York faculty discuss provincial election

Media continue to seek out York’s faculty for expert commentary on Ontario’s provincial election.

  • Patrick Monahan, dean of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, compared political ads of the Tories and Liberals, on CFRA-AM’s “According to Mark 2”, Ottawa, Sept. 12. He suggested that Premier Ernie Eves has benefited more since the election was called. However, he said it is still Dalton McGuinty’s race to lose.
  • Robert MacDermid, a political science professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, says movements of the Tory leader are often indicative of which seats the party hopes to win, reported The Globe and Mail Sept. 15. “The fact that they’re not here [in Toronto] much tells me that they’re not expecting to win a lot of seats.” Many of Eves’s recent statements and actions have been geared toward a more conservative audience outside large urban centres, MacDermid said, such as Eves’s tour of Christian schools that would likely welcome the Tories’ private-school tax credit, his opinion against same-sex marriage and his tough talk about giving equal funding to all school boards despite the special needs of urban schools.
  • Ian Greene, a political science professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, who is serving as an adviser to the Liberal Party, said a recent survey that showed Eves and McGuinty in a dead heat and undecided voters leaning towards McGuinty does not surprise him, reported the Globe Sept. 15. “The party in power always has the advantage and the other party has to overcome that,” Greene said. He added that he thinks the Liberals’ decision to attack the Tories on the issues rather than personalities ultimately will pay off. Informed voters will not be impressed, he said, by releases like the one issued by the Conservative camp Friday that referred to McGuinty as an evil reptilian kitten-eater from another planet. “Most opinion leaders, even those who supported the Conservatives in the past, will be frustrated with Tory tactics.”
  • Political scientist Robert Drummond, dean of York’s Faculty of Arts, spoke about why health care is not higher on the agenda of the provincial election, on “Regional News” (CBO-FM), Ottawa, Sept. 10. On Sept. 12, he discussed McGuinty’s dismissal of a personal attack from the PC party, on “Citypulse Tonight” (CITY-TV), Toronto. On Sept. 13, he commented on Ontario Premier Ernie Eves doing damage control after the distribution of a bizarre news release, on “AM News” (CP24-TV), Toronto.

Schulich ahead in the MBA race

The once congenial competition among Canada’s top business schools has turned into a high-stakes horse race, reported The Globe and Mail Sept. 13. And York’s Schulich School of Business is coming on strong with a splashy new $102-million building, said the newspaper. It has also carved out a strong niche. Under Dean Dezsö Horváth, with more MBA students than any of its competitors, it has launched specialized degrees in hot-button management areas. Also, it has forged a partnership with the well-regarded Kellogg School of Management at Chicago’s Northwestern University in training executive MBAs.

Scientists find way to improve computer images

Researchers from York University, the University of British Columbia and Sunnybrook Technologies have devised a way to make computer screens look more realistic, reported Technology Research News Sept.10 on the Web site of Technology Review, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s magazine of innovation. The human eye is capable of seeing the sun’s entire range of brightness – nearly seven orders of magnitude, or 10 million to one. The contrast between a bright sunny day and a moonless night, for example, is around a million to one. The liquid crystal screens used in laptops, palmtops and cell phones, however, display only a fraction of that range: they average around 300 to one, and top out at 800 to one. Researchers have devised a way to boost the dynamic range of liquid crystal displays to 90,000 to one. The method should improve architectural rendering, flight and vehicle simulators, and medical imaging data, according to the researchers, who presented their work at the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group Graphics (Siggraph) 2003 conference in San Diego, July 27-31.

On the notwithstanding clause

At a University of Western Ontario Charter conference, Jamie Cameron, a professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, said the notwithstanding clause is falsely viewed as a unique Canadian compromise that prevents either the courts or the legislatures from reigning supreme, reported The Globe and Mail Sept. 13.

On air

  • Pop music historian Rob Bowman, a professor in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, commented on the death of music legend Johnny Cash, on CBC Radio’s “Metro Morning” in Toronto and “Info Radio” in Winnipeg Sept. 12.
  • David Dewitt, director of the York Centre for International & Security Studies, commented on the Jerusalem Post’s call for the murder of PLO leader Yasser Arafat, and rejected a proposal for his exile, on CFRB-AM’s phone-in show “The Motts,” Toronto, Sept. 12.
  • Leo Davids, sociology professor in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, answered listeners’ questions about preparing for retirement on CBC Radio’s phone-in show “Ontario Today” Sept. 12.
  • David Shugarman, director of the York University Centre for Practical Ethics, commented on Ontario Attorney General Norm Sterling defending a funding announcement he made, on CBC Radio’s “Regional News” in Ottawa Sept. 13.
  • James Laxer, political science professor in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, was interviewed about how a post-Sept. 11 world may threaten Canada’s sovereignty, on CBC Newsworld’s phone-in show “Newsworld Today” Sept. 12.
  • Alan Young, professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, talked about the opening of Toronto’s first marijuana café, the Hot Box, in May shortly after the court decision overturning Canada’s marijuana laws, on TVOntario’s “Studio 2” Sept. 12.