An Arbour departure could give Paul Martin trouble, says Monahan

Should Justice Louise Arbour of the Supreme Court of Canada resign to take a UN posting, it would probably plunge Prime Minister Paul Martin into a deepening controversy over the appointment process itself, predicted Patrick Monahan, dean of York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in The Globe and Mail Feb. 18. He said Martin may be forced to come through immediately with vague reforms he has promised to the process. “I would not want to see him have to rush into a policy unless it is carefully thought through and worked out,” Monahan said. He also predicted that Martin would face considerable pressure to replace Arbour with another woman, said the Globe. “I don’t think he will want to be seen as losing ground,” Monahan said. One of the obvious candidates to replace Arbour, said the Globe, is Justice James MacPherson of the Ontario Court of Appeal, a former York University law dean.

The Vancouver Sun Feb. 19 reported that Monahan said the government should be more open this time around, but cautioned against rushing into a new process, such as allowing a parliamentary committee to vet appointees – an option that is being considered. “I think appointments to the Supreme Court of Canada are too important to make changes that later on might come back to haunt us.”

Media and talk shows pounce on study of competitive women

A York University study that found that ovulating women will put down other women as a way of attracting men continued to draw a flurry of media attention. The Ottawa Citizen headline blared: “Women more catty when they’re ovulating” over a Feb. 19 CanWest News Service story. Broadcast News sent out a clip Feb. 18 that was turned into new headlines and talk show topics by radio and television hosts across the country. In Toronto, the study made news on CFRB-AM, CFTR-AM, 680 News, CFYI-AM’s “Mojo News” and CP24-TV; in Montreal on CINW-AM; in Winnipeg on CJOB-AM “Adler on Line” and “Today So Far;” in Saint John on CFBC-AM. CBC Radio’s “Metro Morning” host Andy Barrie and Discovery Channel “Daily Planet” host Jay Ingram interviewed Maryanne Fisher, the lead researcher and a PhD candidate in psychology at York. Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford threw in her two cents about the study on CFRB’s call-in program, the “Ted Woloshyn Show”, then listened to callers opinions. TV programs also took an interest, including CHCH-TV’s “CH Morning Live” in Hamilton, and City-tv’s “Breakfast TV” and CFTO-TV’s “World Beat News” in Toronto.

Elwy 101: TVO-York course is very popular

Three years ago senior producer Risa Shuman came up with the idea of melding TVO’s “Saturday Night at the Movies” concept of movies and interviews with the highly respected film course offered at her alma mater, Toronto’s York University, reported Canadian Press Feb. 18. And so was born Hollywood Old and New, or Film 1703 as the online winter course (January to April) is known. And she says it’s become so popular that this year nearly 500 students are enrolled. Here’s how it works. Either a full-time or visiting student can register by logging on to the York Web site ( to take the 12 programs of American feature films (two pictures per program) made between the 1940s and the ’80s. Topics may include film noir, westerns or Hollywood’s depiction of race, gender or history. The student watches the TVO Saturday Night double feature – titles selected by Shuman – plus the accompanying interview clips. In addition, under course director Seth Feldman, there are weekly online lectures and tutorials, and Shuman says in many cases the entire TVO interview can be studied. Feldman says he has been impressed with the knowledge and serious approach of the students. “It’s an odd period of film for most of them because it’s largely films from before they were born but not the classic ’30s films. The course really begins at the end of the studio period and goes through the decline of Hollywood and into the birth of the new Hollywood.”

Married couples must embrace their “we-ness” more

If your post-Valentine’s Day glow has begun to fade, a little “we-ness” may be all you need, suggested the free Toronto daily 24 hours in a Feb. 18 story. York University Professor and clinical psychologist David Reid has been working with distressed couples for years and believes he has identified a key factor in achieving marital bliss, reported the tabloid. “We-ness,” he said “is when the individual truly identifies with the relationship.” Over the course of his research, Reid has found that once husbands and wives start communicating with “us” and “our,” it’s typically a sign they’re on the right track. Of course, getting to “we-ness” can be tricky. Each person in a marriage needs to validate their point of view and they want their loved one to listen. What becomes essential, said Reid, is “thinking about each other’s story, together.” Obstacles and irritants – think dirty dishes in the sink or leaving the toilet seat up – can also get in the way, but these issues are just the tip of the iceberg. “Behind those complaints are much more fundamental issues,” he said. Reid’s study has involved a series of therapy sessions with three groups of 13 couples. Reid recommends the following five tips: listen to your partner’s meanings, not just their words; try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes; make efforts to change yourself, not your partner; fight for your relationship instead of yourself; and create a mutual ideal relationship that “we” can both aim for.

Puretracks will test download-music market

Rick Broadhead, a York University alumnus and Internet authority, says Canada has yet to prove itself as a viable market for American digital-music-download services that charge a fee, reported the Ottawa Citizen Feb. 19. “I’m sure there are other services and individuals who are waiting in the wings and are going to let [Canadian download service] Puretracks be the Guinea pig and test the waters,” Broadhead said. “If it is proven that Canadians want to pay to download music, I’m sure you will see others enter the market.” Broadhead earned a BBA in 1993 and MBA in 1996 from York’s Schulich School of Business.