President Marsden delighted with SuperBuild announcement

York University President Lorna R. Marsden was pleased with Colleges and Universities Minister Dianne Cunningham’s recent announcement which said the province would be increasing funding to create new spaces at Ontario universities, reports The North York Mirror Jan. 5. Cunningham announced the province would contribute $16,000 for each university student and $9,200 per college student to fund capital costs such as lecture halls and libraries in order to help schools deal with the crunch of the upcoming double cohort. “We are delighted that Minister Cunningham announced a new round of SuperBuild projects, responding to our requests for space to accommodate growth in areas of student demand,” Marsden said. “It’s a huge part of our commitment to continually enhance the environment for our students here at York. It gives us a chance to fulfill the aspirations of the thousands of new students in the 905 area and beyond in the coming years.”

Is judicial activism good or bad?

“Beneath the churlish spat between old political rivals John Crosbie and Clyde Wells, there is a deeper issue about the proper role of judges – is judicial activism a good or bad thing?,” Alan C. Hutchinson, professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, writes in an opinion piece in The Globe and Mail Jan. 9. “The concern that courts are interfering too much in the political process is a valid one…. [but] the advent of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has made this task doubly difficult…. While exhortations to ‘stick to the law’ are seductive, the fact is that, whether we like it or not, judges cannot avoid making political choices. There is no way to interpret the charter or any other constitutional provision without resorting to contested political values.”

We need a care guarantee

In a C.D. Howe Institute report last year, lawyers Patrick Monahan, associate dean of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, and Stanley Hartt argued that delays in medically necessary services are inconsistent with the principles of fundamental justice – and violate the Charter of Rights, which include the right to life, liberty and security of the person, writes Mary Janigan Jan. 13 in a Maclean’s magazine column. The column was about how politicians are dodging the health-care issue of waiting times. She quotes Monahan: “If we are going to maintain medicare in the way we say we want to maintain it, then we have got to have something like a care guarantee.”

Parting hard on children

Anne-Marie Ambert, a sociology professor in York’s Faculty of Arts who specializes in family affairs, estimates as few as 10 per cent of parents may stay together for the sake of children, reports the National Post Jan. 9 in a story about the negative impact of divorce. She said there has not been a dramatic shift over the past 50 years. In her latest study, titled “Divorce: Facts, Causes and Consequences,” she outlines the data showing adult children of divorce are more likely to have a child out of wedlock, have lower test scores in school and be unemployed.

Schulich wins MBA Games

York University’s Schulich School of Business finished first at this year’s National MBA Games held at McMaster University, reports The Spectator Jan. 7. Students from 19 Canadian business schools competed in academic, athletic and spirit events.

On air

On CBC’s “Metro Morning” Jan. 7, host Andy Barrie talked to Prof. Dianne Martin, of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School and director of the Innocence Project, about Ontario Chief Justice Roy McMurtry blaming delays in the legal system on the Charter of Rights. Martin was also interviewed Jan. 8 on CBC’s “Great Northwest” in Thunder Bay about how the charter is used to delay trials…. On “Windsor Now” (CKLW-AM) Jan. 7, Daniel Drache, director of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies at York, talked about the federal New Democratic Party leadership election…. On CBC’s “Canada at Five” Jan. 7, Patrick Monahan, associate dean at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, commented on former federal justice minister John Crosbie’s call for an investigation of the head of the Newfoundland Court of Appeal, Clyde Wells.