently robust commitment to practical/clinical work, already places it as leader in Canadian legal education. If anything an office of information management, information digestion and time management would be much more valuable commodity (or perhaps an Officer of Equality, as numerous students have called for). Vagueness is not the only flaw in this Draft Strategic Plan, the content also has some serious defects. Osgoode’s drive for partnerships, particularly in the private sector, and the pat-on-the-back, kudos for our OPIR system in the document is troubling. In the last year, I have seen an increasing amount of AMAZING opportunities to volunteer with X notifications from Osgoode. We are peppered with them on a daily basis. The problem is the unspoken issue that students are increasingly being used by independent and small firm (for profit ) practitioners that are more interested in indentured labour than providing experience combined with some form of compensation or recognition to a student. This problem is being exacerbated as the law becomes increasingly digitalized and quantitydriven case work becomes ever more important, which in turn makes our commodity as law students with “free time” and access to Westlaw and Quicklaw highly valuable. I myself experienced one of these “opportunities” that was advertised as a wills and estates equality challenge of Ontario legislation, which actually turned out to be a private trust law issue. After working with two other law students and drafting a 20 page memo, upon releasing this document to the lawyer, neither I nor the other two Osgoode students ever heard anything again. While partnerships are useful, perhaps we should work on screening opportunities and questioning what we are exactly committing to when we push the OPIR model as a strategic priority of Osgoode. The strategic plan also talks about increasing partnerships with other universities, including an Osgoode Legal Philosophy partnership with York U and McMaster, as well as listing off numerous current collaborations with research centres and institutions, and a focus on strengthening these “strategic partnerships and developing new ones, particularly in Asia and Africa – with particular emphasis on India and China”. All of this is coxed with an emphasis on ensuring Osgoode is part of a “Global University”. While I’m all for Osgoode leveraging itself with partnerships, again, Osgoode already does this particularly well. I would like to see strategic leveraging of partnerships in areas that we
do not particularly shine at (are we not as strong as our weakest qualities?), or are chronically underdeveloped. For example, while not being particularly ‘sexy’, or international, we have little to any collaboration with organizations within Ontario, but who are also outside of the GTA. Surprising to some, there is an entire world outside of the GTA that is dying for legal expertise and a connection with legal academia that could enrich their community. Unfortunately, while this international partnership direction might make Osgoode more ‘sexier’, with “Osgoodes partnerships extend[ing] around the world” as stated in the plan, it doesn’t make us any more special as a law school, as most large scale Universities are similarly strapped into the idea of being a “global university” with unsurprisingly similar urban and internationally connected centres. Lastly on this matter, providing annual/ irregular informational sessions on “articling opportunities beyond the GTA”, are not sufficient, nor usually very helpful. While referring to much needed partnerships, I would also note Osgoode’s incredible lack of knowledge and connections to the legal community outside of the province. I am not familiar with one out-of-province student who was not surprised, if not shocked, by the Osgoode administration’s complete lack of knowledge regarding other provincial deadlines and application processes. Moreover, the administration, as a stock gesture, consistently referred to the law society of said province for all information (notwithstanding the fact that members of the Osgoode administration are flown around Canada to attend firm recruitment days each year). If we are truly to be a global law school, perhaps we can at least be a national one first, that actually recognizes that we have out-of-province students who intend to return to these provinces, but still need help from our law school while studying here. While, maybe I’m mixing apples with oranges by critiquing both the academic and administrative partnership structures at Osgoode, I do believe they are foundational to Osgoode as a community and should both be equally critiqued. Also, I do give Osgoode props for establishing new partnerships such as: the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, those with York Region high school students (something actually in our own backyard!), and a foreign clerkship program. I do generally believe further partnerships are valuable, but we need to ground our law school by expanding in local and non-GTA (but still Ontario and Canadian) based partnerships with underserved communities as the most imporContinued on next page. the OBITERdicta
Strategic Continued... Continued from last page. tant avenue for leveraging our legal expertise. Apart from partnerships, the Draft Strategic Plan also has a strong emphasis on creating further opportunities for JD research to be published, submitted to competitions and finding increased space in the York University community. While again, these are all amiable tasks, there is no details as to how this is to be accomplished. The Strategic Plan proposes to create the incentive for faculty members to make this a priority. While we can all likely identify that faculty picks roughly 5-10 “top notch” students and places them under their wing to groom (er, I mean, give to opportunities to), there is no incentive-based system that encourages widespread publishable contributions authored by both faculty member - JD student teams and solo JD students. Without tangible incentives, this is a goal that is unlikely to be achieved. Law profs would be the first to admit they’re busy people, so what’s in it for them (let’s be honest here), to help push students to publish? I would also like to give another shout out to the Draft Strategic Plan’s section on Professional Development that commits to webinars, video conference, podcasts, and mobile applications. If we truly are to be a 21st Century law school, one that the Draft Strategic Plan refers to repeatedly, our ability to leverage technology is essential. Not only are these modes of communication becoming the default way to communicate and showcase information, but they also provide a valuable valve to the information overload that is characteristic of legal/judicial writing. Now let’s see some tangible commitments on how we are to operationalize the utilization of technology; perhaps we can start with teaching the faculty to turn on and load their PPT slides without the assistance of a techie. My last issue I would raise concerning the Draft Strategic Plan is the lack of addressing the continuing tuition hikes each year. The last three years, tuition has increased at a rate of around $700 per year. Projecting to 2022 and 2032, law school at Osgoode will cost, around $26,000, and then $33,000 respectively. Osgoode prides itself on a commitment to social justice, though I strongly question what levels of social justice Osgoode can really promise to deliver on when our the tuition continues its astronomical rise, with questionable levels of improved quality, and unsurprisingly still levels of post-law school employment remuneration in social justice jobs. The complete omission of a focus on the financial burden of tuition, I think, is indicative of an implicit acceptance that these year-to-year increases are acceptable or at least, not a priority anymore for the law school to address. the OBITERdicta
Moot Adu About Nothing: The Osgoode Cup And You ANDREW MONKHOUSE Co-Editor in Chief and Chief Justice of the Osgoode Cup The Osgoode Cup is the national undergraduate mooting competition. This means that Undergraduates are the only ones who can compete and it is judged by law students, professors and real members of the bench. It is an opportunity for undergraduate students from across Canada to come and compete at Osgoode in our most favourite of law sports, mooting! This year the Osgoode Cup celebrates its 8th rendition. For the first six years it was run by the Osgoode Administration before the torch was passed last year to being a student-run event. The Osgoode Cup is now jointly run by the Osgoode Debate Society and the Osgoode Mooting Society. Last year, over 100 undergraduate students from 6 provinces and over 20 institutions joined us for the Osgoode Cup. The Osgoode Cup was the first and premier undergraduate mooting competition which has also spawned spinoff competitions across the country. The moot gives important access to justice opportunities to undergraduates and even college students to learn how to represent themselves, become more confident of working within the legal system, and to learn legal reasoning and application of the law. This year’s Osgoode cup will take place on the 3rd and 4th of March at Osgoode Hall Law School. The tournament director will be Ian 11-084 OSG DeanForDay2012(186)_Dean Ad 12-01-18 2:50 PM Page 1 Video Submissions Welcome
Perry with Andrew Monkhouse returning as Chief Justice after being co-tournament director last year. Why should I get involved? Well, above and beyond being a great access to justice initiative, the Osgoode cup is a really fun time. As someone who has ikely done a moot you are very well qualified to judge undergraduate students mooting. We require law students to judge at the Osgoode Cup. Judging a moot is the rational next step to mooting and also expands your mooting skills seeing the competition from the other side and giving advice. Plus judging mooting is just a lot of fun, getting to direct questions and the arguments of the presenters to answer your questions is a fun experience overall. How to get involved: We are looking for people mainly to judge the Osgoode Cup. We are looking for law students to judge on Saturday the 3rd for four rounds between 8:30 and 5:30. There is also a banquet afterwards to which we would love to invite all judges and hope that they can come out to. We are also interested in people volunteering for administration of the Osgoode Cup. This includes contacting lawyers and judges to judge, contacting firms regarding funding, and other important administrative tasks. If you are interested in either of these then please email us at Oz_cup@yorku.ca
The 2012 Dean for a Day Contest
Win a pair of tickets to see The Black Keys & Arctic Monkeys at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday, March 14
Enter now for a chance to trade places with the Dean and rule Osgoode for a day!
