York grads snag spot at Manhattan film fest

The School, a film short made by Ezra Krybus and Matthew Miller for their fourth-year film production course at York University, has become the first Canadian film selected for the Manhattan Short Film Festival taking place Sept. 28, reported the Toronto Star Sept. 8.

Tories avoiding privatization talk in this election

Party leaders have been virtually silent so far on health care, even though polls place the issue at the top of voter concerns, reported Canadian Press Sept. 7 in a story on provincial election issues. Political scientist Robert Drummond, dean of York’s Faculty of Arts, said the Tories are deliberately avoiding the issue. “They don’t want to talk a lot about privatization.”

Proposed mortgage tax break would hurt non-home owners

The Tories’ proposed new mortgage deductibility tax break for home ownership would only drive up house prices, making home ownership even more unattainable to those with lower incomes, argued Linda McQuaig in the Toronto Star Sept. 7. Neil Brooks, professor of tax policy at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, told her, “It would actually hurt people who don’t already have a house.”

Studying on a level playing field

Universities and colleges are striving to cater to the growing number of special-needs students who, at as young as 17, can find post-secondary studies daunting, reported the Toronto Star Sept. 6. “I think at 17, you’re pretty young still…. You haven’t been around long enough to know how to advocate for your needs,” said Karen Swartz, coordinator of the Office for Persons with Disabilities at York University. As a result, York has hired a student-transition assistant – an alumnus who is disabled herself – to mentor and guide these young students as they adjust to life at university.

Compare range of health-care coverage

In a letter to the National Post Sept. 8, Louis Lefeber, York professor emeritus of economics and social and political thought, challenged Pierre Lemieux’s Aug. 28 story on health care’s hidden costs. “I find it astounding that he failed to refer to the single most significant difference between the Canadian and US medical systems: the range of coverage. The Canadian system is universal, meaning that all citizens and landed immigrants are covered by, and have access to, the state-financed medical services. In the United States, a very large proportion of the population remains uncovered and many of those who are covered while employed in the corporate sector are left without coverage upon retirement…. It appears that Lemieux fails to take into account the human cost of the 41 million US residents who have no access to health care.”

Juggling bug survives university education

York grad Craig Douglas never thought he would earn his living as a juggler, reported St. Catharines’ The Standard Sept. 8. The 36-year-old who was performing at the Lincoln County fair thought he would be a scientist or a teacher or a television reporter, said the newspaper. He certainly has all the qualifications with his three university degrees: a combined honours bachelor of arts and bachelor of science from McMaster University; a bachelor of education from York University (’96) and a bachelor of applied arts in journalism from Ryerson.

On air

  • On Sept. 5 CBC programs across Canada aired economic Professor Bernie Wolf’s comments on auto insurance, a hot button issue for voters these days. Wolfe, a professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, said consumers are missing the point on what is important about the debate between public and private auto insurance. He said there is no simple solution and the solution needs to be a very efficient operation.
  • CBC Newsworld and local Calgary television stations aired an interview Sept. 5 with Jianhong Wu, York University mathematician and Canada Research Chair in Applied Mathematics, about meeting in Banff with world experts to talk about the latest SARS research

  • Harry Smaller, professor in York’s Faculty of Education, was interviewed on CFMT-TV’s “Studio Aperto” in Toronto Sept. 5 about education issues in the upcoming provincial election.