Joseph F. Turcotte, PhD

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New Report: ‘Maximizing Opportunity, Mitigating Risk’ for Work-Integrated Learning in Ontario


I’m pleased to announce that our new report has been published by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO).

As per the HEQCO website:

the report, “Maximizing Opportunity, Mitigating Risk: Aligning Law, Policy and Practice to Strengthen Work-Integrated Learning in Ontario, identifies seven areas for institutions and policy makers to focus on: employment standards, health and safety, human rights, intellectual property, employment insurance, immigration law and tax expenditures. The study found that while only a small number of cases result in litigation, campus leaders and legal representatives are becoming increasingly preoccupied interpreting unclear laws and regulation, mediating disputes and negotiating agreements to address this growing and changing area of postsecondary education.

A short, Stakeholders Summary can be accessed here and the full report, including an executive summary, can be accessed here.

Further information can be found here.

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My Latest: Review of ‘Innovation & Intellectual Property: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa’


“The ambitious volume INNOVATION & INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY is edited by members of the Open African Innovation and Research Training Project (Open A.I.R. Project) who are law professors and researchers based in Canada and South Africa. The Open A.I.R. Project is a “pan-African and globally interconnected research and training network” (p. v) focused on raising awareness about Intellectual Property (IP) in African settings, empowering an IP-oriented community in Africa, and identifying and analyzing IP-related problems and opportunities for collaboration and innovation. This volume and its sister report, KNOWLEDGE AND INNOVATION IN AFRICA (see below for link) , as well as the Open A.I.R Project more generally will be of interest to IP scholars, practitioners, and policymakers interested in the role IP and alternative knowledge management practices can play to facilitate collaborative innovation in Africa, other developing state contexts, and the evolving knowledge-based economy.”

Read Entire Review

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Footnote – Shirin Elahi and Jeremy de Beer with Dick Kawooya, Chidi Oguamanam, Nagla Rizk and the Open A.I.R. Network, KNOWLEDGE AND INNOVATION IN AFRICA: SCENARIOS FOR THE FUTURE (The Open A.I.R. Project, 2013).

WCIT12: The future of the Internet at stake?


Source: Screen capture of a Google ‘Take Action’ page

Note: This post is an edited version of the introductory section of a paper (Internet Governance and the Informational Economy: Challenges and Opportunities*) that I presented at the International Studies Association Annual Conference 2012 (San Diego, California, USA) as part of the panel “Perspectives on Global Governance and the Internet”, 2 April 2012. For a full copy of this paper, please contact me (@joefturcotte or

 From 3-14 December 2012 the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) will convene the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT). This conference and the ongoing preparatory meetings of the ITU throughout 2012 could have far reaching consequences for the international governance of the Internet and, in turn, the burgeoning digital informational economy. The WCIT process includes a review of the International Telecommunications Regulation (ITRs) treaty that was signed in 1989. That this treaty was created long-before the impressive growth of the Internet as a facilitator for rapid technological and social change necessitates contemporary action to ensure that global Internet governance meets the challenges and opportunities of the Digital Era.

However, as is evident from a column from Robert M. McDowell, a commissioner from the United States’ (US) Federal Communication Commission (FCC), this process will be far from simple. According to McDowell (2012), the WCIT process could “upend the Internet’s flourishing regime…[which has]…insulated the Internet from economic and technical regulation and quickly [become] the greatest deregulatory success of our time.”

It is hard to argue with McDowell regarding the Internet’s success as a medium for economic growth, social and cultural transformation as well as global democratic engagement. Since its launch in the mid-

1980s and through its rapid development in the 1990s and early 2000s, the Internet has facilitated seemingly unprecedented changes in the economic, social, cultural and political realms.

However, has been pointed out, the Internet’s rapid growth has been far from unproblematic. While helping to usher in a number of beneficial results, the Internet has also enabled illicit activities as well as technological and social changes that have called into question traditional social, economic and business modes of practice. The double-edged sword that is the ongoing development of the Internet requires coordinated global responses to Internet governance in order to stimulate beneficial and sustainable growth the world over.

