Ontario to invest $180 million in universities

Ontario Premier Ernie Eves visited York University Monday to announce that his government will invest $180 million in the province’s colleges and universities to create more than 21,000 new student spaces, reported Canadian Press and major Toronto and Ontario newspapers April 15. York University will receive $23.4 million toward the cost of 3,175 spaces. Many news outlets focused on Eves’s comments at York that admission standards for universities have barely changed this year despite intense competition for student spaces caused by the elimination of Grade 13. “So anybody that’s worried that there’s going to be this huge bell curve, that you’re going to need 97% to get into university, can dispel those fears,” Eves said. “I’m told that the standards are virtually identical to what they were a year ago.” CP said some critics contend that the province’s universities and colleges are not prepared to deal with the flood of graduating students, and the issue is likely to be at the forefront as the government gears up for an election. The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations said the money should have come sooner. “It could unfortunately be a case of too little, too late for entering classes of the double cohort this fall,” association president Henry Jacek told CP. The Toronto Sun, along with radio services Broadcast News and CBC, noted that Eves’ York news conference was interrupted by electrician Ted Szwec, who said his union members can’t afford to send their kids to university. Eves said the government helped 30,000 young people go to post-secondary institutions last year.

‘We owe Trudeau’

“Nigel Hannaford’s column on Pierre Trudeau’s legacy was a masterpiece of crooked logic and prejudice. Trudeau had his faults, but there is much to admire in his legacy,” wrote Alexandre Brassard Desjardins, a political science professor at York’s Glendon College, in a letter to The Calgary Herald April 15. “We owe him a bilingual, multicultural, decolonized Canada and a common identity based on shared values instead of ethnicity. Without official bilingualism, Quebecers would have no reason to stay in this country. Without immigration, Canada would suffer a massive demographic and economic decline. Without multicultural policies, it would be much more difficult for immigrants to integrate and contribute to our society.”

Why cohabiting couples decide to marry

A study at York University found that couples who intended only to cohabit wound up marrying for reasons such as conscience pangs, religious beliefs or outside pressures, reports The Vancouver Province April 15 in a list of findings on living together, marriage and divorce. The study also found people who cohabited believed that turbulent times would be smoothed out by marriage.

On air

  • Martin Shadwick, defence analyst with the York Centre for International and Security Studies, talked about Canadian defence and security policy and how Canada might help in post-war Baghdad, on “Niagara at Noon” (CKTB-AM), St. Catharines, April 14.