Employers want managers with HR training

“More and more employers are demanding the [Certified Human Resources Professional] designation,” said Monica Belcourt, human resources management professor at York University’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies and president of the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario. Her comments were featured in a Globe and Mail story Feb. 26 about the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations launching a national standards program for the HR designation. “The days are gone where you could take an amateur manager position with no knowledge of the discipline,” she said. “The field is growing and there is a body of knowledge.” The Globe also carried an announcement of Belcourt’s election as president of the association for 2003-2004. At York, Belcourt founded the largest undergraduate program and the first degrees in human resources management in Canada.

York’s higher-learning initiatives cited

The Toronto Sun reports that Sheridan College is one of three colleges to become an Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, a centre for polytechnic education with partnerships with such universities as York. And The Winnipeg Free Press said University of Manitoba law students are using a “smart” classroom on their campus to participate by videoconferencing in a class with students at York University.

Dropping senior kindergarten devastating

The Toronto District School Board has told principals, teachers and parents it is planning to drop full-day senior kindergarten programs, reports the Toronto Star Feb. 26. “The logic is that if it isn’t everywhere, it can’t be anywhere,” said Jeff Kugler, a former principal at Nelson Mandela Park School, where parents were informed yesterday of the impending cut. Kugler, who is on leave with the York University Faculty of Education, said the move will have a devastating effect on that school community.

Law prof. questions “draft” immigration ruling

Patrick Monahan, professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, questioned why federal Immigration Minister Denis Coderre would portray as a “draft” a judge’s ruling that points to his department misleading the Commons committee on immigration about the size of a backlog of applications, reports Northern Daily News Feb. 26. “I mean, the judge doesn’t sort of issue a ruling and say, ‘I’m thinking about deciding this way. What do you think?’ You make your submissions and the judge decides the issue,” Monahan said.

Paid leave for caregivers a good start

Dennis Raphael, professor of health policy and management in York University’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies, says compassionate leave for caregivers “is certainly a good deal, but Canada has a long way to go to catch up with other countries. We spend less on long-term care than does the United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark or Sweden.” Further commenting in the Toronto Star Feb. 26 on Finance Minister John Manley’s proposed compassionate family-care leave benefit, Raphael said: “The caregiving role that society thrusts upon Canadian women makes access to home care especially important. Equality of opportunity is an empty phrase unless society – and the government it elects – is willing to make the policy decisions that support women in their lives.”

Crime windfalls should not go to police

The City of Montreal is giving its share of assets from a crime raid to the Montreal police force, reports “CBC News and Current Affairs” Feb. 25. “I think Canada should stay away from it,” said Margaret Beare, sociology professor in York’s Faculty of Arts with a specialty in organized crime and corruption. She was referring to a US practice of giving crime proceeds to police. “I think perhaps the most damaging thing is how it tends to affect the prioritizing of the police cases. They will then, consciously or unconsciously, choose to go after those cases where there is the largest amount of money.”