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In Canada, Barrick is using SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation) against three academics and two small presses, one in Quebec and one based in Vancouver, that have published or announced an intention to publish books that damage Barrick’s image. The latest SLAPP was directed at Talonbooks of Vancouver, before the book was even published. These lawsuits take advantage of an archaic defamation law within Canada that allow a company to sue entities for merely doing damage to their reputation. The law allows lawsuits if a company is able to make a claim of reputational damage, leaving it to the defendant to prove that what they alleged was true. This effectively creates a “libel chill” preventing anyone from saying anything negative about powerful corporations, lest they end up with a costly lawsuit that they then must fight.
To say that “it’s been awhile” is a drastic understatement. However, while my blog activity has been pitiful as of late, I will try and make amends by posting something that should have been seen by the public long ago. While away in Indonesia this year, I received word that Peter Munk had made a “generous” donation to the University of Toronto. His $35 million dollars would fund the new Munk School of Global Affairs – an institution Janice Stein praised as a giant step forward; a momentus and wonderful opportunity for the University of Toronto and Canadian academia more generally.
____________________ Education Students, workers and faculty rally against the corporate takeover of UofT Toronto - The Anti-Corporatization Working Group of the UT General Assembly is calling a rally outside of the University of Toronto's Governing Council to protest the Munk “donation” and the privatization of education. Professor Noam Chomsky, speaking at a public lecture in the afternoon, has expressed support for the cause and is expected to make an appearance at the rally.
University of Toronto’s Governing Council raises tuition fees, bars access for students, workers and faculty | Peter Munk OUT of UofTStudents, workers, and faculty at the University of Toronto gathered yesterday to rally against the privatization of funding and decision-making at the university. The rally began outside of Simcoe Hall, where University’s Governing Council was meeting. Renowned intellectual and visiting speaker Noam Chomsky addressed the crowd about the need for free and accessible education. Campus and community members were angered by the agenda for this particular Governing Council meeting. Governors were set to ignore a motion served by a student governor calling for a renegotiation of the Munk Foundation’s contentious donation contract with UofT, and to increase tuition fees so that for the first time ever, tuition and user fees are projected to surpass public funding in UofT’s operating budget.
Pretty much anywhere you turn at any major private university in the United States you’ll see evidence of generations of benefactors who, through dint of accumulated capital and/or a forgiving tax act, have given scads of money to ensure that their wealth, if not their “accomplishments,” are recognized throughout the years. This recognition can usually be found emblazoned on the side of a building — the Carnegie and Rockefeller centres for this, the Guggenheim and Bloomberg centres for that, and, inevitably, the Gates centre for this and that. While such benefaction in Toronto is not nearly as evident, a stroll along Devonshire between Bloor and Hoskin might suggest otherwise.
Liberty University blocks newspaper website for reporting on its federal financial aid haul - War RoomLast month, the Lynchburg News & Advance reported that Liberty University, the evangelical private school founded by Jerry Falwell and run by Jerry Falwell Jr., received almost half a billion dollars in federal financial aid money last year. After we pointed out that that was more federal money than NPR received last year, Liberty University apparently blocked access to the News & Advance website for at least one day. Yes, Liberty University is exactly like Communist China.
After almost three years of negotiation and internecine battles, a private think-tank established and chaired by Jim Balsillie has signed a $60-million deal with York University in Toronto to create a school of international law. Through the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the co-founder of BlackBerry smartphone maker Research In Motion Ltd. has committed to donate $30-million to create 10 research chairs and 20 graduate scholarships over the next 10 years. In return, Mr. Balsillie’s private, not-for-profit organization has secured a voice to influence, and veto, staffing and curriculum at the school.
On Friday, sociology professor and controversial author Alain Deneault visited University College to speak about his new book, Imperial Canada Inc . Deneault’s invitation to speak on campus is the latest in a series of vocal protestations against mining mogul and philanthropist Peter Munk’s presence on campus. In 2010, Munk donated $35 million to the university to found the Munk School of Global Affairs.
WHAT: Peter Munk & UofT info session WHERE: UofT @ OISE, 252 Bloor room 5150 WHEN: Tuesday, April 16, 6:30pm SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook event WHY: To learn about the implications of the infamous “Munk Contract”. The Munk Contract which established the Munk School of Global Affairs was signed in secret and not publicly available until a Freedom of Information request put out by two professors. The details turned out to be scandalous.