Backing Clarkson on public education

In a June 25 opinion piece about public education in The Kingston Whig-Standard, Queen’s University education Professor William Higginson invoked the words of York University honorary degree recipient Governor General Adrienne Clarkson in her convocation address. Clarkson “argued strongly for the preservation of public education, noting its role in bringing together children of all backgrounds, incomes and cultures,” noted Higginson. “Her remarks may well, I suspect, have been stimulated by the recent actions of the Fraser Institute. Canadians would be well advised to heed her words of advice.”

Faulty police probe, says law prof

Parents and friends of Magda Gryc, killed last fall by an out-of-control SUV that allegedly mounted the sidewalk, felt the driver got off too easy with a four-month licence suspension and $1,000 fine. So did Alan Young, her lawyer and professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, reported the Toronto Star June 25. The police officer at the accident scene did not order a breath test for the driver. Young said that’s not acceptable. “It wasn’t a fender bender. They can’t look the other way. They’ve got a fatality. They had every basis for making a demand.”

Community and state must build social capital

Dennis Raphael, a leading academic in health policy and management at York, says the idea of social capital must include both community trust and state support to be effective, reported Web-based Axiom News Services in the first of a two-part series posted June 24 at “When governments are accentuating income and wealth gaps, creating more rich and poor people and weakening services at the same time, trying to build social capital is like trying to swim up a raging river. If you have a really stressed out community and you want to throw a block party, that’s great, but the real solution is to set up societal structures that allow people to be friendly, affable, trustful,” he said. Axiom News Services is based in Peterborough and publishes in partnership with community-focused agencies.

On air

  • Television and radio coverage of convocation included: a story on Citytv’s “Citypulse” June 23 and 24 about mother Mindy Pollishuke, who graduated from York University’s Faculty of Education 28 years ago, gowning her daughter Kimberly Pollishuke, who graduated from the same faculty this year to also become a teacher; and an interview June 24 by Anna-Maria Tremonti of CBC Radio’s “The Current” with Phoebe Asiyo, an honorary degree recipient who has spent her life fighting for equality for women of Kenya and was the first woman to enter politics in that country.
  • Alan Young, professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, commented June 24 on the Holly Jones murder investigation in a piece by CBC reporter Lorenda Redekopp that was aired on CBC Radio’s “Metro Morning,” “London News,” and “Regional News” out of Ottawa.