Dean Lorne Sossin is offering one lucky student the opportunity to set forth his or her vision of the future of Osgoode Hall Law School and an entire day to make it a reality.
All Osgoode students are free to enter.
Continuing a tradition that was originally established by former Dean Harry Arthurs, the winning student will assume direction of the Law School for one day. He or she will be able to:
Contestants are required to submit a short essay (maximum 500 words) or video, setting out what they would do if they were appointed Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School for the next five years.
• • • • •
Essays or videos must be submitted to Virginia Corner in IKB 2024 or by e-mail to email@example.com no later than noon on Friday, February 3.
All submissions will be reviewed by Assistant Dean Ronda Bessner and Associate Dean Shelley Gavigan, who will select the winning entry. The name of the winner will be announced on Monday, February 6 and the winning essay will be published in Obiter Dicta on Monday, February 13.
The winner will serve as Dean for a Day on Monday, February 13.
Occupy the Dean’s office Chair meetings of the Law School’s senior administration Enjoy a free lunch with a guest Contribute a video to the Osgoode History Project See The Black Keys & Arctic Monkeys on Wednesday, March 14 at the Air Canada Centre with a friend
Meanwhile, Dean Sossin will go back to school, attending the student’s classes for that day, armed with numerous multi-coloured highlighters, sticky notes and his trusty iPad for taking copious notes.
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STEPHANIE MARPLE Contributor No doubt you have at least some idea of what Bill C-10 is all about. It is causing a stir within our halls here at Osgoode, and in broader Canadian society. What is particularly interesting, or concerning depending on your perspective, is the scope of the Bill. This is not just an omnibus crime bill. It is an omnibus criminal-immigration-refugee-civil-international-law bill. It touches on more areas than people realize, many of which are obscured by the more sensational and controversial aspects of the Bill. Not to mention, it’s long and most of us don’t have time to finish all of our course readings let alone read something recreationally. For the benefit of all of you (because knowing how the law is changing is always beneficial, amirite?), here is a summary of the key amendments proposed under Bill C-10, as well as a summary of the pros and cons associated with each. For those of you who are interested in self-learning, I encourage you to read the Legislative Summary that is available online through LEGISinfo.
The first part of the Bill creates the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, creating a separate cause of action for victims of terrorism. This would allow victims to pursue civilly legal persons, listed entities, and foreign states for loss or damages related to acts of terrorism. This includes both perpetration and supporting (financially or geographically) terrorism. This part of the Bill would also amend the State Immunity Act to lift immunity from civil action for particular state actors who have supported terrorist activity. This would be done through recommendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, following consultation with the Minister of Public Safety, with the ultimate decision to be made by Cabinet.
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Pros: These amendments are thought to make the law clearer and easier to understand by creating a separate cause of action, rather than the current civil action channels. The act of listing foreign states and removing immunity ensures control over foreign relations and controls the scope of any civil suits pursued. Cons: The federal creation of a civil cause of action is critiqued as being ultra vires, as property and civil rights falls under provincial jurisdiction under s.92(13) of the Constitution Act, 1867. The definitions for acts of terrorism proposed do not include torture, war crimes, genocide, or crimes against humanity. This is thought to leave a significant gap in the redress actually available to victims of terrorism. In regards to state immunity, the amendments proposed to the State Immunity Act are argued to have significant implications on foreign relations. The removal of state immunity may create various diplomatic challenges, the politics of which might ultimately leave some terrorist supporting states absent from a list. Additionally, there is concern that the inclusion of states on such a list may trigger retaliatory action from the state, or terrorist organizations within that state.
This part comprises the bulk of the Bill, proposing a number of amendments to the Criminal Code and related statutes. This part of the Bill has also been receiving the most attention, primarily due to the amendments related to sexual offences and conditional sentences. In regards to sexual offences, Bill C-10 introduces mandatory minimum sentences for sexual offences against minors. It also increases currently existing mandatory minimum sentences. New offences of making sexually explicit material available to a child, and agreeing or arranging to commit a sexual offence against a child would be introduced and subject to mandatory minimum sentences. Amongst these amendments is an expansion of available conditions for prohibition and recognizance orders, which would include being barred from using the internet or other digital network, and restrictions on contact with any person under 16 years of age. Correspondingly, these amendments would also expand the application of the Sex Offender Information and Registration Act, DNA orders, Long-term Offender and Dangerous Offender determinations. Pros: These amendments are said to reflect the seriousness of sexual offences against minors, not only for the physical impact on victims but the long-term impact on both victims and Canadian society broadly. Increased sentence severity is argued to have a deterrent effect on offend-
ers in order to reduce the overall occurrence of these offences. The use of mandatory minimums specifically would reduce sentence disparity amongst offenders and regions, ensuring that the justice system operates consistently. These amendments are also argued to provide the criminal justice system with an effective means of combating the increased use of technology for sexual offending against minors, as well as international sex tourism. Cons: There is a strong body of critique amongst social science and criminological literature on the effectiveness of mandatory minimums and sentence severity in achieving a deterrent effect on offenders. The general conclusion amongst most scholars is that mandatory minimums achieve no deterrent effect, and may actually contribute to greater criminality in the long-term. It disregards the fact that incarceration is often inappropriate for many offenders. Mandatory minimums can create a power imbalance between prosecutors and accused persons, as it provides Crown lawyers with greater leverage in plea bargaining. On the one hand, there may be more disinclination to proceed with a prosecution, or conversely a greater use of diversionary programs, where the only option on conviction is jail time. Alternatively, more people may be compelled to plead guilty to lesser offences despite having available defences in order to escape the higher sentences. This part amends the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in a similar fashion by introducing mandatory minimums for particular offences. There are currently no mandatory minimum sentences under the CDSA. Unlike the amendments to sexual offences, there would be an exception where offenders successfully complete a drug treatment court program, or equivalent program under the supervision of the court. The common date rape drugs Rohypnol and GHB would be moved from Schedule II to Schedule I, and consequently offences involving those drugs under the CDSA would be subject to mandatory minimums. Pros: The introduction of mandatory minimums is argued to more accurately address the seriousness of particular aggravating factors, such as the use of violence or weapons in drug offences. They are also said to better protect people vulnerable to drug abuse, such as children and inmates. These amendments will also better combat drug production and the danger it poses to communities, and more effectively address the pervasiveness of “date rape”. Cons: The same critiques on mandatory minimums apply here as well, only exacerbated by commentary on the appropriateness of drug
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Bill C-10 Continued... criminalization. The limited availability of drug treatment court programs is also thought to make such an exception essentially meaningless, as most offenders will not be able to avail themselves of this option. Passing this Bill would also see a significant curtailment in the availability of conditional sentences, more commonly referred to as house arrest. Conditional sentences would no longer be available for personal injury offences, and would be restricted for all offences with a maximum sentence of 14 years or life imprisonment, and offences prosecuted by indictment with a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. Pros: While still technically imprisonment, conditional sentences are often viewed as far too lax a sentence for the offences committed. Restricting their use will more appropriately reflect the seriousness of the offence, and be more in line with societal values regarding those offences. Cons: Restricting the use of conditional sentences is argued to increase the cost burden on the criminal justice system as a whole. Where imprisonment is now the only likely option, there is likely to be a decreasing number of guilty pleas and increased number of trials as accused persons try to escape a prison sentence through acquittal. An increased prison population is also said to be a significant cost increase. Removing conditional sentences for some offences is argued to be disproportionately punitive and stigmatizing for the offender, who in all other circumstances would be successful serving a sentence in the community. This is thought to disproportionately affect Aboriginals and persons in rural and remote communities, who would need to be transported long distances to prisons.
