Komagata Maru Exhibit in the Osgoode Library

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Komagata Maru episode, when Canadian authorities turned away 376 migrants of South Asian origin aboard a Japanese steamship in Vancouver harbour. The South Asian Law Students’ Association (SALSA) at Osgoode Hall Law School will have launched Komagata Maru Week (March 10-15, 2013) and the Komagata Maru Reflections Project.

On May 23, 1914, the Komagata Maru sailed into Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet, carrying 376 passengers of Indian origin. However, the passengers on board the Japanese steamer were denied permission to enter Canada. Fears over Asian immigration at the time led the Canadian government to adopt a series of racist exclusionary policies against Chinese, Japanese and Indian migrants.

In the case of Indian migrants, Canada enacted the Continuous Journey RegulationThe Continuous Journey Regulation was an order-in-council that permitted entry to Canada only to migrants arriving in Canada by boat directly from their country of origin through a continuous journey and in possession of $200. Migrants who arrived on a boat that stopped anywhere between Canada and their country of origin or were in possession of less than $200 were denied entry. At the time, it was highly unlikely that migrants could make the journey from India to Canada without stopping en route. Moreover, the $200 fee was a considerable sum at the time, especially for Asian migrants. This regulation was designed to prevent Indian migration to Canada without being explicit in its intent.

For two months, passengers of the Komagata Maru sought to defy the Continuous Journey Regulation. While the passengers were not allowed to disembark the ship, supporters in Vancouver challenged the regulation on their behalf in court, ultimately unsuccessfully. The Komagata Maru sailed out of the Burrard Inlet on July 23, 1914 to the uncertain fates that awaited the ship’s passengers in Asia.

As part of the anniversary events, the Osgoode South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA) have set up in the Osgoode Library an exhibition of photos and images documenting the Komagata Maru incident. The photos are from the Komagata Maru Collection of the Sikh Heritage Museum of Canada. The exhibit will run throughout the week during regular library hours. The exhibit is free.


Eventually the 196 bus will arrive…

It is somehow appropriate that on the first weekend of 2014, the top-grossing movie at the North American box office was titled Frozenwhich pretty much sums up the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 in North America in general and Toronto in particular. For those of you who went home to points outside of Toronto after exams, you were probably fortunate enough to miss the simultaneous beauty and beast of the ice storm (and have power), but alas, were likely unlucky to feel the full brunt of the so-called “polar vortex” (and its -40 wind chill) that is just starting to lift as I write this.

Although it is predicted to be 7 degrees and raining by Saturday, we will undoubtedly have more cold weather before spring arrives, so remember that the library can be a heated oasis for your comfortable studying pleasure until 10 pm during the week (except for Fridays, when we close at 5 pm) and 6 pm on the weekend. While it is hardly necessary to remind you that food is not allowed (no, not even pineapple), life-sustaining hot beverages are allowed – as long as they’re in covered containers. And no, book flasks don’t count.


Welcome Back!

Happy New Year and welcome back everyone!
Here are some quick reminders about the library’s Core Collection -

  • ALWAYS CHECK OUT ANYTHING either from the self-checkout machines or from the Circulation Desk staff.
  • ALWAYS RETURN TO THE ITEM RETURN BOX at the Circulation Desk, do not put them back on the shelf yourself.

By doing these, you are helping others (students and faculty) who need to use the same book; once a book is checked out the system will give library staff the information about when it will be returned. You’re also saving library staff time from having to look all over the place. Returning them to the item box allows us to shelf them back so that the next user will find them in the right spot.
Note also that some of these titles are available in the general collection in the Lower Library or even as eBooks which you can access from your laptops or electronic devices.

Remember to always ask for assistance from our friendly librarians and library staff.

Thank you and have a productive term!

2013 Clawbies (Canadian Law Blog Awards) Announced

As reported on Slaw, the 2013 Canadian Law Blog Awards (Clawbies) have been announced. The award for Best Law Library Blog this year goes to The Stream, the blog of the Courthouse Libraries BC. We’ve always been fans of this blog, especially for is practical focus on legal research tips and tools, and legal news affecting practice.

Our own blog was a runner-up for the award this year. As you may remember, we were given the award for best law library blog last year, with special reference to our “engaging (and sometimes irreverent) writing style”.

Among other Osgoode blogs, IP Osgoode was given the award for best Legal Technology blog, and The Court was a runner-up for best Law School/Law Professor blog.

New AODA regulations coming into effect January 1st

For those of your who are interested in disability law and critical disability studies, it is worth pointing out that the latest round of Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) regulations will be coming into effect on January 1, 2014 (amazingly, less than two weeks away).

AODA regulations are being gradually rolled out on an annual basis until January 1, 2025, having started on January 1, 2012. The standards can be found in the Integrated Accessibility Standards (O. Reg. 191/11), which exhaustively lay out the standards, along with the deadlines for compliance. It also lays out the penalties for non-compliance, which can be as much as $100,000 a day (!!).

The relevant standards that come into effect this coming January 1st deal with the establishment of detailed accessibility standards for large private sector organizations and small designated public sector organizations, establishment of accessibility plans for large private sector organizations and small public sector organizations, and far beyond (and far too much for me to list here) including but not limited to provision of accessible formats, opening of feedback channels, and the creation of accessible websites (although on this point it should be noted that this is a graduated process, with increased levels of accessibility to follow). On the point of AODA-compliant web sites, York has set up a site to deal with ensuring York’s compliance with these standards.

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women – December 6, 2013

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Here are some interesting research materials on this topic:

  1. Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Canada’s Statement
  2. Violence Against Women by Patti Ryan and Lisa Sloniowski
  3. UN Women Action Globally
  4. Government of Canada Efforts
  5. Gender & the Law by Yemisi Dina



Past Exams

Osgoode Hall Law School Past exams are available online. Access them from “MyOsgoode Student Portal“, look under Resources for “Exam Archive”.  Password is required. Selected years are also available in print on the shelves at the end of the Upper Floor of the Law Library.

Good Luck!