Air Canada will ignore ‘expert’ advice

“Once more, Air Canada is in the headlines and once more, experts on the airline industry are popping out everywhere,” begins an editorial by Fred Lazar, an economics professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in the National Post Feb. 11. “I find the ‘expertise’ proffered by these individuals, especially those in academia, to be amusing on the one hand and disturbing on the other…. All the advice offered to date falls into one of three categories: cut costs and scale, seek a government bailout, or file for bankruptcy. Fortunately, Air Canada will ignore all of this free advice. The senior management team running the company is much smarter than the so-called experts.”

Belcourt new president of HR association

Monica Belcourt, human resources management professor in York University’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies, this week adds another role to her portfolio, this time  as president of the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario at the annual conference in Toronto, reports Canada News-Wire Feb. 10. Belcourt created Canada’s first degrees in human resources management and is the director of the International Association for HR Research.

Eloquence absent in health debate

Bruce Powe, author and English professor at York University, who does a lot of thinking about the national psyche, says he doesn’t believe the dry, technical state of the federal-provincial health debate reflects an absence of imagination or idealism about the country, writes Susan Delacourt in the National Post Feb. 8. “The idea of Canada is still bigger than federal-provincial conflicts and compromises,” he says. “It’s just a place where the poetry gets lost because we sometimes forget to hear what’s behind the words.” It’s worth remembering, he notes, that this is a country arguing what to do with a surplus…. Canada may not be lacking imagination, Powe says, just eloquence about its own lucky virtues.

Ottawa to appeal marijuana ruling

The federal government will go to court to save its muddled marijuana laws even as it is promising to liberalize them, reports The Globe and Mail Feb. 11. “It’s very schizophrenic,” said Alan Young, a Toronto lawyer and professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School defending patients who want access to the drug. “They’re trying to sustain a litigation strategy to support the law while at the same time a political strategy that brings it into question. They’re two contradictory policies…. Marijuana prohibition from its very beginning was a waste of money and what you’re seeing now is that last bit of squandering. It’s ridiculous.”

Star fails quiz on GTA geography

“The fine article on school spirit at York University inaccurately describes the campus as being located, ‘on the fringe of the city’,” writes Deborah Hobson, retired York University vice-president of enrolment and student services, in a letter to the Toronto Star Feb. 11. “A more accurate description of its location would be, ‘in the centre of the GTA’. From that perspective, the Star offices are on the fringe.”

Judge is holding back

“He is very pragmatic, sensible and fair, but I feel Judge Binnie is holding back,” comments Jamie Cameron, a professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in a Globe and Mail profile about a colourful judge Feb. 10. “He doesn’t show us enough of his passion for the law.” Cameron traces this caution to the early controversies, along with a ruling that Judge Binnie issued in the Little Sisters pornography case that disappointed civil libertarians in its narrowness.

On air

  • Erich Weingartner, a research fellow at the York University Centre for International and Security Studies, said Canada had missed an opportunity to diffuse the tensions between the United States and North Korea, on CBC’s national “Commentary” and “Island Morning” (CBCT-FM), Charlottetown, Feb. 10.
  • Anne-Marie Ambert, sociology professor in York University’s Faculty of Arts, was interviewed about her studies of same-sex couples and parents and the changing nature of families in Canada, on “Afternoon With Dave Taylor” (CHQR-AM), Calgary, Feb. 7.
  • Paul Delaney, physics and astronomy professor in York University’s Faculty of Pure and Applied Science, discussed the future of space exploration in the wake of the space shuttle Columbia explosion, on TVO’s “Studio 2”, Ontario, Feb. 7.