This part of the Bill includes a number of amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, which governs the determination of parole eligibility and the conditions to be attached to release. Under this Bill, active participation in programs will now be considered towards parole eligibility. The number of offences subject to continued detention after the statutory release date will be expanded, mostly including sexual offences against minors. This means that offenders serving sentences for these offences would be required to serve the full sentence in prison. The waiting period for re-application would also be increased from 6 months to 1 year following a refusal of day or full parole. These amendments would also allow for arrest without a warrant for breach of a conditional sentence. Monitoring devices may now be
included as a condition of release. Victims may now receive increased disclosure of information regarding offenders. They also now have an entrenched right to present a statement at parole hearings. This part also amends the Criminal Records Act in relation to pardons. The term “record suspension” would substitute “pardon”, and see extended eligibility periods for application. Summary offences would have a waiting period of 5 years, and indictable offences would now be 10 years. Any person convicted of a sexual offence against a minor (with certain exceptions) or three indictable offences with sentences of two or more years imprisonment would now be ineligible for a “record suspension”. Pros: Tightening the regime surrounding parole and pardons is argued to increase offender’s accountability. Making it more difficult to receive parole, for example, will force offenders to take more responsibility for their offences behind bars. Tightened rules will also ensure that dangerous offenders are not released prematurely, and ultimately results in increased public safety. The same public safety argument applies to pardon restrictions and the transferring of offenders – certain offenders will not be able to escape their criminal backgrounds, in recognition of the continued dangerousness they pose to Canadian society. The increased recognition of victims rights in the correctional process is also viewed as a significant benefit to these amendments. Cons: Restricting the eligibility of parole is argued to subject offenders to greater harms in the prison environment, which may ultimately result in increased criminality. The consideration of active participation in programming is considered problematic given the long wait-lists and generally unavailability attributed to rehabilitation programs in penitentiaries. Consequently, many offenders may be stigmatized in parole consideration due to not having a program to participate in. The changes to the pardons regime is argued to be stigmatizing. The name “record suspension” as opposed to “pardon” suggests that it is a reversible process, which many argue to be misleading. Making certain offences ineligible continues the significant stigmatization that certain offenders experience, which may limit their opportunities for integration and result in further offending.
This part brings a number of amendments to the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The Act would now emphasize the importance of protecting society by rehabilitating young offenders, rather
than prioritizing rehabilitation that leads to protecting society, which it currently does. The Bill introduces a new definition for “violent offence”, which includes reckless behaviour that endangers public safety. Where there is currently no consideration of deterrence in sentencing, specific deterrence will be introduced as a sentencing principle. Denunciation will also be included. The new amendments would also facilitate the publication of names of young offenders guilty of violent offences. Young offenders may now be subject to presentence detention for property offences punishable by 5 years or more where there is also a history of charges. Where a youth was previously subject to Extrajudicial Sanctions, they may now be subject to a custodial sentence where they have committed an indictable offence subject to an adult sentence of two years or more. Additionally, the Crown will now be required to consider an adult sentence for serious violent offences, the definition of which also changes with the amendments. At the same time, the amendments would prohibit imprisonment in adult correctional facilities. Pros: Youth offending is a constant concern amongst Canadian society, and these amendments are argued to finally prioritize public safety over the individual offender. These amendments are further argued to reflect the seriousness of violent offending in youth, and to incorporate measures that will more effectively address this type of offending. The prohibition on imprisonment in adult correctional facilities will mitigate the use of custody and protect young offenders from the harsh environment attributed to adult facilities. Cons: The overriding critique to these amendments is that they do not reflect the decreasing statistics on youth crime, and violent youth crime in particular. It is argued that making the YCJA more punitive will actually do little to change the face of youth offending, and may actually exacerbate it. The facilitation of the use of custody is counter to the primary purpose of the Act, being to reduce the use of incarceration for young offenders. Many of the practical changes, along with the principled changes, are argued to be ignorant of many theories of youth crime causation. The publication of names will increase the opportunity for stigmatization of the youth, with a corresponding decrease in re-integration into the community, which may result in further longterm offending into adulthood. Deterrence and denunciation are argued to be entirely ineffective on youth offenders, who are unable to perform long-term risk assessments and who do not approach criminal offending rationally.
Continued on page 8. monday - january 30 - 2012
An Unconventional Ode To Mothers: JENN O’DELL Co-Editor In Chief My mom and I have a very different relationship than most mothers and daughters. When I was in my early teens my mom had calmly told me - while sitting perfectly still in the chair she used to rock to me sleep in - that if she had to it all over again, knowing what she knew now, she would have never have had either my brother or I. We had been the final burden in her seemingly long, difficult life. Had she been able to choose all over again, she sincerely believed that the path she did not take would have made her a happier person. More often than not, she regretted our lives. Though I have dealt reasonably well with this knowledge since that conversation (it had been sunny too; incredibly bright outside. I remember because that was the only place I was looking. Nature never seems to have any respect for your grief), in my lowest moments I have wished with all my heart she just made that choice, and fuck her for not figuring out what would have made her happy then. Yet, for the most part, I have found anger to be an utter waste of time in this regard. I genuinely forgive her for everything, and she - I would like to think anyways - has come to forgive me for me. You can’t always forget, but I, to this day, am unable to hold a grudge. I tell myself this is good example of an admirable quality coming out of less that desirable situation. I, in my 27th year, and my mother, in her 53rd, are both at peace with our unconventional relationship. We respect each other as people, and would undoubtedly come to one another’s aid if need be, but we understand that had it been possible for us to never meet in this life we may have been better off for it. That’s family at its finest for you.
