Mars: the Sequel – major national coverage for a second day

An Aug. 5 news conference detailing York’s involvement in the US-led 2007 Phoenix Scout Mission to Mars sparked nationwide coverage estimated to have reached 9.5 million people through broadcast media alone. Widely interviewed were Canadian team leader Allan Carswell, York professor emeritus and president of Optech Ltd., which will use its laser radar technology in the NASA mission, and York Professor Peter Taylor of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science, who will help develop computer models as part of the team’s investigation of the Martian atmosphere. The Phoenix group, led by the University of Arizona, was chosen by NASA on Aug. 4 after a competition involving 25 rivals for the US$325-million mission. Major broadcast outlets covering the York story included the CBC (national and local), CTV networks, CBC Newsworld, Global, and a host of private radio stations. In print, many newspapers picked up a Canadian Press story on the project, while several big-city dailies in the CanWest Global chain ran a story quoting Carswell and datelined Montreal, where the Canadian Space Agency is headquartered.  

York prof questions new BC child labour law

Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Judith Fudge was quoted in The Globe and Mail Aug. 6 commenting on recent British Columbia labour legislation which critics say would leave children open to abuse – lack of respect for school hours, possibilities for overwork and higher risk for on-the-job injury. Fudge pointed out that there’s a high correlation between youth workers and injury rates due to lack of experience and inability to recognize workplace hazards. “I’d want to know about training for youth workers,” said Fudge. The legislation will allow employers to hire children between the ages of 12 and 15 with parental consent alone, dropping the requirement for permission from a school counsellor and the director of the Employment Standards Branch.

Growing smart in the GTA

Writer Lynda Lukasik, in a “Forum” column appearing in the Hamilton Spectator Aug. 2, notes she had “the wonderful opportunity to learn about, discuss and debate the principles of smart growth at a recent conference called Kyoto and Sprawl: Building Cities That Work, [hosted] by York University’s Glendon College.”