The fractured international governance system of the post-Global Financial Crisis (GFC) era makes coordinating states with varying domestic priorities and perspectives increasingly difficult. Mirroring the deadlocks found in the Doha Round of World Trade Organization (WTO) trade talks, differing perspectives and priorities amongst Western countries, most noticeably in the United States and Europe, and between their rising counterparts, such as China and India, have made global cooperation and coordination elusive. Amidst this backdrop, cleavages between developed and developing countries are spilling into the realm of international Internet governance and complicating efforts for forging a harmonized front.

Various states within the international system are seeking different goals for Internet governance within the informational economy. Countries at varying levels of development and social stability have divergent perspectives on key issues including the intersection(s) of intellectual property (IP), privacy and security as they relate to global economic growth and development. Domestic and transnational industries and corporations seek different levels and types or protection while a host of civil society groups and actors seek to protect rights-based freedoms for the global citizenry by contributing to policy processes.

Technological and social changes are calling into question traditional and historic conceptions of IP, privacy and security, creating both opportunities and challenges for economic innovation and cultural creativity for developed and developing peoples alike. Therefore, there is a need to devise democratic and equitable forms of Internet governance that account for the heterogenous nature of the global system and protect and promote sustainable economic development while attending to the needs of various social and cultural communities as well as actors.

Meeting the global nature of these challenges and capitalizing upon the promises offered by the Digital Era and the informational economy while respecting normative and rights-based claims requires international harmonization and coordination. The aftermath of the GFC illustrates that sovereign state are incapable of drafting or enforcing national/domestic laws to confront these problems on their own.

The challenges and opportunities facing Internet governance for the digital informational economy highlight the need for coordinated mechanisms to promote and protect balanced governance of the Internet. Three interrelated issue-areas – intellectual property, privacy and security – demonstrate this with respect to Internet governance and the informational economy and centre around technological and social changes that are disrupting traditional notions of access (or openness) and control.

In the global arena, developed and developing states as well as private and public actors from industry and civil society need to be taken into account when formulating international Internet governance mechanisms. To do so, a multi-stakeholder approach for Internet governance that compliments existing international forums while generating and reinforcing common norms for global economic growth and stability as well as rights-based protections based on democratic frameworks.

The creation, promotion and dissemination of core Internet Governance Principles under the auspices of the existing international system will allow the myriad international bodies involved in Internet governance to harmonize their efforts towards promoting globally sustainable socio-economic growth and development.

For more information see:

“Inside the Issues 3.10 | Internet Governance”

“Clashes over internet rules expected at UN conference”

“ITU and Google face off at Dubai conference over future of the internet”

“Google rallies opposition to UN takeover of Internet governance”

“The Battle for the Future of the Internet?”

“The Internet as a Global Commons?”

“World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT)”

“The U.N. Shouldn’t Make Decisions About an Open Internet Behind Closed Doors”

“The Troubling Growth of High-Tech Regulation, Lobbying, and Rent-Seeking”

“Iran and Internet Governance”

* This paper has been funded in part by grants from the Canadian Media Research Consortium and the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, the York University Graduate Students’ Association Conference Fund, and CUPE 3903 Professional Development Fund.

From the Archives: “Roberts Rules”

Having had listened to the Sam Roberts Band’s new album, Collider, for the past few days on a loop, it brought me back to this interview. The usual caveats apply. PDF available by clicking article title.

“Roberts Rules”
The Cord Weekly
31 May 2006
Joe Turcotte
A&E Editor

Reluctant rock star Sam Roberts caps the year off at the Turret

Sam Roberts’ strained voice speaks for itself, cementing the fact that staging the “Mother of All Tours” is no easy task. In between setting-up in order to rock WLUSU’s Year-End Party, Roberts sat down and spoke with the Cord about the rigors of touring and the rock ‘n roll lifestyle.

“I’m in preservation mode right now, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” a tired and raspy-voiced Roberts said. “It’s just about trying to keep going, man. There’s no recovery time, we get one or two days off. Touring is deadly, man; touring is hard as hell. Touring is the hardest thing.”