“You and I.......you and I, Jennifer......we were on our last legs, kiddo. Our very last legs. Your poor father, he was so close to losing us....You were fighting so, so, so, so hard Jenn - you were suffocating. And I was fighting for both of us. The labour had been horrendous to begin with, but when the doctor looked up and said ‘Oh shit’ I thought I was going to die on that goddamn table, and you would have gone with me. I could feel myself losing a battle I didn’t even know I was supposed to...But you and I....well, anyways......Anyways, we’re fighters and you’ll be fine.” Luckily, for me, I had perfected the art of crying silently years and years ago. I am able to cry so much I can barely see, but my voice will stay calm, collected. It’s a helpful trick when you have a facade of obstinate self-reliance to maintain. She stopped talking and the front of my shirt was stained with my silent stubbornness. You and I, she said. Indeed, no matter what has transpired since then, for those brief moments it was her and I; her and I arguably against everything. I am glad we fought that particular battle together. And though there may still be moments in her life that she regrets ever entering into that fight with me, for me – I am content to know that at one point we were in it together, we were in a fight to the end, together, my mother and I. Go hug your mom when and if you can, because at one point, in all your lives, it was just you and her.
Bill C-10 Continued... Continued from page 7.
The last part of the Bill amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. This amendment would provide immigration officers with the discretion to refuse to authorize foreign nationals to work in Canada if they are thought to be at risk of being a victim of exploitation or abuse. Pros: The main argument in favour of this amendment is that it provides a proactive means of protecting vulnerable people from being exploited within Canadian borders, rather than a reactionary approach. This is especially important given the general invisibility of such exploitation. Cons: In contrast, these measures may not protect vulnerable people at all. In many cases, foreign nationals are already vulnerable in their home countries, and seek employment in Canada in order to escape those vulnerabilities. The low threshold of a risk is also argued to subject many foreign nationals to determinations based on biases and prejudices rather than any probability of harm. *** As you can see, the Bill covers a number of areas, encompasses a number of policy perspectives, and is open to as many opinions. Does this Bill represent a new age of criminal law in Canada? Are these effective means of addressing pervasive social problems such as youth offending, sexual exploitation, and recidivism? I encourage you to think critically about this Bill, and all other political acts that seek to change the laws that govern us.
I had phoned her last year (as was my daughterly obligation) and she picked up (as was her motherly obligation) when I was feeling particular upset about the current state of my life. I had run into yet another snag for my plans in the summer, which was all but typical for me. My mom listened while I ranted and cursed out everything that had provoked my ire in the first place. She paused (thoughtfully?) and proceeded to tell me a story I had never heard before: she told me about my birth. I had been aware that I was an emergency c-section, that something had gone wrong and that my mom had been rushed into the operating room. I did not, however, know how close my mother and I were to becoming a horrible statistic: monday - january 30 - 2012
Attention Dog Owners: Grapes Are Bad For Dogs! CASSIE BURT-GERRANS Co-Editor-in-Chief I promised myself I would not write an article about my dog, Charlotte. I love her. I think that just about everything she does is super cute and story-worthy. She’s the light of my life and while I’m dying to share her greatness with all of you, I also don’t think I have the journalistic skills to pull off a “Marley and Me” type article. I’ve always thought that any article I would write about my dog would come off both sickenly cute and put me in the category of “crazy dog person”. However, 14 issues in I’m breaking this promise to myself. Why am I writing an article about my dog? It’s not that I’m out of ideas. I could easily write an article on something music-related. I’ve also read a lot of good books this past year and seen a lot of neat movies. Surely there’s an article in there somewhere. But I’m choosing to write an article about my dog instead because of what happened last Thursday night. This article is for all the other dog owners out there. Hopefully, in sharing this experience, you’ll learn from my mistakes and put your groceries away carefully, lest your dog get into…. grapes. That’s right. Grapes. Delicious-nature’s-candy grapes. Red or green, seeds or seedless, all grapes can be horribly fatal for dogs. Same with raisins. *Spoiler alert* Charlotte is okay. She wasn’t harmed by the grapes. So is Percy, my roommate’s pug puppy.* So, Thursday night I’m putting away the groceries delivered to me by Grocery Gateway (I <3 GG, btw). As I walk the fruits and veggies over to the refrigerator crisper, the bag of grapes tips over and maybe 10 grapes fall out. Shit. I know grapes aren’t great for dogs. I start picking them up while fighting with the two pooches who want nothing more than to try these round, death traps that have fallen on the floor. I think I get all the grapes, but maybe one or two have been ingested by either Charlotte or Percy. Now, at this point, I don’t know that grapes are little balls of death for dogs. I’ve heard rumblings that they’re not great for them – but I thought to myself, well, our puppies will probably have stomach aches, nothing more. Just to be safe, I gave the emergency vet a call. This is where I start to lose my shit. The emergency room vet informs me that grapes can be fatal for dogs. And it’s not like chocolate where a dog has to eat a bunch to get really sick. No, ONE or TWO grapes can kill some dogs. And here’s the kicker. The vets have no idea the OBITERdicta
why grapes are so poisonous. Some dogs can eat a bunch and be totally fine. Some dogs, however, have one and they go into renal failure and die. Fuck. OMG, OMG, is my dog going to die?????????? Have I killed my roommate’s new puppy????? I just wanted to put my groceries in the fridge, make dinner and go to bed. Seriously. FML. Unsure of whether my dog or my roommate’s dog consumed any grapes, the emergency vet clinic had me call animal poison control. I spent the next 2 hours on the phone with them ensuring our animals would be fine. *Spoiler alert* The next part of this article is kind of gross. I wouldn’t read it if you have a weak stomach or are eating lunch.* The first thing poison control had me do was induce vomiting in both the dogs. Disgusting. I don’t exactly have a strong stomach either, so I found doing this was particularly GROSS. To induce vomiting, I had to give both dogs a tsp or two of over-the-counter hydrogen peroxide. They did not like that. After both dogs had puked up everything they had eaten in the past two years (or so it seemed), I had to look through the vomit for any signs of grapes. Since I had induced vomiting within an hour after they had possibly consumed the grapes, it was likely that the grapes were not digested and should have been there. With no signs of grapes, I stopped hyperventilating.
Yay! We weren’t poisoned!! Poison control then suggested that even with no signs of grapes, I still take the dog to the emergency vet clinic where they would be hooked up to IVs for two days and have blood work done. At that point, my father had arrived and my roommate had come home, both responding to the 17 panicked phone calls I had left on their respective voicemails. “OMG, I think Percy ate a grape”. “Fuck fuck fuck, I have to call poison control” “Now I’m inducing vomiting, PICK UP THE PHONE”. (Apparently, I don’t handle a crisis well… an excellent trait for a future lawyer). We all decided that since I was almost 100% certain that the dogs hadn’t eaten grapes and since I had induced vomiting and saw no signs of grapes, we’d forgo the emergency vet trip and monitor them closely at home. So, moral of the story: Do not feed your dogs grapes (or raisins). They are tiny, little spheres of pure evil and can cause a slow and painful death for a dog. Hmmm, maybe I didn’t really break my promise to myself. That story was not cute at all.
