Canadian Open at York a boost to Toronto

Despite the withdrawal of Serena Williams, the world’s top female tennis player, the Canadian Open Tennis Championships at York University’s National Tennis Centre in August is another event that could bolster Toronto’s sagging economy, argued Toronto Sun columnist George Gross July 20. The prestigious event attracts 150,000 fans every year and is televised practically all over the world. “Personally, I think that the city and the province should get behind events such as this tournament. After all, this championship, with its global exposure, will help keep Toronto on the international map and correct, in part, the adverse impact of the SARS era.”

The power of positive influence

“Power, if used appropriately, should actually be a positive influence in your organization,” said Patricia Bradshaw, professor of organizational behaviour at York’s Schulich School of Business, in a Globe and Mail feature July 23, on power in the workplace. “Having more power doesn’t necessarily turn you into a Machiavellian monster. It can help your team and your organization achieve its goals and increase its potential.”

Care is no longer charity

On the surface, labour disputes besetting social service agencies are about money, but troubles may be rooted as much in the past as the present, reported the Toronto Star July 23. “It’s a women’s issue,” said Hugh Shewell, a professor of social work at York University’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies. “Many of the workers are women so it’s another part of this kind of continuum where we see women in caring professions undervalued. We’ve seen this with nursing and we see it again in social services.”

Smart cop has a law degree

It’ll take more than a bent beak to stop Robert (Rob) Gauvin from proving he’s one of the toughest cops on the planet, began a Hamilton Spectator story July 22, about the York law grad and 31-year-old pugilist who is representing Canada and the Hamilton police at the World Police and Fire Games in Barcelona, Spain, July 26 to Aug. 3. Gauvin graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1998 then started boot camp at the Ontario Police College. Since he was called to the bar three years ago, he has worked as a lawyer for the police service and as a Crown prosecutor in Kitchener. Now he’s back on the beat, training for the police Olympics.

Saxophonist David Mott is a gifted teacher in class and on stage

The Canadian jazz scene is small enough that a mere handful of influential veteran players and teachers have sweeping influence, wrote The Ottawa Citizen’s James Hale July 22. And the person who tends to get the most enthusiastic plaudits is baritone saxophonist and York University music Professor David Mott, who brought his new quintet to the Jazz Festival July 23. “He was a really strong influence on my originality,” said saxophonist Richard Underhill, winner of this year’s Juno Award for contemporary jazz. “He really pushed me to express myself in my music.” Guitarist Michael Occhipinti said that Mott was directly responsible for the formation of NOJO, one of Canada’s leading jazz orchestras. “He instilled in (co-leader) Paul Neufeld and I the importance of writing pieces for large ensembles and of hearing them played in context, so we had to form a band that could do that.”

Mott, a 58-year-old native of the Chicago area, is the kind of teacher you hope your children discover at least once in their lives, wrote Hale. “I just hope to create an environment where people can discover things on their own,” said Mott. “I encourage their esthetic choices, and I really push them to find their own voice. I mean, that’s the jazz tradition, well back before there was a formal education system to support it. I get worried these days by the young musicians I hear coming out of institutions where craft and skill is stressed over expression. I hear a lot of well-educated young people who can really play their instrument, but don’t have a distinctive voice.”

York student stages first musical

Thornhill’s Brian Goldenberg, a 23-year-old professional songwriter and York University music major, will unveil the first musical he’s penned at the Vaughan City Playhouse, reported the Richmond Hill Liberal July 22. “I’ve been a songwriter for many, many years,” he said. “This is the first musical that I’ve written.” The play focuses on a group of high-school students who are about to graduate and the decisions they are forced to make that will affect their futures.

Judicial activism has long tradition

Judicial activism is neither new nor revolutionary despite what the Canadian Alliance says, wrote Dimitry Anastakis in an opinion piece in the Toronto Star July 22. He cited York University historian John Saywell, who convincingly argued in his recent book The Lawmakers that judicial activism has been a fundamental characteristic of our legal and political system since even before Confederation.

On air

  • The armed forces have certainly never been top priority for leading Liberal leadership candidate Paul Martin, Canadian military expert Jack Granatstein, York University professor emeritus, told “Noon News” (CFAX-AM), Victoria, July 22. The prospect of Paul Martin as prime minister doesn’t mean a windfall for the military, he said.