But while the schedule may be grueling, the Canadian singer-song writer has no regrets, as he realizes that touring is essential.
“Anytime you put out a new record there’s only a few ways to promote it. There are interviews There are interviews and the press, but you’re not really in control of that. Then you have the marketing strategies that your labels devise, and then you have shows, which to me [are] the best way to get your point across and the only way where you’re ever fully in control.”

While he remains in control over performing, Roberts acknowledges that he loosened-up on the reins when recording his newest album, Chemical City. Instead of personally performing all the instruments and later assembling the tracks in the studio,
as he did for 2003’s We Were Born in a Flame, Roberts and his band assembled in Australia and recorded together.

“It was good not to be alone in the studio, that’s a pretty lonely existence. [This way] you have five people propping up the energy
of the record, instead of one person trying to carry it all on his shoulders. I don’t know if great rock and roll has ever come from
that,” the increasingly excited Roberts said.

When speaking about his music, Roberts speaks like a father talking about his children. That being said, Roberts doesn’t want to take anything away from his major label debut by comparing it to Chemical City.

“I’m really happy with the first record. It meant that I was starting off down the road. I don’t ever want to take away from it by comparing it to what I’m doing now. But your musical instinct is to pursue different musical avenues. Different approaches to
your song writing and the lyrical content, anything. You should never try to consciously direct what you’re doing.”

And while he was writing for the new album, Roberts admits that sometimes his musical inspiration seemed to come from unconscious sources.

“Sometimes you feel like a medium, that you’re channeling something from beyond. And then sometimes it’s very much something that you have to work at. You have to sculpt a raw idea. You take that and hope that you can make something, but that
takes a lot of work,” the ever-humble Roberts revealed with a smile.

For someone that has had so much success and has had so many lofty comparisons made about his music, Roberts’ humility
is refreshing.

While Chemical City is bound to be a smash success, Roberts is reluctant to acknowledge the comparisons to legends like Bob Dylan and John Lennon that the media often makes.

“I don’t think it necessarily reflects reality. They’re two of my idols for sure, people that I look up to as songwriters. Their music
inspires me, but it inspires a whole lot of other people too. I think every musician would love to be compared to Dylan and Lennon, but that doesn’t mean they measure up at all. It doesn’t make it a fact.”

But like Dylan and Lennon, Roberts’ music is more than just catchy hooks and inviting melodies. Chemical City has been described as a response to the urban decay that the band has witnessed first hand while touring.

“We don’t just play the 10 to 12 major cities in Canada, we go everywhere. When you put it all together [the album] has this feeling to it in a way. The songs we write are a reflection of the life we live and the places that we see. For me I’m very much rooted in an urban landscape every day. But I’m not obsessed with it or anything. ‘Mind Flood’ is very much set in Algonquin Park or some place like that. That’s where I see that song.”

While Roberts admits that some of his songs may look as though they have a social agenda, he is quick to dismiss the idea the
he explicitly tries to be political or push an agenda.

“I never want to tailor what I do to a certain crowd,” Roberts admits, “if I’m political or socially conscious it’s because that’s how
I feel. I don’t want it to be like I’m getting on my soap-box or anything.”

As a Canadian who has had the fortune to travel from coast to coast, Roberts’ music is an expression of the diversity of the
Canadian landscape. Nuanced and complex, Roberts’ music does not take well to being defined in simple terms. With Canada seemingly conquered, Roberts sees the next logical step as taking his music to the United States.

“I want to push my music as far and wide as possible,” an excited Roberts beamed.

He does seek some sort of validation from the scene in the States, “I do feel that, for sure. Not because it’s a matter of pride or anything like that. But at some point you have to expand your boundaries and push your horizons. That just leads to a longer
and healthier career. It’s not a personal thing like ‘I have to conquer the States.’ It’s just the next place to go, it’s right there and there are 300 million people who just love rock and roll music.”

Although Roberts is looking to take the next step to the United States, he still feels proud to be part of the burgeoning Canadian
music scene.