“The whole reason why I want to be a lawyer is I because I think some of the laws are screwed up.” Wendy Babcock was a true inspiration to all those who knew her. Her tragic passing last August weighs heavily on all of us; both for the loss of a friend and colleague and for the loss of a passionate advocate who could have made the world a better place. Anyone fortunate enough to have met Wendy walked away a better person for it. Because of Wendy, a generation of lawyers will leave law school as more sympathetic, and simply put, better lawyers, with a greater awareness and concern for those in need. It is in that spirit that the Obiter Dicta is proud to announce a contest in Wendy’s honour. In this way, it is our hope that we can continue Wendy’s work.
CONTEST RULES: • To enter submit a short article (under 600 words) about a social justice issue to the Obiter Dicta • Articles will be judged based on style and the article’s ability to inform the reader about the social justice issue you have chosen • Articles are due by 4pm on Monday, February 6 • The winner will be announced on Monday February 13 • Top articles will be published in the Obiter Dicta monday - january 30 - 2012
Fake It Or Make It: Hill Bunnies vs. Hill Money KYLE REES News Editor RABJEET WALLIA Staff Writer
The ski lifestyle attracts very unusual people, or possibly takes normal people and brings out their inner craziness. No where but a ski resort will you see crowds of drunken frat boys chugging beers at a table next to a family with small children. No where else will you see otherwise fashion-conscious dentists from Richmond Hill stroll into a fancy restaurant in clunky ski boots and dripping with sweat. It is a unique place where ‘sled heads’ and ‘hill bunnies’ are terms of art. So we thought it would be a perfect place for a social experiment, an experience lived along two opposite ends of the ski chalet spectrum: that of the ‘ski purist’ and the ‘chalet aficionado’. This is a description of what you can expect from each of these approaches—what you will eat, what you will do, how you will feel, and how much you can expect to pay for it.
Kyle the Ski Purist:
I should be up-front. I am by no means an expert skier. Moguls make me uneasy, and that scraping noise that comes from turning on an icy surface often means that I’m about to be injured. That said, I am much more in my element rocketing down an icy mountain on two unsteady planks of fibreglass than I am buying hill bunnies drinks (though, admittedly, being engaged makes that practice a little less socially acceptable). So my goals for the weekend were to focus on skiing as often and as cheaply as possible. Here’s what a few days in the life of the ski purist look like.
ommend ear-plugs. Or strong sedatives (to use on them, of course! You need to be non-drowsy for skiing the next morning.) What you will eat: Anything you can fit in your pockets. I’m talking granola bars, trail mix, peanuts, and small bottles of Gatorade. The key is having foods that are dense and full of protein so you don’t have to come in off the hill for lunch. Or supper. You can even get breakfast in a can if you are so inclined. Plus, they have a small shack selling Beaver Tails at the top of one of the lifts. Though you will surely be disappointed to learn, as I was, that Beaver Tails refer to some sugary confection, and not the actual tail of Castor Canadensis. Things you should say: • “Hey bro what’s the powder like” • “Sure these are rentals, but I’m saving my expensive ones for Whistler” • “It’s totally OK that you cut me off, I understand that you are still learning” Things you should not say: • “Snowboarders are so courteous and classy” • “I really like form-fitting ski pants” • “Did you see those two little kids crash together? Hilarious!” What it will cost you: Skiing is expensive. Rental will cost you $80, plus at least $100 for a lift pass (though it helps if you can buy it off an Osgoode student who won’t be using hers like I did). Add the $20 for on-the-hill provisions, and you are up to $200, not including transportation (hitch a ride with a friend), accommodations (find a friend with a time-share) and ski gear
(find a friend with extra and borrow it). As you can see, the key here is to mooch off the kindness of strangers. Though last word of advice: stocking up on food and beer at a supermarket before-hand can save you a lot of money and time off the slopes and keep you away from crowded and over-priced restaurants. This skier caved, though, and bought a burger and fries. But man, it really tasted good after all that granola.
RJ the Chateau Aficianado:
If you’re like me, then the last time you ever donned a pair of skis was when you were a wee little lad or lass and, as such, have less of a love affair with the slopes than others. If you are so inclined, or disinclined, with rushing down a slippery surface at breakneck speed, fear not; you still have the opportunity to enjoy the ski weekend with your friends while they hit the slopes. Don’t worry, you won’t be alone. And if you are, don’t worry, it just means you get the hot tub to yourself. What you will do: You will literally explore, eat and drink. To your heart’s content. By not skiing, you get to do a variety of activities guaranteed to drain your wallet and take care of any vice. It seems that every ski village in the world is prepared to do anything possible to maximize the amount of money they can take from your wallet for useless crap. Gift shops, novelty items, overpriced meat; you name it, they can provide. You can prevent this by ensuring you buy stuff from “in town” or by simply not indulging. Hot tubs help with this, although your alcohol intake may increase dramatically. Continued on page 12.
What you will do: You will ski. Often. This means that you take the lift up the hill, go down it, and slide right back into line when you are done. The ‘singles’ line at the Blue Mountain chair lifts actually move fairly quickly, provided that you don’t mind being Forever Alone. The best times to ski to avoid lift line-ups and hill crowding is early in the morning and in the evenings. This is because most people at this time are either a) drunk or, b) too hung over from a) to make it down the hill at these times. Skiing is also tiring, so you will need lots of sleep. This is tough, especially if you are sharing a room with a bunch of guys that are not going to conform to your ‘early-to-bed-early-to-rise’ lifestyle. I recmonday - january 30 - 2012
Interviewin’ Newfies (English Title: Interviewing Newfoundlanders: The Road to Peace) ERIC MARQUES Staff Writer On a friendlier and more light-hearted note, I would like to take this opportunity to explore greater peace and love in the Newfie-Portuguese relationship... outside the bedroom that is. I've invited my fellow cod-lover from another mother, Mark (Super) Freake. A self-identifying Labradorian and card-carrying member of the Front de Libération du Labrador, Mark, too, has the respect of the sea and cod flowing through his veins. By virtue of his being an advocate for Labradorian independence from Newfoundland, however, Mark is 25% less Newfie. With a similarly tense relationship with the island folk, he understands the point of view of both Kyle and I, and should help mend the fences of cuckolding*. *cuckolding may or may not have actually taken place.
So until Kyle forgives me for the betrayal of my last article, Mark's as close as I'll get to a real Newfie. (Erin you are dead to me... At least until I get those moose sausages I was promised). Since Mark doesn't really talk funny and everyone can understand what the hell he's saying, I thought it would be best to have a comprehensive and comprehensible interview. This is rarely possible with this wacky bunch. Let's get right to it. Disclaimer: No real wives or fiancées were cuckolded during the writing of these articles. All wives and fiancées appearing in these articles were treated humanely.
