Watch out for Jack Layton, Mr. Martin

Jack Layton “has given the left and the NDP a great deal more energy and visibility than it’s had for the past 10 years,” James Laxer, political science professor at York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, told CBC TV’s “The National” Feb. 2. He was commenting on Prime Minister Paul Martin’s throne speech. “And one of the things that Martin, I think, may have forgotten is that the great political victories from ’93, ’97 and 2000 were based on having a big chunk of the social democratic vote there for the Liberal party. Social democrats in the 1990s were terrified that the Reform party and later the Alliance were going to take power. They feared that. And many of them, more centre of the road social democrats, were prepared to vote for the Liberals to make sure that that never happened. That fear is over.” Laxer also commented about the plight of Sheila Copps, who was the only other contestant for leadership of the federal Liberal party. “To deny her or to try to deny her a nomination at a time when Paul Martin wants to be seen as attracting more women to politics and opening up the political process and not playing the heavy game is so contradictory that I don’t think people take it seriously.”

Suicide bomb victim remembered as healer

The family of a Canadian man killed in a suicide attack in Jerusalem on Thursday was to fly to Israel to say goodbye to the respected psychologist and much loved father of seven, reported the National Post Jan. 31. Yehezkel Goldberg, 41, was killed while taking a bus to the Jerusalem clinic where he counselled troubled youth and their families. The second youngest of six children, “Chezi” Goldberg – as he was affectionately known by friends and family – graduated with a BA in French studies at York University in 1985 after attending high school in Israel.

Author captures drama but not truth of ’68

Read 1968: The Year that Rocked the World by Mark Kurlansky for a wild tour through the turbulent youth protests and government repressions of 1968, wrote Howard Adelman, a professor of philosophy at York University for 37 years, in The Globe and Mail Jan. 31. But there’s a lot missing, he suggests. Adelman, who is now a visiting fellow at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, allowed that “in his writing you certainly get the taste, feel, flavour and texture of the times…. However nostalgic this very readable book makes one feel for the 60s – in fact, precisely because it is a book of romantic nostalgia for the activism of the 60s – Kurlansky’s explanatory thesis does not stand up to critical examination and the book is replete with contradictory claims…. Using poetic licence, he condenses interpretations of events into that year to raise the dramatic force of his argument. Thus, incredibly, it is not Hungary in 1957 that explains the disenchantment with communism, but Prague Spring. The book is a great nostalgic read, but an inadequate explanation of what occurred.”

L’Oréal woos York MBAs

Cellulite is not, generally speaking, a subject that many young men ponder too deeply. Unless, like 27-year-old MBA Eric MacKinnon, they unexpectedly find themselves in the beauty business, wrote Virginia Galt in The Globe and Mail Feb. 2 in a story about how L’Oréal aggressively woos MBAs. MacKinnon, who graduated with an MBA from York’s Schulich School of Business in 2003, was discovered by L’Oréal Canada at a campus career fair. He recalled how he told Martial Lalancette, L’Oréal Canada’s senior vice-president of human resources, that he is “a nightmare employee. The minute I understand something, I want to move on to something else. I get bored very, very easily. To my great surprise, he was actually interested.” MacKinnon now works as a marketing assistant for the Biotherm skin care line, which includes anti-cellulite gel, makeup and other new products, such as moisturizers for men.

On air

  • Wesley Cragg, professor of business ethics at York’s Schulich School of Business, discussed the new report on corporate social responsibility produced by a group of experts he led, on CTV Newsnet Feb. 1. The interview ran repeatedly through the day on the national news channel.