“I think there’s a lot of great bands who are all gifted in their own right working right now,” Roberts acknowledged while deflecting away any talk of being responsible for the success of the Canadian music industry. “No, no, I don’t think we were in any way at all responsible for it. I think they’re all tremendous bands who are doing their own thing.”

While Roberts may be reluctant to be seen as more than just another artist doing what he loves to do, he is viewed by many as a
premier member of the Canadian rock music community. And if the Canadian success of Chemical City is reciprocated in the United States, maybe this rock and roller from Montreal will become an international sensation.

From the Archives: “Man of the Hour”

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sitting down with a senior director at the CBC. For about an hour we discussed various topics relating to Canadian broadcasting, the CBC, and how the public broadcaster fits into the entertainment spectrum. At one point we got into a discussion about George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, the newly re-branded CBC offering from Strombo. I found it more than a little funny that my first interview ever was with George some 5 years ago (below; please be gentle, some weak transitions, etc), and now there I was meeting with one of the people in charge of his ‘new’ show. It’s funny how things work out.

Man of the Hour
The Cord Weekly
28 September 2005
Joseph Turcotte
A&E Writer

George Stroumboulopoulostalks to The Cord about ditching MuchMusic, being a Habs fan and Britney Spears’ chewing gum

For five years he was the face ofMuchMusic to music fans across Canada. As the host of The New Music and The Punk Show he entertained and informed. But as a wise man once said,“You better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone,” and George Stroumboulopoulos isn’t the type to sink anytime soon.

After his tenure at Much was over, Stromboulopoulos was lured down the street to the CBC where he’s been tackling issues other than what our favourite pop-tarts are up to. His show, The Hour, is a fast paced news/talk program that covers the issues of the day, done in his typically manic style.While  Stroumboulopoulos isn’t the type of host you’d expect from the CBC, he says it’s working great.“You’d be surprised.  I know a lot of people think that me working here I’d be out of place, but there are so many people that are very much like each other, you just never hear about it, but we’re definitely here.”

While he says he enjoyed his years at Much, the chance to take a broader and, at times, more serious scope was too good for Stroumboulopoulos pass up. “I really enjoyed my time at MuchMusic and got to make some really really neat entertainment music television. But as time went on, entertainment TV as a whole, not just MuchMusic… changed. While I still did music on The New Music and The Punk Show I spent a lot of time not doing music, but more doing celebrity entertainment stuff, which is fine but it wasn’t for me at a certain point.  I kind of got bored talking about Britney Spears’ gum for sale on eBay… I don’t care.”

On why he moved to the CBC, Stroumboulopoulos says the open format of The Hour appealed to him. “I’ll go wherever the right show is” he explained. At The Hour, Stroumboulopoulos and his producers can discuss pretty much whatever they want. “I just wanted to make a show with people that I like, talking about what’s going on in the world, and do it in a way that people from all over the place can watch it. Sometimes we can be serious and heavy and sometimeswe can be light and ridiculous.”

In this respect they’ve done the job, as earlier this year The Hour was named by TV Guide readers as the best Canadian TV program.“I just love going on the air and working with really good people and get to talk about really neat topics,” he explains.

As for the person George would most like to have sit across from him, he has no hesitation in making his choice.“Bob Dylan. I want Dylan on and I want Nelson Mandela.You talk about two guys that have delivered, they have delivered.”

Since George started his career as a sports-radio talk show host it was inevitable that our conversation would hit upon the return of the NHL. “It’s gonna be a good game and a lot more teams are going to be competitive.” But as a good Habsfan, he won’t take the bait on picking a winner in the battle of Ontario.

“Fuck that shit dude, are you crazy? That would kill me, both those teams make me sick,” he says with a laugh. “I’d choose the Oilers if I can’t pick the Canadiens. But as a true Habs fan I would choose death before I would choose one of them.”

Speaking of lockouts, during the ongoing CBC “labour disruption” Stroumboulopoulos has kept himself busy. He can now be found hosting his own weekly radio talk show on CFRB 1010, Sunday nights from 9to 11pm, but he has every intention of returning to The Hour as soon as the lockout ends.

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