Freake Time Eric - Now Mark, you and I go back a little while, so let's start with a couple of personal anecdotes. Mark - Thanks, Eric. Considering the centuries-old tension between our people, it’s a wonder we’re even friends. Perhaps that book I gave you for your birthday opened your eyes to the truth of how your people raped and exploited the North Atlantic Cod. Eric – I took that book as a peace offering. And I think I repaid it by inviting you to my house for a traditional Portuguese dinner, no? Mark – Ah yes, it was very kind of your family to offer me a seat at the dinner table. I felt like a Catholic priest in Belfast, but everyone was really nice and the food was delicious. Eric – Delicious, eh? I’m having trouble remembering what was served. Jog my memory. the OBITERdicta
There was sweet potato, broccoli, some soup… hmm, what else? Mark – Well… ugh… Not sure if I can remember… [turning red and pulling collar] Is it getting hot in here? I’m getting a little sweaty. Eric – What’s the matter? You got a hook in your mouth?! WHAT IS IT, YOU SALTY DOG?! Mark – Alright, alright! IT WAS COD! I ATE NEWFOUNDLAND COD COOKED BY A PORTUGUESE FAMILY! I live with unspeakable shame. My family would disown me if they knew… Eric – The truth can hurt. But why take your anger out on me? I don't have any real blood on my hands; unlike you. Isn’t that right, Mark, you lobo de mar!?** **Translate from Portuguese.
Mark – Fine. I illegally fished a cod out of the ocean! Like your bloody people do every day. I accept that. I can live with it!
bucket to tie them over until local help arrived. When my uncles got back to shore, they opened the bucket, only to find that the Portuguese fishermen had filled it with white wine! Those sly devils… Eric – I guess that’s one way to prevent the water from going stale. Let me give you a little lesson about your own folk. Newfie fisherman and sailors would often drink something called switchel. It’s a disgusting mixture of molasses and water, seasoned with vinegar and ginger. That was their way of protecting the water. Far less classy than the water-wine, if you ask me. Mark – With all due respect, Eric, your mother is a hamster. Eric – Before you go f*ck yourself, Mark, I would just like to promise you, Kyle, and your crazy countrymen over there that, while I had originally intended to have a little more fun with this column, it will end in peace. Now let's cap things off with your favourite cod recipe.
Eric – So I'm living with an original sin of sorts? Mark – Yes, a half-millennia of cod-blood is stained upon your hands! As Macbeth once said, “with thy bloody and invisible hand / cancel and tear to pieces that great bond which keeps me pale!” Eric – Whoa, whoa. Calm down, Freakespeare. Portuguese fisherman aren't all bad, isn't that right, Mark? You yourself have a rather heart-warming experience that is close to home. Mark – Sorry about that. I got carried away for a second. Yes, my family is grateful for the kindness of one group of Portuguese fishermen. A few decades ago, two of my uncles fished on a boat called the Blanche-Marie (named after my mother and my aunt). But the sea was angry that day, my friends. They were shipwrecked in a crazy storm off the coast of Labrador. After a couple of days on the rocky shore, they were able to make contact with a nearby fishing boat. And not just any fishing boat; a boat filled with short, moustached Portuguese fishermen! Eric – I bet they were pretty damn glad they were illegally fishing the cod then! Mark – Touché, amigo. My uncles asked for water and sure enough the kind fishermen reached for one of the barrels and filled up a
In protest of the continuing moratorium, Mark allegedly screamed “Vive le Labrador libre” as he beheaded the codfish. Judging by its spots, this cod likely migrated from the impoverished Conception Bay, Newfoundland to bountiful St. Michael’s Bay, Labrador, where it met its fate.
Continued on page 15. monday - january 30 - 2012
Fake It or Make It continued... Continued from page 10. What you will eat/drink: The simple answer is this: whatever you want. Well, whatever you can find anyway. I mean, you can go to any restaurant, pub, or convenience store you can find. The issue is this: how much are you willing to pay for it? This goes back to the whole idea behind the ski village, which is to gouge you of money. What would normally cost you something in the single digits has been inflated to double digits. However, barring that, the sky is the limit. Or at least, the limit is what you can find in the village. More likely than not you’re going to eat whatever junk food you either bought there or brought with you. This helps you avoid eating things like Beaver Tails.
Things you should say: • “Pass me another beer” • “Pass me that bottle” • “This is so not like Whistler” • “I love how hot this hot tub is” Things you shouldn’t say: • “I find all this relaxation boring” • “I really wish I was feeling the pain from falling down a mountain” • “I really hate hot tubs” What it will cost you: Who would end up spending more money: the person who skied all day via the rentals they got in the village, ate a meager breakfast of whatever they bought from Superstore, carried all their lunch and snacks up with them and then ate a supper and spent very little on alcohol and didn’t go out as much OR the person who brought lots of beer, had no concern about how much they spent and partied
every night and drank for 15 of 24 hours but did not ski at all. The answer was fairly surprising. I too only spent $20 on the room and split the gas money going up with 2 other people, which came to about $15 per person. Buying beer came to $45 which included a mini-keg split with another person. Food and other sundries came to about $120 for the 3 days. All told that is about $200. So with all that, if you don’t ski, you spend as much as the person who did end up skiing all day, but you didn’t have to worry about how much you were spending.
Regardless of whether or not you ski, you’re going to have a stellar time on your weekend getaway as long as you’re with the right people. Apart from getting very little sleep, we can say that we both had a lot of fun. While we both had completely different trips, I doubt either one of us would’ve changed anything.
What Ails You Osgoode? Illnesses... TRACEY HARDIE Staff Writer It seems there are all sorts of illnesses plaguing Osgoode students and others within the legal community, despite our best efforts to avoid them. Even poor old Donoghue was diagnosed with an illness after consuming a slug (or was it really a snail? No on knows). We all know how gastroenteritis ends and probably harbour an aversion to drinks in opaque packaging as a result of reading Donoghue v. Stevenson, or maybe it’s just me. If you do happen upon the unfortunate circumstance of gastroenteritis, there are a few schools of thought on the appropriate remedies. Some experts recommend clear fluids at regular intervals to remain hydrated, like water or low sodium broth. Others suggest Jagermeister which apparently contains a German herbal concoction bound to cure something, or at least kill bacteria. (LCBO 117101). Once a sufferer moves beyond the clear fluid to the land of solids, the BRAT diet has been a popular program with the parent-crowd, (BRAT being a diet of bananas, rice, applesauce, toast). Coincidentally, all of which I believe can be found in a Taco Bell burrito if you want to “get ‘er done” and move things along. (Thank you LT for that visual.)
common illness called, Labyrinthitis (seriously, when Wikipedia regains consciousness, look it up). This illness is an ear affliction and it affects your ability to hear and maintain balance. What raises your risk? Fatigue, smoking, stress....and drinking large amounts of alcohol. Read in that particular order, it sounds like the exact regime followed by many a law student for the month of December, though I don’t recall seeing too much staggering. I saw lots of reeling, crying and deerin-headlights glances but not much in the way of staggering. Anyway, while health experts recommend a complete physical and neurological exam for suspected Labyrinthitis, I prefer the alternatives. Like sleep. Or Collingwood Whiskey, (LCBO 244186), which is savoured in a snifter with a side of mixed nuts. Aside from the medical illnesses, there is another illness going around known as ‘January.’ It’s a lethargic, over-stuffed feeling somewhere between a hangover and hibernation. If January had a face, it would be Keith Richards sporting comfy pants in a recliner. What causes
this illness known as January? For me it was two Christmas dinners, a mimosa-laden brunch, a New Years Eve meat feast and a shameless tour of an American buffet. I am most definitely experiencing an extended bout of January. Certainly starting a new semester is a quick way to end a couple weeks of debauchery, but for the hard cases, enter “the gym”. The Tait MacKenzie facility is FREE for Ozzies, save for the purchase of a shoe tag. Call the 78km walk to the facility your warm up, (thank you G-maps pedometer,) then hit the equipment. In fact, take me with you because it’s time for me to shed my buffet pants once and for all. Of course, if you haven’t hit the gym in awhile you’re going to feel it the next day. And the day after that. And the day after that. Eventually this stops and becomes a happy contentment replacing January in its entirety, and maybe even some of the aforementioned stress... just in time for Reading Week. Send what ails you Osgoode to email@example.com.
