Volume 93, Issue 83

Wednesday, March 8, 2000


Editorial Board 1999-2000

A news buffet

Editorial cartoon

A news buffet

Since an abundance of interesting items made today's headlines, we've decided to examine a number of issues which happen to neatly fall under three categories...

THE GOOD – Customs and border officials in Canada recently had their powers to arrest expanded and were outfitted with bullet-proof vests and batons.

If they should suspect someone of crimes such as driving a stolen vehicle or driving while intoxicated, they no longer have to phone the police for help before taking action.

These steps were long overdue, especially for a country roundly criticized by others for its lax border patrol. Some may argue Canada is doing too much to fall in line with American standards. But giving customs officials enough power to properly protest our borders, while showing enough discretion to not equip them with firearms, like their police counterparts, is a welcome addition to the country's national security.

THE BAD – Vancouver Crown attorneys have decided to press charges on stick-swinging goon Marty McSorley of the National Hockey League's Boston Bruins.

The player, once called a "policeman on the ice," will be charged with assault with a weapon for his viscious attack on Donald Brashear of the Vancouver Canucks.

While unnecessary violence has no place in sports, this police action sets a dangerous precedent. In a game intertwined with violence and aggression, the difference between criminal offences and "normal" hockey behaviour now becomes difficult to determine.

Of course, if the NHL itself had taken a harsher stance years ago on such infractions, the law might not have felt their input was required. One now wonders when the Maple Leafs' Tie Domi will be dragged off to jail after a bare-knuckled brouhaha which was "all part of the game."

THE UGLY – A former administrator at McGill University decided to sue her former employers for $1.4 million for wrongful dismissal.

Peggy Ann Sheppard alleged the university pressured her into admitting students, based on their family connections or potential financial contributions and not their academic standing.

After turning a blind eye to this unethical behaviour for 14 years, Sheppard elected to step down to pursue a master's degree, with the promise she would obtain a different job within the university when she returned.

This new job never materialized and Sheppard launched the lawsuit. However, considering her history with the university, the motive behind her actions is suspect.

Sheppard has chosen to ignore the fact she was an accomplice to the university's accused wrongdoings. Her own wrongdoings have been overlooked in favour of a vendetta against the university.

A wise man once said, "Those in glass houses shouldn't hurl lawsuits." Maybe Sheppard should heed this advice.

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