Besides gastroenteritis, which discriminates against no one, I came across an illness that seems to be linked directly to the writing of 100% final exams, affecting only law students. It may affect other students outside the law discipline, but other students are found in other buildings, so I can only speculate, having never explored any other building intentionally. I believe the law illness is likely related to wearing ear plugs for extended periods of time and is a bona fide monday - january 30 - 2012
The Unreasonable Man Gets His Facts Wrong TRAVIS WEAGANT Staff Writer “Facts are important.” There is a disembodied voice in my head (presumably a mash-up of all my law professors to date) that arrives at convenient times while I’m working on exams or assignments to remind me that facts are important. It’s one of those fundamental law school maxims, right up there with “your clients’ trust accounts are not for beer”. Imagine what would happen if you lived in a world where it was impossible to get the facts right – a world where everything you read was entirely false. And no, I don’t mean the half-truths that you get from CNN (the most trusted name in news!) already; I mean complete and utter poppycock, all the time. Last week, in what I believed to be a polite and offbeat gesture of support for Wikipedia’s 24-hour protest blackout, I pledged to make use of spoof competitor Uncyclopedia as my sole resource for the duration of the shutdown in order to demonstrate the value of free knowledge. However, my efforts were nearly flummoxed by Uncyclopedia’s own brazen blackout, which almost ruined this article. If you’ll allow me a few tangential remarks at this time, I have a serious question for Jimmy Wales and his gang of online activists: if Hulu can restrict its free television content to American IP addresses, why can’t Wikipedia restrict its blackout to American IPs? Riddle me that. It seems ironic that proprietors of such a vast repository of knowledge would remain ignorant that Congress only makes laws for the United States of America. But perhaps I’m being unreasonable. Returning to the topic at hand, I decided that a little Internet activism wasn’t going to keep me from my experiment, so I waited for the site to reopen, and then began. Please note that I did not actually take a 24-hour “knowledge fast”. Such a thing might have real consequences for me in many different parts of my life, including: Sports I always hate to see the Toronto Maple Leafs win, so I’m perpetually digging up dirt on them to throw in my smug friends’ faces when they do. Needless to say, when it turns out that my dirt is incorrect, I look bad. You can imagine my sheepishness then, when, labouring under the assumption that the Leafs are a professional golf team, I ridiculed them for selecting Ted Danson in the first round last year. I was also met with skepticism when I claimed that the Boston Bruins had won the most Stanley Cups in history (5.8) and were on a roll this year thanks to the OBITERdicta
the leadership of one Zdeno Charizard. Thanks Uncyclopedia. Computers I ran into some problems while trying to use Photoshop to resize a picture for my desktop. Now, I’m usually pretty good with this newfangled stuff, but in the spirit of my experiment, I elected to check Uncyclopedia for help. Lo and behold, there was a step by step all-purpose guide right there telling me exactly how to do whatever I wanted with Photoshop. But, instead of a beautiful landscape that fit onto my desktop, I wound up with a beautiful landscape upsidedown with nuclear explosions superimposed thereon. And it still didn’t fit on my desktop. The TTC Uncyclopedia made public transportation sound positively simple: find the nearest roadside structure with at least one missing or broken window and one graffiti tag (idiot-proof identifiers for a bus shelter); go inside; wait at least 10 minutes for a vehicle; board the vehicle, and pay the driver 7 cents. Regular Obiter readers already know how I feel about the TTC, so I’m certainly willing to try alternative methods of transportation, but I just couldn’t follow through with this one. I probably would have ended up spending 10 minutes in a drug den and getting a ride from a green Ford Aerostar in exchange for shady legal advice on the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in lieu of my 7 cents.
Law School My usual presumption when Googling a case is: if there isn’t a Wikipedia article about it, then I’ve spelled it wrong, it’s not important, or it doesn’t exist. But in a world without truth, nothing is certain and this ironclad precept falls by the wayside. I must say, Uncyclopedia faces a glaring shortage of Canadian case law. In fact, the only case law I could find at all was a description of the history and proceedings of Roe v Wade. In this case from the Even Supremer Court of the United States, Lewis Roe and Clark Wade attempt to settle a dispute over whether they should have aborted their crossing of the Mississippi, despite not having enough resources to support themselves when they reached the other side. Wikipedia and the rest of the well-meaning Internet have become central to our daily life. The free knowledge they provide about sports, photo editing, transit schedules and cases that I haven’t read are indispensable to the way I currently live my life, and I am now endlessly thankful that most of what the Internet tells me is true. My professors are right: facts are important. By the way, for those of you who are curious, the Boston Bruins have won 6 Stanley Cups (3 of them since the Maple Leafs’ last); you don’t need Photoshop to resize a desktop photo; TTC fare is $3.10, and they mark their stops with signs. As for Roe v. Wade, well, it’s kind of more exciting as a metaphor.
‘NO MEANS NO’ Volunteers Needed WANT OPIR HOURS AND A PIZZA LUNCH??? Volunteer with LEAF No Means No!! Volunteer training: Wednesday, February 1 at 12:30-2:30pm room 1003 LEAF (Women’s Legal Education & Action Fund) is pleased to once again be running the NO MEANS NO (NMN) Program, an exciting public educational initiative designed to raise awareness amongst youth about sexual assault, consent, equality and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We are currently seeking volunteers to help facilitate No-Means-No sessions. The presentations are based on the Supreme Court decision in the 1999 case R v. Ewanchuk. The program is generally presented to public school classrooms (grade 6 & above) in a discussion based format, designed to allow students to explore the crucial issues that emerge from the Ewanchuk case and to learn about their legal rights and responsibilities in relation to sexual assault and consent. Volunteers will be provided with facilitator training and all necessary resource materials. The time commitment expected from volunteers is minimal: 5-6 hours a semester, inclusive of training and classroom visits. Volunteering for NMN can count towards your OPIR hours. If anyone is interested in volunteering for the NO MEANS NO Program, or in obtaining more information about LEAF or its other programs, please contact Jessica Cohen, the NMN program coordinator, at JessicaCohen@osgoode.yorku.ca ****If you are planning on attending, please RSVP by Tuesday, January 31 at noon by the latest****
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Burning Love: An Unfashionable Home JACK LECASSE Staff Writer The Harbottles lived in an old and categorically unfashionable home. It would creak and moan to their every move, like an aging grouch, scornful of the parents who sowed his taste for odd sandals and pastoral tunics at an early age. Jacob could tell from its sour lament that his mother had come upstairs and spent the past several minutes quietly lurking outside his bedroom door. He leaned back from the desk, looked towards the door and wondered if she was still in her housecoat this late in the day. “Are you just going to stand out there? ‘Cause I can’t write with the sound of your breath on the door, you old cow.” After a short moment, the door opened revealing Mrs. Harbottle. She stood there in a sky blue housecoat of thick, hard linen Jacob had bought her for Christmas. She had a strong preference for the hard fabric over the more fuzzy kinds, which had the tendency to make her ass sweat, or so she said. She had been a funny and sweet woman in better times, but these last few years have seen her condition reduced to that of a lump of sugar slowly soaked with water – sustaining her original shape though ready to dissolve. “I, uh… I bought pickles.”
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Jacob exhaled slowly, covering his eyes with a visor fashioned from his hand. She looked at Jacob with sadness. It was nice to have him home for Christmas, even if they were both up and gone in their minds. Jacob had grown despondent since his brother died. It was difficult to know when he would be bothered, and so she usually knew better than to disturb him. But she had news. Bad news. It seemed that every time she saw him, his skin was further inked. “You know those are permanent. What is that, a boat?” she asked, making a feeble effort to spy his shirtless ribs from the doorway. “It’s that ore tanker that went down off the point the year Arlo died. And they’re not permanent, some day the worms will eat them off.” With a furrowed brow and pursed lips, she gave him the concerned look of a helpless mother. “I’m worried about you, Jacob. Are you going back to school? Haven’t classes started again?” Jacob radiated a faint glow, like the embers of a burned out fire kicked with a dirty old boot. “Is this what you came up here for? Goddamn pickles and to sass me about school? Well you’re
running too, both of us running. I have no concern for school, none at all. And I swear it, if I’m permitted one last act, only one single thing, it’s to sit up here and cause you discomfort.” “Don’t get fresh with me, young man,” she volleyed. Yet whatever reflex produced those words, she couldn’t help but feel a warmth that ran contrary to their spirit. Her son’s style of bullying – the cold grandstanding of a disingenuous punk - always had a depraved charm to her. A part of the worry written on her face melted just a little, a subtlety that didn’t escape an attentive Jacob. At this moment, for one reason or another, her mind gathers on his tendency to mutter apologies to every stranger he brushes shoulders with on the subway. As Jacob’s affectation flickers, Mrs. Harbottle realizes the time was as good as any. “Your uncle is paroled, he’ll be out in March.” Jacob looked up at his mother. The news of his uncle would hurt them both, which is why she appears to have done some hard traveling in that awful housecoat. While her sweetness may have waned, her devotion was a virtue which in these last few years had deepened. Like the scent of a prized flower, more fragrant for having been crushed. She was such a refreshing eyesore.
The Happiness Project: Resolve This CASS DA RE Staff Writer The end of January always provides a grey and grim reality check. The sparkle and glitter of the New Year has dimmed and has most likely been replaced with a realization that not much has changed. Despite your most heartfelt and sincere “turning over a new leaf ” mantra, the end of January is unmistakeably a time of resolution breaking. Making resolutions is an old tradition, and breaking them a few weeks later is just as old. You may have noticed that gyms are returning to their normal capacity, people are a little less nice, and new non-smokers are returning to their nicotine habit. It is the vicious cycle of making New Year resolutions that you cannot keep, and subsequently failing in your honest efforts which makes this time of year so depressing. Reality does not need to be so grey and grim. The process of introspective reflection and setting personal goals in attempt to ameliorate one’s life is positive and key to one’s happiness. The problem therein lies with unattainable objectives that are too vague and too far removed from your daily circumstance. I will revisit the most common New Year promise that most people will not follow through on, and suggest modifications to ensure that this year, is really the year that you keep your resolution.
Bad Resolution 1: Lose Weight and Go to the Gym Everyday This is the most popular culprit on the bad resolution list. After a month of cakes, turkey dinners and too many cocktails, it is only to be expected that people are now motivated to drop those extra pounds and be fit. However, constructing a goal around negative self-image is only a daily reminder of “what is wrong with you.” To be clear, there is nothing wrong with you. Working from a paradigm of deficiency and negativity will never get you to where you want to be. Furthermore, making extravagant and excessive goals such as “going to the gym everyday” is unrealistic for most lifestyles, especially that of a busy law student. By creating unfeasible goals, you will set yourself up for failure. Although unfeasible, a failure to reach your goal is dispiriting and discouraging; making it even less likely that you will stick to this resolution. Happy Alternative 1: Make More Health Conscious Decisions with my After Class Snack. First, allow your focus to be your health, not weight gain or loss. Centring a resolution on aspects of ‘health’ instead of self-perceived problems makes the process one of self-betterment and positive changes. Also, health is a much more holistic concept that will encourage you to be more aware of all the aspects of your life, not
simply the numbers on a scale. Second, a resolution that calls for conscious decision making rather than an abstract action is more likely to succeed. The self-identification of decision making is repeatedly underscored by psychologists as a source of empowerment. Making life changes starts with internal motivation, a recognizance of all of your choices, and an understanding that these decisions are yours to make. It may sound cliché, but change really does happen from the inside out. Third, making resolutions that are specific and manageable is essential to success. By identifying a time of day, you can make your resolution a concrete part of your daily life – not an ephemeral goal that you absently think about when you drive pass the gym. In addition, concrete and visual goal attainment creates a sense of achievement. By choosing an apple over an apple-strudel you are taking an active and assertive step that you can recognize and relish in. These little victories will encourage you to remain committed to your new resolution. The Happiness Project is really a series of resolutions that are not marked by the New Year, but by a constant desire to be happy. Making specific, positive, and attainable goals is a great way to get started. Good luck!
Interviewin’ Newfies Continued... Continued from page 11. Recipe 1/4 cup diced fat salt pork 2 lbs fresh or defrosted frozen cod fillets (preferably with skin-on) Flour 1 large onion, diced 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp savory 1 stalk celery, diced Directions*** Find a pig. Wait until the owner is out of sight. Hammer in the pig’s skull with a blunt object. Haul the meat to a butcher. Collect the fat. Place ¼ cup of the fat in a large skillet until it is rendered out; stir occasionally. Cut the cod fillets into 6 servings and roll them in flour. Then place the fillets in the skillet, skin-side down. Fry until brown; turn and sprinkle with the onion, seasonings and celery. Cover and let simmer 10 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Serve as a side dish to caribou. (Suck on that Islanders!) *** This is a traditional Labradorian recipe. The Obiter may not endorse or be held responsible for the language of the instructions or any of its consequences.
Best served with a Salty Dog cocktail: 2 oz gin 4 oz grapefruit juice salt for rimming lemon or lime wedge for garnish
SAVE THE DATE
Dean’s Formal 2012 Friday, March 16th 6:30pm – 2:00am The Liberty Grand Details to Follow
Pour the ingredients into a collins glass rimmed with salt and filled with ice. Stir well. Garnish with a lemon or lime wedge.
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Crossword /// First Attempt by Michael Szubelak 1
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DOWN: 1. Tokyo, once 2. Ambassador, informally 3. Recreational rink user?
At Davies we measure our achievements by one simple standard: your success. If you have a record of outstanding achievement and are interested in joining our team, visit us at dwpv.com or contact Frances Mahil at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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